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Sleeping on the Job!

Published on 9 November 2018 | Modified on 9 November 2018

Written by Stacey Bennett

Ryanair has hit the headlines this week after sacking staff who allegedly staged a photograph of themselves sleeping on an airport floor. The airline claims that the photograph was faked by staff to support claims that staff are not provided with adequate rest breaks/facilities.

There are a number of exceptions and exemptions but broadly the Working Time Regulations 1998 entitle workers to the following:

  • A period of 11 hours’ uninterrupted rest per day;
  • A period of 24 hours’ uninterrupted rest per week (or, at the employer’s choice, 48 hours’ per fortnight);
  • A rest break of 20 minutes when a day’s working time is more than six hours.

Employers are often guilty of expecting or encouraging workers to work during lunch breaks, evenings, weekends and when on annual leave.

However, ensuring that workers take adequate rest breaks is not just a WTR requirement; it is a health and safety consideration and is essential to ensuring workforce wellbeing and productivity.

A well-rested workforce is often a happy workforce!

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