Nz Work Break Requirements

Employers have the right to set certain restrictions on rest and meal breaks to meet the needs of the business. Some limited exceptions to the Act`s rules regarding breaks and meal breaks may apply to certain employers in certain essential services or may be hired to protect New Zealand`s national security. All industries must meet these break requirements, with a few exceptions. The rules for paid and unpaid breaks are flexible and can be negotiated between employees and employers. However, under the Employment Relations Act 2000, the employer undertakes to provide employees with reasonable occupational health and safety breaks. Did you know that rest and meal breaks are essential to improve productivity, culture and safety at work? By ensuring that your employees can rest, relax and refresh, you contribute to better decision-making, problem solving and efficiency, reduced risk and minimized damage and potential errors. Breaks can be a way for teams to build stronger relationships and trust when they spend time together that isn`t just work-related. The duration and frequency of breaks depend on the number of working hours and the employment contract. In some cases, an employer may limit work disruptions if it is possible for the business, but the employer must provide reasonable compensation. If these types of employers and employees cannot agree on when to take breaks and meal breaks, the employer must provide compensatory measures to the employee. Employees must have paid rest periods and unpaid meal breaks. The number and duration depend on the hours worked.

Breaks benefit workplaces by helping employees work safely and productively. You are entitled to the breaks shown in the table below. However, you and your employer can also arrange longer or additional breaks and meal breaks. The length and timing of rest and meal breaks are based on the number of hours an employee works in a day. The Act provides, in certain circumstances, for an exemption from the required rest and meal break fees for essential services or employers committed to New Zealand`s national security. When negotiating breaks, employers must also consider health and safety requirements. With our BrightHR software, you can track your employees` rest and meal breaks and manage health and safety risks with BrightSafe. Employers and employees must have a reasonable opportunity to bargain in good faith and agree on the timing and duration of breaks. If the employer is employed by the New Zealand national security industry or in an “essential service” (as defined in Annex 1 of the ERA), they may be exempted from providing specified rest and meal breaks.

You can agree with your staff on something other than the minimum break requirements I described in the table (p. e.g., paid rest breaks of 15 minutes instead of unpaid meal breaks of 10 minutes or 60 minutes instead of 30 minutes), but if you disagree, these are the normal hours and periods for the minimum entitlement to employment. An employment contract or workplace policy may grant an employee additional rest and meal breaks, paid or unpaid, beyond the minimum required by law. It is up to the employer and employee to agree on the actual timing of breaks, but if there is no agreement, the law determines when breaks are to be taken. Penalties for violating the termination rules have not been established, but it is a good idea to document compliance with the termination rules, for example: Timesheets with detailed breaks to avoid possible penalties in the future. People can`t stay at a high level without having some sort of break. These need to be tailored to the nature and intensity of the work, for example, a person in a call center may need frequent short breaks to relieve the pressure of constant calls. The allowance must be adequate and is intended to compensate an employee for failure to provide breaks or meal breaks. This may include: For example, the Land Transport Rule: Work Time and Logbooks 2007 (external link) under the Land Transport Act 1998 requires that after 5 1/2 hours of driving, a 30-minute break be taken and must be taken outside the work vehicle. Consider updating your existing employees` employment contracts to meet rest and meal break requirements. The duration and frequency of rest and meal breaks depend on the length of the employee`s working hours. If an exemption applies and the employer and employee still cannot agree on work breaks, the employee may be entitled to compensation.

If you think your business or industry is considered an “essential service”, please contact Employsure for a free initial consultation, as the exception criteria are quite complex. An employment contract could reflect the above guidelines or simply state that “breaks are provided in accordance with the provisions of the Employment Relations Act 2000”. If you are unsure of the requirements, we recommend that you seek legal advice when changing employment contracts. If the allowance is financial compensation, it must relate to the amount that the employee was expected to work but would otherwise have taken as a rest or meal break. It must also be calculated at the employee`s regular wage rate, or for an employee with variable rates, the rate must be the employee`s average wage rate during the relevant work period. Vaughan Granier is the National Director of Labour Relations for HR Assured NZ. He has over 24 years of experience in international human resources, health and safety, and workplace relationship management. With over 13 years` experience in New Zealand and Australian companies, he provides comprehensive support to management teams in all areas of human resources, health and safety, and employee management. If you have a business break policy, it should be updated to ensure your policies comply with applicable law. All employees must have paid for 10-minute breaks and unpaid meal breaks based on the number of hours worked. That is what the Labour Relations Act provides.

Employsure is one of New Zealand`s largest advisors to small and medium-sized businesses with over 5,500 clients. We take the complexity of workplace legislation to help small business employers protect their businesses and employees. According to the collective agreement, an employee who could not be released from work for a meal break was allowed to have a meal while on duty, and this period was considered working time. The employer argued that rest and meal breaks in the workplace were permitted by law. In this article, we`ll walk you through the current legal requirements and suggest three steps you can take to eliminate the risk of violating workplace break standards. If you can get your company to follow these three steps, you`ll be well on your way to creating a compliant and effective disruptive culture in your workplace. If you make sure your employees take the appropriate breaks, you also have the added benefit of increasing productivity, innovation, and team dynamism. If there is still a disagreement, there are pauses prescribed in the ERA.

The employer should provide breaks for rest and meals as close as possible to the hours prescribed in the regulations, to the extent that this is reasonable and practicable for the specific circumstances of the business. A good practice for determining the timing of breaks is taken into account: employees should have fixed breaks and rest so that they have time to rest, refresh and attend to their personal affairs. The number and duration of breaks depend on the hours worked. His full article can be found here. This is my recommended reading for your next coffee break! If your employer does not grant you the breaks to which you are entitled, you can complain to the Industrial Relations Authority and the employer may pay a fine. See chapter “Solving employment problems”. In most cases, employees are allowed to leave the workplace to eat or take care of other personal affairs – as long as they return to work on time. An employee must always work the agreed total number of working hours if they take a longer break than the agreed minimum (for example, the employee can take up to an hour and add the extra working time at the end of their working day). This statement sets out the Labour Inspectorate`s position on how to deal with pension benefits to ensure that the requirements of the Industrial Relations Act 2000 are met.

Employers and employees should agree on when to take breaks. If employers and employees cannot agree on the timing of breaks, the law requires that breaks be taken at the times specified in the law, provided it is appropriate and feasible. A company that does not offer adequate breaks or compensation violates labor law and puts its employees at risk. Workers who do not take breaks are more likely to become tired or stressed, which can increase the risk of work-related incidents, sick leave and employee absences. If you`re planning breaks, it`s a good idea to work meal times first and rest periods later. 8-hour day: Tulissa works from 9am to 5pm with these agreed breaks: There are some exceptions. If you work in national security or emergency services where continuity is essential, you may agree with your staff to take breaks differently. In a situation where you cannot reach an agreement, you will have to compensate affected employees for the absence of breaks with other free time, financial payments, or both. While an employer must ensure that the employee has adequate rest and meal breaks in accordance with the law, there is flexibility as to when these breaks must be taken.