The EAT has held that employers should proactively ensure working arrangements allow for workers to take breaks under the Working Time Regulations, The duty is not just to allow a break if a worker requests one.
In Grange v Abellio London, EAT www.bailii.org the claimant argued he had been ‘refused’ a 20 minute break when working more than 6 hours. The employer said it had not refused a break because the claimant had not asked for one, but the EAT rejected that argument.
The EAT said that if, however, the employer has taken active steps to ensure working arrangements that enable the worker to take the requisite rest break, it will have met the obligation upon it: workers cannot be forced to take the rest breaks but they are to be positively enabled to do so.
More on this case: Working Time>Rest periods and breaks.