September 2010 in London Underground
A reporter has contacted CIRAS regarding Rentokil-Initial staff not being allocated breaks at Hammersmith depot. According to the Working Time Directive (2003), staff should receive a 20 minute rest break for every six hours worked. However, the reporter comments that this is not happening and staff are working up to eight hour shifts without a break.
In addition to this, staff do not have access to any mess facilities or drinking water. It is noted by the reporter that this leaves staff feeling fatigued and dehydrated, putting themselves and others at risk should an incident occur.
Could Rentokil-Initial comment on:
1. Processes in place to ensure staff entitled breaks:
All staff are entitled to their allocated breaks in accordance with the Working Time Directive (WTD) these breaks are planned and are taken as follows:
a) Operatives working 7 hrs are entitled to a break of 30 minutes.
b) Operatives working 8 hrs are entitled a break of 1 hour.
All works and breaks are planned, risk assessments in place
identify breaks as a
requirement to reduce fatigue and to ensure WTD requirements are met. On speaking to staff members it was confirmed that entitled breaks are taken. Our staff handbook for Cleaning Operatives also confirms to the employee their right to a break whilst at work. Any grievances can be raised by the employee by the means of Rentokil-Initials documented procedures.
Failing this if the employee feels the concern cannot be raised through their Manager: Rentokil-Initial confidential 'whistle-blowing' procedure can be followed by either emailing email@example.com, by telephoning 0800 2525 2626 or by fax 0800 2525 6868. This procedure is also in the staff handbook.
2. Mess facilities and drinking water
On visiting Hammersmith depot I inspected several areas open to staff to freely access during works and break times including free hot and cold drinks, a dedicated locker room and dedicated mess/rest area.
I hope this response meets your requirements and answers the concerns put forward within the report but more importantly answers the concerns of the originating Rentokil Initial employee.