Working shifts of 6 hours or more results to atleast 20 minutes break

By January 10, 2018Uncategorized

Mr D Crawford v Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd: Compensatory rest breaks

In November last year the Employment Appeal Tribunal EAT concluded that compensatory rest breaks linked to working shifts of 6 hours or more should be that as under regulation 12(1) of the WTR “an uninterrupted period of at least 20 minutes which is neither a rest period nor working time and which the worker can use as he pleases”


Extract from judgement:

“The Claimant/Appellant was a railway signalman working on single manned boxes on eight

hour shifts.  He had no rostered breaks but was expected to take breaks when there were

naturally occurring breaks in work whilst remaining “on call”.  Although none of the individual

breaks lasted 20 minutes, in aggregate they lasted substantially more than 20 minutes.


He claimed that he was entitled to a 20 minute “rest break” under regulation 12 of the Working

Time Regulations 1998 or “compensatory rest” under regulation 24(a).  The Employment

Tribunal found that regulation 12 did not apply and that the arrangements were compliant with

regulation 24(a).


He appealed on the basis that “an equivalent period of compensatory rest” must comprise one

period lasting at least 20 minutes.  The appeal succeeded in the light of Hughes v The Corps of

Commissionaires Management Ltd [2011] EWCA Civ 1061 (in particular the judgment of

Elias LJ at paragraph 54)”.


For the full judgement please go to :


If requiring advice regarding compensatory rest, please contact your Advisor