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B. Key Considerations

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Employee entitlements under the legislation:

  • Minimum break entitlements,
  • Minimum daily rest periods,
  • Minimum weekly rest periods,
  • Maximum weekly working hours,
  • Entitlements in respect of Sunday working,
  • Specific entitlements for night workers,
  • Annual leave entitlements,
  • Benefits to be provided in respect of public holidays.

Minimum Break Entitlements

An Employee working less than 4.5 hours is not entitled to a break, unless agreed as a term of the contract of employment.

An Employee working 4.5 hours or more, but less than 6 hours, must be provided with a minimum unpaid break period of 15 minutes during their working day.

An Employee working 6 hours or greater must be provided with a 30 minute unpaid break during their working day.  Where an Employee is entitled to this 30 minute break, he/she does not have to be provided with the 15 minute break earned after 4.5 hours work.

There is no obligation to pay an Employee in respect of these break periods unless otherwise agreed in the contract of employment. 

Note that minimum breaks must be taken during the working day.  Breaks afforded at the end of the working day are not regarded as fulfilling the requirements of the legislation, i.e. allowing an Employee to work through their half hour break in order to finish their working day a half hour earlier is not deemed appropriate.

Where a collective agreement applies to your Organisation, then the collective agreement may supersede the legislation.