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Topic: Contractual clauses

rest periods and rest breaks clause
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Rest periods and rest breaks clause

Rest periods and rest breaks clause

Use our rest periods and rest breaks clause to confirm the minimum statutory entitlements to rest under the Working Time Regulations 1998. You need to ensure that staff working hours don’t contravene these provisions.

Daily and weekly rest periods

Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, adult workers (i.e. those aged 18 and over) are entitled to a daily rest period of not less than eleven consecutive hours in each 24-hour period. Adult workers are also entitled to a weekly rest period of not less than 24 uninterrupted hours in each seven-day period, which generally starts at midnight between Sunday and Monday. However, you can choose to average the days off over a two-week period if you wish. A worker can therefore alternatively be entitled to either two uninterrupted rest periods each of not less than 24 hours in each 14-day period, or one interrupted rest period of not less than 48 hours in each 14-day period.

Rest breaks

If your workers' working time is more than six hours, unless a workforce or collective agreement provides otherwise, they're generally entitled to a rest break of at least 20 uninterrupted minutes. This should be taken at some point during the working day, i.e. not at the beginning or end of it. If a worker's working day is six hours or less, there's no statutory requirement to provide any rest break, but this is subject to any breaks provided for in their employment contract. Workers are entitled to spend their rest breaks away from their desks or workstations and use them as they please. However, there's nothing to prevent you requiring a worker to take their break on your business premises, provided it's not at their workstation and they're not having to perform their duties.

Clause wording

Our Rest Periods and Rest Breaks Clause provides that the worker's contractual normal hours of work are subject to the statutory requirements and then it sets out those provisions on daily and weekly rest periods and rest breaks. In relation to weekly rest periods, we've given you the option to specify either 24 hours a week or 48 hours a fortnight and when that period begins. The purpose of the clause is to remind you of your statutory obligations when setting workers' normal hours of work and to reassure staff that you take those obligations seriously. You're under a proactive duty to ensure that your working practices enable workers to take their statutory rest periods and rest breaks.

Young workers

The daily and weekly rest periods are longer for young workers who are above compulsory school age but under 18. They are generally entitled, with some exceptions, to a daily rest period of not less than twelve consecutive hours in each 24-hour period and a weekly rest period of not less than 48 hours in each seven-day period. In addition, if their working time is more than four and a half hours, they're entitled to a rest break of at least 30 minutes. The provisions for young workers aren't covered in our clause. In their case, don't include our clause until they turn 18.

 

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