Break rules

Uninterrupted work for more than 6 hours mandates 30 minutes of break, more than 9 hours of work mandates 45 minutes of work. Do you know the statutory break rules? Read on below.
  • Author: Siva
  • Last updated: May 10, 2022
  • 2 Minutes
work break rules explained by Papershift

Rest Break Regulations – Definition

Breaks are fixed times when work has to be interrupted in order to provide recovery. The Working Time Act prescribes these recovery periods for employees and regulates the length of breaks that an employee is legally entitled to.

Labour law does not stipulate how and when they must lie, and the employer has some leeway.

When do I have to take a break?

For working hours of more than six hours to nine hours, a statutory break of 30 minutes is required.

  1. If the working time is longer than 9 hours, 45 minutes of rest are required.
  2. Time Split: The breaks can be divided into sections of 15 minutes each. It is also possible to divide it up to 15 minutes and 30 minutes once.
  3. Without a rest period, no worker is allowed to work more than six hours at a time.
  4. The design of the rest periods is left to the employee himself and the employer must not influence this.
  5. The time of rest may be specified by the employer, but must be reasonable and timely.

It should be noted that statutory break regulations may include sector-specific exceptions. For example, there are collective agreements in certain sectors that allow individual breaks which bring benefits to the employee. It is important to note that there is a duty to record break times, especially for mini-jobs and low-paid workers. Mobile time recording systems, such as an app, is particularly suitable for this purpose.

Rest Break period in practice

It is essential for health that work is interrupted by regular breaks. That is why there are clear legal requirements for working time and break time.

It is particularly difficult to keep rest breaks, for example, for emergency service personnel or hospitals. In other occupations, too, many workers go to work for various reasons.

The employee must not cancel the legal break in order to work early. The employer cannot cancel the rest periods arbitrarily either. On the contrary, the employer must ensure that the legal requirement is complied with.

  1. Rest periods must be observed by employees and employers.
  2. A 30-minute lunch break is used to recover and improve the health of workers, and this can also increase efficiency.
  3. Many companies also offer employees the opportunity to take longer lunch breaks: 60 minutes of lunch breaks are common in many companies.
  4. Forum for working hours: A lot of information and discussions on the Working Time Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Act can be found online in (specialist) forums.

Break arrangements for part-time workers

It is often unclear whether part-time employees really need to take a break. Since the law requires a break from work from 6 hours and 1 minute of working time, part-time workers do not have to take a break. You have the right, of course, if necessary. Since many part-time workers work for 4 or 5 hours a day, there is no need to interrupt working hours.

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Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

Written by Siva

I write & describe the value & benefits delivered by Paperhift's rota planning, staff time tracking, and employee payroll management software. Especially useful for Shift Planners, Rota Managers, Team Admins, and HR Teams :-)