Gomes v Higher Level Care Ltd

Our first case is one we have covered previously at EAT level but has since been appealed to the Court of Appeal (CoA). The question remains the same:

Are Claimants who succeed in a claim under the Working Time Regulations 1998 entitled to compensation for injury to feeling?

Gomes v Higher Level Care Ltd

The Claimant, Ms Gomes, initiated a claim under the Working Time Regulations against the Respondent, Higher Level Care Ltd. The Claimant was awarded £1,220 by the ET as compensation for 20 minute rest breaks she was unable to take throughout her employment.

The Claimant appealed the decision citing that she should be entitled to an injury to feeling award because the lack of breaks during her employment had damaged her health and well-being. The EAT dismissed the appeal because the Working Time Regs did not confer the right to an injury to feeling award.

The Claimant appealed to the CoA. The CoA rejected the appeal citing that claims for loss of rest breaks were akin to breach of contract and any award should be based on calculating the rest time lost multiplied by the hourly rate.

The Takeaway Point:

No, Claimants who bring Working Time claims are not entitled to injury to feeling awards. This makes such claims much less financially appealing to Claimants as injury to feeling awards would most likely be higher than the pecuniary loss of break time, in the above case it was just over £1,200.