Home & Office

TUC campaigns against pee-brained bosses

'Peeing is not a privilege'. What next - lunch breaks?
Written by Graham Hayday, Contributor on

'Peeing is not a privilege'. What next - lunch breaks?

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has today launched a campaign to force Britain's bosses to treat their workers with respect and allow them paid time off to go to the toilet. Call centres are notorious for having hard line policies governing such behaviour. The length of toilet breaks taken by staff is often monitored, while in some call centres agents have to put their hands up to ask permission to leave their desks. In 1999, BT faced strike action following allegations reported in The Times that a pregnant worker was criticised for taking too many toilet breaks. A 2002 survey found that 54 per cent of British workers were too busy to take toilet breaks and a quarter of those questioned said that the poor condition of workplace loos put them off going. The TUC wants to draw attention to a legal loophole which says that Britain's bosses have to provide lavatories for their staff but don't have to let them go when they want. "Peeing is not a privilege," the TUC says. TUC General Secretary Elect Brendan Barber said: "It's incredible to think that in the twenty first century, workers are still being penalised for going to the loo. Employers clinging to Dickensian bathroom break policies should understand that if they trusted and respected their staff, and treated them as adults, not naughty children, they would end up with a healthier, better motivated, more productive workforce." The TUC wants workers to send in their loo break woes to draw attention to the problem, and shame bad bosses into providing better toilet breaks. Email badbogs@worksmart.org.uk or write to: "Got to Go" at TUC, Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS. To find out more about bathroom rights, see http://www.worksmart.org.uk .
Editorial standards