Question about rest breaks

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Question about rest breaks

Post by B.dorsi » Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:30 am

Hi all,

Hoping you can help me. I am working for a centre where they pay above award rates. However they dont pay me for my rest breaks and give me an hour of unpaid meal break.

I have signed a standard Children Services award and so no special clauses are in my contract about this.

Can the employer not pay me for my rest breaks on the grounds they are paying me above award? I have been there for approx. 8 years and didnt think about it til recently.


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Re: Question about rest breaks

Post by Lorina » Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:31 pm

Rest breaks have nothing to do with being paid above award. It has to do for the hours worked.

According to Fair Work Australia based on the Children's Services Award:

Rest breaks
A rest break is a 10 minute paid break that counts as time worked.

An employee gets:

1 paid break if they work 4 hours or more
2 paid breaks if they work 7 hours or more
An employee can choose to have 1 rest break only.

Meal breaks
A meal break is an uninterrupted 30 - 60 minute unpaid break that doesn't count as time worked.

An employee gets 1 meal break if they work more than 5 hours.

An employee can choose to not have a meal break if they are working less than 6 hours.

Taking breaks
Employees can't be asked to work more than 5 hours without a meal break.

When a meal break is interrupted
If an employee has their meal break interrupted by their employer they have to be paid the relevant overtime payment for the time they work until an uninterrupted meal break is taken. The minimum overtime payment is 15 minutes.

Breaks between work periods
All employees should get a minimum break of 10 hours between finishing work on one day and starting work the next day. Work includes any reasonable additional hours or overtime.

An employer and employee can agree to reduce the break to between 8 and 10 hours.

If an employee doesn't get a break between shifts:

When employees don't get a 10 hour break between shifts and they start at their normal shift time the next day they get paid:

overtime rates for the hours they work, until they are released from duty to have a 10 hour break between shifts and
when they eventually get their break between shifts, the ordinary hourly pay rate for any ordinary hours they don't work because they are taking the break.

Example: When employees have to start later to get a break between shifts

Alice is a full-time employee who works ordinary hours:

9.30am - 6.30pm on Monday - Thursday
6am – 2pm on Friday.

She is entitled to a 10 hour break between shifts.

Alice's employer asks her to work an extra 2 and half hours on Thursday so that she finishes at 9pm. If she starts work on Friday at her normal time of 6am she will only get a 9 hour break.

If Alice starts work at 6am on Friday, then she will be paid overtime rates for all hours worked on Friday.

Hope this helps!


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