5 Pages

At an appropriate time

In Zucker v Astrid Jewels Ltd,66 two specific issues fell for adjudication: the interpretation of the term ‘working hours’ and the nature of implied consent. The applicant was a vigorous proponent of trade union membership and discussed trade union matters with her colleagues during her tea and lunch breaks and whilst engaging in her duties at work as a machinist. The EAT held that the discussion of union affairs on her employer’s premises at a designated break time was not during ‘working hours’ and so was undertaken at a protected time.67 Secondly, although conversation at the machines was during the course of work, the employer had always permitted general conversation and had not attempted to control their content. Consequently, the applicant’s union recruitment conversations whilst at work was ‘in accordance with arrangements (impliedly) agreed with or consented to by the employer’.