What breaks are you allowed at work under the HSE working time regulations?
Under the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Working Time Regulations 1998, employees in the UK are entitled to the following breaks:
- Rest breaks during the working day: If an employee works for more than 6 hours a day, they are entitled to a rest break of at least 20 minutes. This break can be taken as one block or split into shorter breaks.
- Daily rest: Employees are entitled to a daily rest period of at least 11 hours between each working day.
- Weekly rest: Employees are entitled to one day off a week. This can be averaged over two weeks, but employees must still have at least 24 consecutive hours off every two weeks.
Young workers (aged under 18) are entitled to additional breaks and rest periods. For example, young workers who work for more than 4.5 hours a day are entitled to a break of at least 30 minutes.
Employers have a duty to ensure that employees take their breaks and rest periods. This means that employers should not put pressure on employees to work through their breaks, and they should provide employees with the necessary facilities and time to take their breaks.
It is important to note that the HSE Working Time Regulations are minimum requirements. Employers can provide employees with more breaks and rest periods than required by law.
Here are some additional tips for taking breaks at work:
- Take your breaks at regular intervals throughout the day.
- Get up and move around during your breaks.
- Avoid working during your breaks.
- Use your breaks to relax and recharge.
If you have any questions or concerns about your breaks at work, you should talk to your employer.