Minimum hours of break in between working shifts?

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filthiestfis | 14:09 Wed 17th Jun 2009 | Law
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My partner has been assigned to work 52 hours this week, even though she hasnt signed any form permitting to work beyond (I think) the 48 hour a week rule.

She has been rotered to work 3 12 hour shifts consecutively. Tomorrow her shift ends at 11pm and friday's shift begins at 9am.

What is the minimum number of hours of rest required by law between shifts?

I have rang ACAS but being kept in a queue on a mobile tariff is costly, so eventually hung up.


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what does she do?
She is entitled to at least 11 hours between shifts es/WorkingHoursAndTimeOff/DG_10029451

About half way down the page it says:
Daily rest - a break between working days

If you are an adult worker you have the right to a break of at least 11 hours between working days. This means as an adult worker, if you finish work at 8.00 pm on Monday you should not start work until 7.00 am on Tuesday.

Of course there are exceptions which you will see on the page linked
Question Author
Her work is cashier at restaurant
pink-kittens is spot on. Your partners employers are breaking the law both with the hours in the working week and breaks between shifts.
The maximum working week is an AVERAGE of 48 hours per week, over a 17 week period, so working more than 48 hours in a week is not necessarily illegal.

Question Author
really Hammer? Where does it say that?
It says it in the working time directive.

All hours, for the purposes of wtd, are calculated on a rolling 17 week basis. There are exceptions to this (as there always is lol) but I can't remember off the top of my head.
Question Author
So they could make you work 100 hours in one week as long as over the 17 weeks it amounts to less than 48 hours on average?
Yes they could, providing they didn't break any of the other rules.

From the Govt website:

"a worker's working time, including overtime, in any reference period which is applicable in his case shall not exceed an average of 48 hours for each seven days."

"the reference periods which apply in the case of a worker are ... any period of 17 weeks in the course of his employment."

also regarding the break between shifts some industries are exempt from these rules i believe the service /leisure industry is one such industry.

my advice do the work and be glad of the job.

ive done similar shifts even working a ghoster which was 7.30am until 4pm the next day.

you grab a half hour snooze on your break.

people nowadays dont want to work.

52 hours is hardly a long time to work.

as i said be glad of the job there are many whod snatch it away from you.
Question Author
leggy-I dont like your answer. It is patronising me. You are assuming that there is a degree of laziness involved just because my partner doesnt want to be exploited. 48 hours is already more than enough and an employer really should seek permission first before giving so many hours. Of course, there are ethics involved, sadly lacking in a lot of individuals these days. Nothing to do with the ridiculous human rights. I I just wish people would not jump to conclusions so much.
Question Author
52 hours may not be a long time to work for you (you must be on 100 hours a week, mate!) but it is to us.
I work as a home carer. I have worked 70 hours last week and 80 odd the week before, im down for 60 odd this week due to me having saturday and sunday off, all i get from my boss is we have no one else to cover it so you have to, when i say i physically cant do it, im over worked and drained, i just want to know how long i can have between work as im on 15/16 hour days and sometimes i finish at 11pm and start at 6.30 in the morning and i cant do it anymore as its a week in a row before i have an early finish and thats like 2pm and still up at 6.30 next morning, can anyone tell me the actually length of break i should have, i also said originally i didnt want to do more then 48 hours.

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