Copyright Moore Barlow LLP (Moore Blatch and Barlow Robbins merged May 2020)

Greater flexibility for workers around rest periods

The outcome of the recent case, Marques da Rosa v Varzim Sol, means workers, especially those carrying out shift work, night work, or with irregular working patterns, could have greater flexibility around when they can take their rest breaks.

Currently, workers are entitled to an uninterrupted rest period of 24 hours within each 7-day working period. In the above case, the European Court of Justice considered whether a rest period should be granted at the end of a 7-day week or at any time during the week. The Court ruled that rest can be granted at any time.

Comment: This case has far-reaching implications for workers. Careful review must be taken of employees’ working hours and working patterns to ensure that the legal requirements are met whilst taking into account health and safety obligations.