Stay Informed – The Link Between Rest and Your Safety


As we end off the year many are thinking about taking needed rest. Regular breaks and the use of paid leave have a direct impact on health and safety amongst employees in the workplace. Having a balanced view of rest is important for both employers and employees to continue functioning as a unit.

What Employers/Managers Should Know

The UK labour law stipulates that a certain amount of vacation days and breaks should be allocated to employees.


Vacation days

All workers working a 5 day week should be given 28 days worth of leave. However this is only applicable to full-time workers. Those working part-time will get less paid leave time and it will be dependent on how many days they work per week.

Whether you’re working part-time or full-time the fact remains that having time off of work is important, hence why it is a requirement. Employers who don’t allow their employees time off from work would not only be violating the law but would also be putting their employees health and safety at risk which we will discuss later on in the article.


Breaks at Work

When it comes to breaks at work, the law states that:

Workers over 18 are usually entitled to 3 types of break – rest breaks at work, daily rest and weekly rest.

  • Rest breaks at work

Workers have the right to one uninterrupted 20 minute rest break during their working day, if they work more than 6 hours a day. This could be a tea or lunch break.

  • Daily rest

Workers have the right to 11 hours rest between working days, eg if they finish work at 8pm, they shouldn’t start work again until 7am the next day.

  • Weekly rest

Workers have the right to either:

  • an uninterrupted 24 hours without any work each week
  • an uninterrupted 48 hours without any work each fortnight


The Risk Behind Little or No Rest

Our body and mind needs rest. Whether we’re doing physically strenuous work or sitting in an office, we’re functioning in such a way that we’ll eventually tire out completely if we don’t have sufficient rest.

Irregular working hours cause fatigue which in turn diminishes our alertness and our ability to absorb information, make decisions and concentrate. With what result? Errors, accidents and injuries are more likely to occur. Employees operating heavy duty machinery, drivers and those needing to complete complex tasks are more at risk. There are also work-related illnesses and stress-related disorders that are associated with fatigue.


What You Can Do

Encourage Rest

Besides urging workers to make use of their allocated vacation days, employers can encourage their employees to take regular, short breaks throughout the day. Doing so will allow employees to recharge, improve concentration, and to enhance overall performance.


Reach Out To Us For Assistance

Realistically, there are health and safety risks associated with every business or company and it is not always easy to identify them. Fortunately, we’re here to help so that you don’t have to go at it alone. Reach out to us here.



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