Spanish Court Allows Pay Deductions For Smoking Breaks- What Is UK Law?

Spanish Court Allows Pay Deductions For Smoking Breaks- What Is UK Law?

Smoking breaks at work hit the news recently as a Spanish court ruled that an organisation there can deduct pay from staff who take them. But what is the situation for you as an employer of domestic and household staff in the UK?

In the UK there no statutory right to smoking breaks. However, employees are legally permitted to one ‘rest break’ while at work – this can be for anything from a tea break, to a lunch break, as well as a cigarette break.

If the employee’s daily working hours are more than six, the break must be at least 20 minutes long.

As an employer you can, however, offer additional breaks, but you are not legally obliged to pay for break times and whether you do is at your discretion. You should detail your arrangements in employee’s contract of employment.

So what about “vaping”?

As the employer you can choose to ban it in the workplace.  For consistency, you can apply the same conditions for smoking and vaping.

The Graham Agency, keeping you informed.

 

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