security guards are entitled to rest breaks and the security industry is not
exempt from Working Time Regulations.
was the ruling of a Newcastle employment tribunal in the first case of its kind
in the UK.
claim for breaching working time regulations was brought on behalf of Gavin
Ruddick by his trade union, the GMB, against Reliance Security Services Ltd.
tribunal said that although the security industry is not subject to the law
that requires workers have a 20-minute rest break every six hours, it must do
"the next best thing", such as allow a number of shorter rest periods
or one longer period.
stated that if any company were to be as ridiculous as to prevent a security
guard from going to the toilet, then it might be in breach of the Human Rights
Act, for that would be degrading and inhuman treatment.
well as claiming a breach of the Working Time Regulations, Ruddick alleged that
he was victimised after launching his tribunal claim.
was moved from his city-centre office to working in a car park portacabin, for
which he received less pay.
five-day employment tribunal claim was successful on all counts. He awaits one
final hearing to determine his compensation.