No injury to feelings for those not given adequate breaks

No injury to feelings for those not given adequate breaks

An Employment Tribunal has refused a claimant compensation for injury to feeling due to a lack of a rest break.


In Santos Gomes v Higher Level Care Ltd, the employment tribunal awarded the claimant with compensation for the employer’s failure to provide her with a 20 minute rest break for working over six hours a day. However, the claimant was refused compensation for injury to feelings.


The claimant appealed to the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) who held that The Working Time Regulation 1998 (regulation 30) requires the tribunal to focus on the employer’s default, in refusing to permit the worker to exercise the relevant right, and any economic loss sustained by the worker. The compensation awarded for failure to provide adequate breaks is not based on the effect of the refusal on the claimant.


Any award that a tribunal may give for injury to feeling must have a statutory basis, as is the case in discrimination cases. A statutory basis cannot be implied, simply because the regulation does not specifically exclude a certain award. The appeal was therefore refused.


The EAT did state that a claim for compensation for damage to health might be made, if the lack of rest resulted in the claimant becoming ill but this was a different kind of compensation to injury to feeling.

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