1. Overview

Workers over 18 are usually entitled to 3 types of rest break.

Rest breaks at work

Workers have the right to one uninterrupted 20 minute rest break during their working day (this could be a tea or lunch break), if they work more than 6 hours a day.

Daily rest

Workers have the right to 11 hours rest between working days (eg if you finish work at 8pm, they shouldn’t start work again until 7am the next day).

Weekly rest

Workers have the right to:

  • an uninterrupted 24 hours without any work each week, or
  • 48 hours each fortnight

A worker’s employment contract may say they’re entitled to more or different rights to breaks from work.

Work that puts health and safety at risk

An employer should give an employee enough breaks to make sure their health and safety isn’t at risk if that work is ‘monotonous’ (eg work on a production line).

Domestic workers in a private house (eg a cleaner or au pair) aren’t entitled to rest breaks for health and safety reasons.

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