“I’ve Never Felt More Satisfied In My Life”: Director Is Stunned After An Employee Speaks to HR And Proves That She Was Trying To Break The Law

Every job is unique, and each one has a specific set of rules that apply to it. There are some things, however, that are mandated in every job thanks to the good old law.  So when a director at an accounting firm didn’t seem to see the importance of giving her team a lunch break, one woman decided to make sure she was given the rest she was entitled to. Below, you’ll find the full story of how this accountant humiliated her director in front of the whole team, which she recently shared on the Malicious Compliance subreddit. 

This director at an accounting firm picked up the habit of blaming “HR” for every new rule she chose to implement

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But after attempting to force her team to work through lunch, one of her employees decided to actually consult HR

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Image credits: Kaitlyn Baker (not the actual photo)

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Breaks are essential for employees to maintain their mental and physical health

We all know that having a break during the workday is essential to maintaining our mental health. It’s exhausting to work for 8 hours without giving our brains some rest, and it’s cruel to deprive employees of time to decompress, relax, reset their brains, and of course, eat, during the day. According to BetterUp, breaks are necessary to keep our productivity and our morale up, while letting us relieve some stress as well. And there are a variety of different kinds of breaks that can be beneficial, aside from simply stopping work for a few minutes. You might need a nature break, which could include taking a short walk outside and getting some much needed fresh air while also walking around to get your blood pumping.

Perhaps a power nap break is more your speed, if your job has left you feeling exhausted. And if you sit for 8 hours a day at a desk, a dance break might be just what the doctor ordered to energize you, increase your heart rate and allow you to get out of your head for a few minutes. Mindfulness or meditation breaks, creative breaks, and food breaks can all be equally important as well. Micro-breaks have been found to positively impact employee work performance, and can lead to “higher work engagement, higher quality of work, and a more positive attitude toward work,” BetterUp notes. 

Image credits: Ono Kosuki (not the actual photo)

Lunch breaks are even mandated by UK law

Long breaks can be important too, as they can help prevent decision fatigue and allow us to fully turn off our “work brains”. They have been found to help us recover from the strains that our work lives put on us and improve our wellbeing. All managers and employers should be well-informed of the benefits that breaks can have on their workers’ lives, because the better shape their employees are in, the higher quality of work they’ll be able to produce. Not to mention the fact that they won’t have to worry about having high turnover rates if their team members are satisfied and have opportunities to feel refreshed. But aside from the fact that it’s cruel and unethical to prevent employees from taking adequate breaks, it’s simply against the law.

According to Gov.UK, “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.” As far as when these breaks are taken is up to the employer to decide. But when it comes to where employees are allowed to be during their breaks, that has to be up to them. Gov.UK explains that workers must be allowed to spend their breaks away from their desks or workstations, and that the break does not count if an employer forces their staff to go back to work before the break period has finished.

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Employees who are not provided adequate breaks shouldn’t hesitate to speak up

If an employer refuses to provide adequate rest and/or lunch breaks to their employees, Citizens Advice UK recommends first alerting the employee that you’re entitled to breaks and requesting that they resolve the issue. If that does not work, you may need to write a formal complaint and speak to HR or get advice from your union if you happen to be part of one. If the situation continues to escalate, it may be time to make a claim to an employment tribunal. “You can’t do this without going through Acas early conciliation first,” Citizens Advice UK explains. “There’s a 3 month time limit for going through conciliation. This starts from the date your employer didn’t allow you rest breaks.”

It is unkind and unreasonable to expect employees not to take breaks during the workday, especially when completing rigorous training like the workers in this particular story were required to do. But thankfully, it sounds like this director learned her lesson from being put in her place. We would love to hear your thoughts on this story in the comments below, pandas. Have you ever had to deal with an employer who felt entitled to create their own rules? If so, we’d love to hear how you managed to resolve the issue, and then if you’re interested in checking out another Bored Panda article featuring a manager who didn’t know how to provide adequate breaks for their employees, look no further than right here.  

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Readers applauded the accountant for defending herself and called out the director for being so unreasonable

The post “I’ve Never Felt More Satisfied In My Life”: Director Is Stunned After An Employee Speaks to HR And Proves That She Was Trying To Break The Law first appeared on Bored Panda.

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