23 March 2021
To: All Mandate members Paddy Power
From: Bill Abom, Mandate Trade Union (0876918688, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Re: Rest Break Claims Finalised
I hope you and your families are all safe and well at this time.
As you may be aware a large group of members submitted claims back in the Autumn of 2019 to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) regarding violations of rest breaks that occurred during 2019. These claims were being heard recently by the WRC.
Please be aware that these claims have now been settled with the Company.
Achievement on the rest break issue
Members in Paddy Power began to make a stand on the issue of the non-compliance with rest breaks back in 2017. After winning those claims, groups of members lodged claims of non-compliance on two additional occasions as it was clear the Company wasn’t getting the message. Those members who took action have made a significant impact. It has now forced the Company to comply. As a result the Company has:
- officially confirmed that all breaks are paid i.e. there is no loss of earnings or deductions from pay for taking breaks
- asserted that all staff are expected to take their full entitlement to uninterrupted rest breaks
- instituted a time-recording system to ensure that there is an accurate record of breaks taken
- indicated that managers may be disciplined for not ensuring rest breaks are being taken
With these elements in place it is up to you to assert that you and your co-workers get your full rest break entitlements in future. This may be challenging at times and it may require additional staffing levels or roster changes. However, if staff continue to work through their entitled breaks, management will most likely do nothing to address understaffing and continue to make cuts to budgeted shop hours and/or roll out more single manning.
Paddy Power have outlined rest break entitlements in the company policy. Make sure you read and understand it.
Breaks with Common Shift Patterns
Outlined below some examples of common shift patterns and break entitlements.
|Shift||Hours||Breaks to be taken|
|4 hours||*No entitlement to a break|
|5-6 hours||*15 minute break taken not later than 4.5 hours into shift|
|8 hours||*1 hour lunch break taken between 11.30am-2.30pm |
*15 minute break but only if you work more than 4.5 hours after returning from lunch break.
8.30am-7.30pm; 9.30am-9.30pm; 8.30am-9.30pm;
|9-13 hours||*1 hour lunch break taken between 11.30am-2.30pm starting no later than 4.5 hours into shift |
*15 minute break if you work more than 4.5 hours after lunch break
*30 minutes if you work more than 6 hours after lunch break (break must start not later than 4.5 hours after lunch break)
Guidance on rest breaks
1) Rosters and staffing levels must be done in a way that allows all staff including managers to take their full rest break entitlements. Managers in particular may need to insist with their DM to make sure there is adequate staff and shop roster hours available to ensure full compliance with breaks. Managers should keep a record of their efforts i.e. written/email requests for additional resources to cover breaks.
2) As a result of staff taking their full break entitlements some shops may be left understaffed during busy periods. It may mean that some colleagues will be on their own for brief periods which may lead to cues and angry customers. While no one wants to leave colleagues on their own during such periods the ultimate responsibility to address staffing levels and shop hours budgets lies with the company. Staff should refer customers who want to make complaints through the normal complaints channels to Paddy Power head office. Staff can also lodge grievances on behalf of the store using the company grievance policy if understaffing is impacting on health and safety at work.
3) Missing a break should be the absolute exception. This may happen for example if a colleague calls in sick at the last minute and there are no options for cover. According to Paddy Power policy missed breaks should be reported. Make sure that any missed breaks are reported. Do not be dissuaded from reporting missed breaks.
If you require advice and assistance in future in relation to any of the points raised above please contact Mandate.
There is Power in a Union!