Due to a Spanish trade union led litigation, Employers may be required to record the length of daily and weekly rest breaks. The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled in a decision set to place a "greater onus" on UK Employers.
The landmark ruling will mean employers may have to ensure that systems are in place to record the exact number of hours worked and to provide evidence, if needed to ensure that, employees rights have not been breached. The idea behind it, is to enable authorities and national courts to be able to enforce those rights.
Even though the decision was made due to a Spanish trade union, the UK is still part of the EU which means it could be used as a precedent in UK courts. Under Regulation 9 of the Working Time Regulations 1998, UK employers must keep records to show that staff are not working more than 48 hours a week and that rules with regards to night work are fully complied with.
At the moment, they are not required to record or demonstrate records showing daily and weekly rest periods. Employment lawyers strongly believe that this ruling could be the start of a move in that direction.
It will be interesting to see how this could work, due to many different working hour patterns being used within different industries. It will be interesting to see what impact, this will have on organisations services and output. For example, I believe those in the emergency services are often put in positions where rest breaks during shifts are not adhered to.