Rest Periods

BT and European work time directive Copied from BT intranet January 2014

The regulations provide entitlement for all adult employees to a daily rest period of 11 consecutive hours in each 24-hour period.

Every employee is also entitled to an uninterrupted break of 20 minutes when daily working time is more than 6 hours. BT's break allowances are more generous than this. The break should not be taken either at the start or the end of the working day. A lunch break would not normally be counted as working time however if an employee is obliged to participate in a working lunch as part of their work, then it would be classed as working time.

An employer cannot require an individual to work during the time that should be part of a minimum rest period except in the case of those who have agreed to be on-call. It is BT's policy that the minimum rest period and rest break should be taken. In some circumstances it may be appropriate to schedule break times to ensure adherence to the spirit of the regulations.

As rest periods and rest breaks are entitlements, it would not be unlawful if an employee chooses to work at a time that meant foregoing his/her rest period or rest break (e.g. an MPG who works through their lunch break). However, as a manager you should be discouraging such activity.

Managers should avoid the use of pagers and phones to contact employees during their rest break unless operationally essential