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.