Breaks are an important part of health management and should always be taken. On the occasions you don’t get all your breaks, you can ask your manager to leave early.
With many shifts understaffed, it is becoming far too common for staff to miss breaks completely or have their breaks interrupted by calls or questions. While employees are on breaks, they can spend the time as they see fit. If you wish to leave the facility or turn off work phones or other communication equipment such as dongles or pagers, you can and should.
Clause 16.1 of your enterprise agreement says:
‘Two separate 10-minute tea breaks (in addition to meal breaks) shall be allowed each employee on duty during each ordinary shift of 7.6 hours or more. Where an employee works 4 hours or more but less than 7.6 hours, the employee shall be allowed one 10- minute tea break. Subject to agreement between the employer and the employee, the two 10-minute tea breaks may alternatively be taken as one 20-minute tea break, or by one 10-minute tea break with the employee allowed to proceed off duty ten minutes before the completion of the normal shift finishing time. Such tea break/s shall count as working time.’
If you feel you are being pressured to miss breaks, or you need to respond to calls or write notes during breaks, you should call the HSU on 1300 478 679 or contact your local organiser at [E-Mail not displayed].
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