Where a worker is entitled to a 20-minute rest break under the Working Time Regulations 1998 can this be taken as two 10-minute breaks?
Under reg.12(1) of the Working Time Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/1833), where an adult worker's daily working time is more than six hours, he or she is entitled to an uninterrupted rest break of not less than 20 minutes, which the worker is entitled to take away from his or her workstation. The break should be taken during the working period and not at the beginning or end of it.
Regulation 12(1) may be modified or excluded only by a collective or workforce agreement - it is not possible to modify it by means of an individual agreement with a particular worker. Where a collective or workforce agreement varies the right to rest breaks, the employer must provide an equivalent period of compensatory rest. In Crawford v Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd EAT/0316/16, the Employment Appeal Tribunal held that, as far as possible, compensatory rest must comprise a continuous 20-minute rest break, not an aggregate 20 minutes of shorter breaks.