The consequences of Working Time Regulation breaches

In the recent case of South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service v Mansell and Others, the Employment Appeal Tribunal have held that an award for injury to feelings can be made against employers for certain breaches of the Working Time Regulations.

South Yorkshire Fire Service sought to change the working hours of several fire officers, which would have resulted in breaches of the law relating to night workers and daily rest periods. The fire officers refused to accept the proposed working pattern and so the fire service moved them to different stations.

The fire officers brought a claim alleging that in refusing to agree to a working pattern that breached the law relating to night workers and minimum daily rest periods, they had suffered a detriment by being transferred to other stations. The Tribunal agreed and an award for injury to feelings was made.

The Fire Service appealed the decision to award damages for injury to feelings, however this was dismissed by the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

As such, if an employer causes their employees to suffer a detriment when they seek to assert their statutory rights to rest breaks or holidays, they shall be liable to pay their employees damages for injury to feelings in the future.

Making sense of the working time regulations often requires assistance. Should you have any questions regarding rest breaks or holidays then contact Greystone Legal to help guide you in the right direction.

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