I came across an interesting case the other day involving a call centre employee who contacted their MP to complain about deducted wages, after querying a decision by their employer to reduce their wages based on the number of toilet breaks they had taken. Eventually the MP questioned this deduction in the House of Commons, arguing that the high number of toilet breaks were a direct consequence of the call centre encouraging their staff to drink ‘copious amounts of water’ to help clear their throats when speaking to customers.
It reminded me of recent allegation involving Amazon timing employee’s toilet breaks, which I thought remarkable at the time because I considered it a complete one off. Yet here we are again with a not so dissimilar story.
Yet, believe it or not, employees don’t have a straightforward right to take toilet breaks, with a number of employers believing that toilet breaks should happen in a workers’ own time.
Fortunately restrictions on toilet use aren’t common, with most employers understanding that such natural needs aren’t predictable nor easy to ignore for too long.
Here is my advice on managing toilet breaks in the workplace.
I am sure that this issue is not a widespread problem amongst companies. Yet any organisation wanting to prohibit employee toilet breaks, they should think carefully about the negative consequences of implementing such a draconian policy.