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 time regulations.
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 rest break."