28 August 2009
Those pressured to work extra unpaid hours 'should check their rights'
Employees who are being pressured into working additional hours without pay as a result of the ongoing recession should check their legal rights.
This is according to Paul Sellers, policy advisor at the Trades Union Congress, who said that people should first talk to their bosses to see if the situation can be resolved and then should seek advice from the appropriate authorities.
He commented: "Your rights include the right to a short break in the day. If you work more than six hours you are entitled to a break of at least 20 minutes, that's a European law under the Working Time Directive."
Mr Sellers added that the same rights apply in relation to the 48-hour working week.
If employers try to break the law in this regard, staff members have the right to take their case to an employment tribunal, he pointed out.
His comments come after research from Just-eat.co.uk found that UK employees are averaging four hours of unpaid work per week.