What are the rules on breaks? I’m a Customer Adviser in a busy Halifax branch, and I’m often called back early from my lunch hour to help during busy periods. I wouldn’t mind if it was occasional, but it’s becoming almost a daily occurrence because we’re so short staffed. I’m minded to go to a local café for lunch, but I can’t afford to do that every day. Surely I should be left in peace to eat my lunch in the staff room?
If you have one hour built into your working pattern for your lunch break, then you’re not being paid during that period, and you should not be expected to work. That said, occasional flexibility may be reasonable – but that should be two-way. So, if you agree to help occasionally during your lunch break, then your employer should reciprocate when you need some flexibility, for instance starting a bit later or going home a bit earlier.
If you’re being asked to cut short your lunch break on an almost daily basis, that suggests there may be a staffing issue that needs more scrutiny. We can help with that. We have a fantastic network of pool and area reps in the Halifax branch network* who have good working relationships with SBMs and ADs. Contact union headquarters on 0118 934 1808 and you’ll be given contact details for your local rep. Or use our online local support finder.
*We have rep networks in both Halifax and BoS, and we want to set up the same in Lloyds. If you work in the Lloyds branch network, want to gain some new and unique skills, support your colleagues and develop positive industrial relations locally then we’d love to hear from you. Contact [email protected]