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Working break entitlements - Irish Job News - News on Jobs for Ireland

Working break entitlements

7 May 2010 | Ireland | 6 Responses by paul savage.

Your employer is required to give you adequate breaks during your working day. If they fail to provide you with enough or any breaks during your working day then they are in breach of Irish employment law. It’s important that you know your rights when it comes to taking breaks at work, and hopefully after reading this article you will feel more confident on this topic. These rules have been outlined in the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997.

Break Entitlements Chart

  • Under 4.5 hours : there is no legal requirement for employees to be provided with a break if they are only working a short shift
  • Between 4.5 – 6 hours : you are entitled a 15 minute break (unpaid).
  • Over 6 hours : you are entitled to a 30 minute break (unpaid).

Further to these legal requirements for breaks during your working day there are also rules for time off outside work

  • Between 2 shifts / working days you should have at least 11 hours of a recovery period after your last shift.
  • In a 7 day period there should be 24 hours between shifts (after the above recovery period of 11 hours).

These are of course guidelines, and in certain jobs you may be ask by your employer to take longer or more frequent breaks. Depending on your job this might reduce the risk of RSI (Repetitive Strain Industry) or other occupational injuries.

6 Responses

  1. sachin said on 5 Jun 2010 at 1:54 am

    I am working 9 to 10 hrs shift,how many breaks and how long am i entitle to take .I work in fast food.Thanks

  2. suzie said on 20 Sep 2010 at 8:57 pm

    Hi i work in a crèche. Im full time worker. I had to go on an early lunch. lunch at 12-1. finished work at 6.30. i then had to work 5half hour straight after my lunch. i was told im not entitled to a 15 break. just wondering is that true? thank you.

  3. Nat said on 26 Apr 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Hi , I work in a hotel reception – i work shifts 8 am – 4pm and 4pm – 12am – sometimes my shifts are 4pm-12 then 8am – 4pm – thi smeans there is only 8 hours between my shifts , is this ok? also why do i not get paid for even a 15minute break in a 8 hours shift , that is if i get a break at all . Thanks

  4. teresa redmond said on 27 Aug 2012 at 5:23 pm

    hi, i work 13.5 hour shifts, 3 days a week. i work in a hospital and start at 8a.m. get break at 10.30 for 20 mins, and lunch at 1.15 for 30 mins, official. then from 1.45 to 9.30 when i finish work we are not entitiled to an official break, as we get paid for a 13 hour day.we gegt to sit in the managers office in the evning and get something to eat for approximately 20 minutes, depending on how busy it is. Are we entitled to an official break off the ward in the evening time as we are getting paid for 13 hours out of the 13.5 hours, or are management correct in saying that we have to stay on the ward for our evening break? there is quite a bit of confusion over this. thanks

  5. peter said on 18 Nov 2012 at 9:47 pm

    well i start work at 4 we are told we have nour if we wount but if we stop are brekdown we counld be out to 6 or 7 one night i didnt get home to ten if i stop early i takeing up bounes off us what can i do

  6. Barry. said on 20 Nov 2012 at 7:56 am

    Hello,I have a part time job as an attendant in a
    Private Hospital clinic.I work two weekends a month,Saturday and Sunday.My hrs are 8am to 8pm,
    twelve hrs.Of the twelve hrs,I am paid for eleven hrs.The extra hr,I take as breaks of half an hr each.Is this legal and am I entitled to a breakfast break as well?

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