Rest breaks at work

4. Exceptions

Workers aren’t entitled to the 3 general types of rest break if they work in:

  • the armed forces, emergency services or police and they’re dealing with an exceptional catastrophe or disaster
  • a job where they freely choose what hours they work (like a managing director) or where the work is not measured (ie no set hours)
  • sea transport
  • air or road transport (known as ‘mobile’ workers)

Air, sea or road transport workers may be covered by special rules that give them different rest rights.

Mobile workers not covered by any special rules usually have the right to regular rest so that their health and safety (or anyone else’s) isn’t put at risk.

There are also special rules for young workers and for lorry and coach drivers.