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17.20 12 Feb 2020


Should you dock a worker’s wage for taking a smoke break?

A ruling by a Spanish court has this week shone a spotlight on this very issue.

It began with a law that was meant to stop employers exploiting workers by making them stay long hours, but it has had the unintended effect of meaning every clock in and clock out is measured and paid for.

So the energy company Galp claimed it was only obeying the law when it started docking wages for staff on smoke breaks; and they won their case.

But where does the law stand on this in Ireland; and would it be fair to penalise people for going for a smoke?

Employment solicitor Richard Grogan, and comedian Jim Elliott debated whether there docked wages for smoke breaks in this country.


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