The security industry is not exempt from the Working Time Regulations, and
all security guards are entitled to rest breaks while on duty, an employment
tribunal has ruled.
A Newcastle employment tribunal ruled in favour of security guard Gavin
Ruddick in his claim against Reliance Security Services for breaching working
The tribunal decided that although the security industry is not subject to
the law that requires workers to have a 20-minute rest break every six hours,
it must do "the next best thing", such as allowing a number of
shorter rest periods or one longer period.
The GMB union lodged the claim on behalf of Ruddick after he complained to
his managers that there was no official policy in place to allow him rest
breaks to go to the toilet. He was left in no doubt that if property was
damaged while he was away from his post, he would be blamed for the loss.
Andrew Lightburn, Ruddick’s solicitor at Thompsons, the GMB’s law firm,
said: "This decision clarifies the law on this matter, giving all security
guards on contracts requiring a permanent presence the right to some form of