BREATHE – The ISU Survival Guide

Breaks ~  If you need a break, take one !
Report ~  If your health is suffering, complete H & S forms
Extend ~  Not if your health won’t bear it
Ask ~  Don’t be proud, ask for help
Take care ~   If you’re too ill, don’t come to work
Human ~  You’re only human, you can only do your best
Enough ~  Know when you have had enough

If you are denied a break, speak to a rep.


When the Maximum Deployment Model was introduced at Heathrow in August 2016, a commitment was given by John Austin DD to ensuring staff working on the PCP had breaks. This commitment was supported by the then COO Philip Duffy. The breaks were to ensure that nobody worked more than 2 hours continuously on the PCP and were later called “brain breaks”.

With MDM now being at the discretion of the TDM, there remains an assurance from the Nick Jariwalla DD that you can have a break after 2 hours on the PCP but also that if you need a break, ask for one. His email of 14 June 2017 makes this very clear:

As we have said since John sent out his first note on the subject, nothing about MDM changes the fact that if you need to step away to use the bathroom, get a drink or just clear your head – do it. If you can let the Floor Managers know – that’s better. It will prevent them having to look for you or put calls out.

Outside of that, the position remains the same as John Austin set out in the attached global and as Phil Duffy (then Border Force Chief Operating Officer) communicated to Union colleagues when MDM was first introduced:

  • Where a colleague is continuously sat on the PCP processing passengers for two hours, they may take some time away from the control.
  • Any time