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Royal Mail breaking the law for deducting rest breaks

06 Mar 2019, 23:48

Around a year ago Royal Mail Group Limited and their in-house zero-hours agency Angard Staffing Solutions Limited have been found in breach of agency workers rights regarding deduction of rest breaks from overall pay (and also rolling-up holiday pay, but that's less important). You can find the relevant decision on the website:

https://www.gov.uk/employment-appeal-tr ... -0181-17ba

The decision clearly states that they should not be deducting anything from the total duration of your shift (if you are 12-week qualified), for the simple reason that they do not deduct anything from the total duration of their own, permanent, Royal Mail staff.

Royal Mail have ignored this decision and are still taking your money away from you when their agency pay you for less hours of work that your shift actually lasted, for example they take 40 mins from your 8-hour shift (paying you only for 7 hours 20 mins) and 20 mins from your 4-hour shift (paying you only for 3 hours 40 mins) or they take 30 mins from your 5/6/7 hour shift. The exact details how much they deduct can vary from Mail Centre to Mail Centre (rest breaks can be locally agreed differently with the CWU union) but the bottom line is that should not deduct anything. Nothing. Period.

They should have been paying you for the total duration of the shift, including rest breaks. There is no such thing in Royal Mail as "unpaid rest breaks" for their own staff but you, as agency worker, can beat it, because they rely on the fact that you do not know about it and they already got away with it for around a year, so tough titicacas!

What you can do, is to politely take both Royal Mail and Angard Staffing to Employment Tribunal for breaching your rights regarding Regulation 5 and 6 (1)(e) [rest breaks] of the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 (the "AWR") by Royal Mail and Angard Staffing by deducting the duration of your rest breaks from the overall duration of your working time. I think (not exactly sure) that you can claim they pay you back all the deductions they made up to the three months prior to the day on which you will eventually lodge your claim (so basically to pay you back 3 months worth of rest breaks deductions). That is the bare minimum, 3 months, you may be able to claim for a longer period, ask somebody who knows this stuff (a solicitor or a barrister).

Two agency dingbats from Leeds Mail Centre have already made a similar claim and they won, but they limited their complaint to one shift only and one therefore one rest break deduction only (they did this as a point of principle, to prove to the Employment Tribunal that Royal Mail still does that deduction, despite being told it is unlawful by the Employment Appeal Tribunal in London a year earlier).

You can find the decision of the Leeds Employment Tribunal here:

https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunal- ... 05245-2018

As Jim Sterling from YouTube says: "Thank god for me!"
Last edited by kd on 22 Mar 2019, 07:23, edited 1 time in total.

Royal Mail breaking the law for deducting rest breaks

07 Mar 2019, 18:28

I think you will find that ACAS are now handling similar claims against both companies.

Surely the ETs will get exasperated by the companies’ refusal to abide by both the law and judgements and set exemplary fines and rewards?

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