Where an employee is a ‘special case’ worker (such as certain rail transport workers) entitled to equivalent compensatory rest rather than the core right to a 20 minute break after 6 hours, that rest need not be an uninterrupted 20 minute break provided it has the same value in terms of contributing to wellbeing. In Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd v Crawford, the Court of Appeal held that it was sufficient that a railway signalman working an eight hour shift was able to take a number of short breaks totalling substantially more than 20 minutes while technically ‘on call’. The fact that the employer could have organised cover to provide a single 20 minute break did not mean it was obliged to do so.

Anna Henderson
Anna Henderson
Professional Support Consultant, London
+44 20 7466 2819