What breaks do I need to give my staff?

employment law, HR support, staff breaks, working time regulations, statutory entitlement, time off

Time is money, so it is important for you to know what breaks your staff are entitled to.

Breaks can be split into 3 categories
Rest breaks
Daily rest period
Weekly rest period

Rest breaks

If employees are working in excess of 6 hours per day they are entitled to one uninterrupted 20-minute rest break during their working day. This can include a lunch or tea break but must be taken in one complete block during the course of the working day and not at the start or end of the day.

This is the statutory minimum; however many employers offer increased breaks of 30 minutes to an hour or a couple shorter breaks throughout the day. This is recommended, if operationally possible, as it could encourage a more productive and motivated workforce.

In the case of young workers (under 18) there is an entitlement to a break of at least 30 minutes where the employee has worked more than 4.5 hours.

Daily rest period

Workers are entitled to a rest period of 11 consecutive hours between each working day. Young workers must be afforded no less than 12 consecutive rest hours in a 24 hour period.  There are exceptions to this rule that may come into play when discussing shift work. If your business demands shift work, then get in touch with us so we can advise you on how to stay within the working time regulations.

Weekly rest period

Workers have the right to either an uninterrupted 24 hours without work each week or 48 hours within a 14-day period. For young workers, this is increased to a minimum of 48 hours a week.

Are you giving your staff too many breaks or not enough? Want to put it right? Call us on 0115 870 0150 or email us at hello@yourhrlawyer.co.uk


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