Everything you need to know about Rest Breaks for Employees!
Employees are entitled to daily and weekly rest breaks in accordance with the provisions laid out in the ‘Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997’.
While there are some exceptions, most employees are entitled to a 15-minute break after 4.5 hours, or a 30-minute break after working 6 hours. This may include the first 15 minutes. There is no legal right to be paid for breaks unless stated in your contract. These breaks cannot be taken at the end of your day’s work.
For shop-workers, employees are entitled to a 1-hour lunch break, between 11.30 to 14.30, provided you work more than a 6-hour shift, which includes working between these hours.
For underage workers, they receive 30 minutes of rest after 4.5 hours (4 hours for U16), and 12 consecutive hours of rest in a 24-hour period (14 hours for U16) & 48 hours consecutive rest in a 7-day period. Legislation for minors is set out in the ‘Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act, 1996.
Workers are entitled to 11 hours of consecutive rest in a 24-hour period and a rest period of 35 consecutive hours in a 7-day period (24 hours in addition to the 11-hour daily rest).
Employees have no legal right to a smoke break.
Breast-feeding mothers are entitled to 1 hour of paid break per 8-hour day, taken as 2x30mins or 3x20mins.
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