Employers can say when employees take rest breaks during work time as long as:
- the break is taken in one go somewhere in the middle of the day (not at the beginning or end)
- workers are allowed to spend it away from their desk or workstation (ie away from where they actually work)
It doesn’t count as a rest break if an employer says an employee should go back to work before their break is finished.
Unless a worker’s employment contract says so, they don’t have the right to:
- take smoking breaks
- get paid for rest breaks
Exceptions and special circumstances
There are exemptions to the rights to rest breaks.
Some workers are entitled to compensatory rest breaks, eg shift workers.