Institute of Certified Bookkeepers
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Meal breaks

  • Member in Practice
  • Practice Certificate
  • 2 posts
  • # 117657

Can someone please advise what are the maximim hours an employee can work without taking a meal break?  The employee does take morning tea, but doesn't want to take lunch.  He works from 6.30 am to 4.00 pm ie 9.5 hrs.  I have spoken to him and he is adamant that he won't take lunch.

  • 40 posts
  • # 117660

Hi Pip,


It's the employer responsibility to ensure the award is followed, typically this will be worded something like "30 min break after 3 hours on shifts longer than 5 hours"


Thus, we see most employers taking a hard line so they comply with the award.


You could say to the employee "We will be deducting your lunch break regardless of whether you go on break or not, it’s company policy to go on lunch break."


The employee might ignore you, but you have instructed them to follow the law and they are refusing to comply.

  • Fellow in Practice
  • Practice Certificate
  • 267 posts
  • # 117661

Agree with Micro Keepers comment.  You can actually issue him with a misconduct warning if you are advising him to take a lunch break and he is refusing to do so.  The fact that he is working 9.5 hours withhout a break is against OHS and the employer would be in breach by allowing him to do.

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