British workers suffer lack of toilet breaks

MANY British workers are suffering because of inadequate toilet facilities and restrictive toilet break rules.

The transport sector is particularly affected, along with industries such as mining, construction and quarrying, according to research published by the Labour Research Department (LRD).

Bus drivers, for example, struggled to find time between routes to use the toilet, and complained of a lack of public facilities in many cities.

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One call centre gave workers in teams a wooden spoon. To go to the toilet, a worker had to take the spoon. If someone else in the team already had the spoon, no-one else was allowed to go.

In other places, employers attempt to dock wages for time not on the production line, or – as in some meat industry plants – refuse to let workers off the production line to use the toilet during shifts lasting up to four hours, the report found.

LRD researcher Dave Statham said: "For most workers, toilet breaks are not an issue.

"But for some, the situation is not so simple.

"Employers in all industries need to realise that staff need proper access to clean facilities, and to be able to go when they need to without harassment or loss of pay."