EUobserver.com article 7 September 2006
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Thursday (7 September) that the UK must change guidelines saying that employers "must make sure that workers can take their rest, but are not required to make sure they do take their rest." The requirement is that employers make sure employees take their breaks.
This includes 11 hours away from work in any day (between shifts) and break at work if present for more than 6 hours.
There are complaints from business that this interferes with flexibility. However, my observation is that there are too many people in safety critical roles not taking breaks, and this can only contribute to fatigue which has short and long term effects.