Under the Fast Food Award you must provide your employees with the following breaks:

Hours worked (shift length) Rest break (paid) Meal break (unpaid*)
Less than 4 hours No rest break No meal break
4 hours but less than 5 hours One 10 minute rest break No meal break
5 hours but less than 9 hours One 10 minute rest break One meal break of 30 - 60 minutes
9 hours or more One or two 10 minute rest breaks (one before and one after the meal break), two rest breaks will be given unless a second meal break is provided One or two meal breaks of 30 - 60 minutes

* except for shiftworkers

You cannot require your employees to take their rest break or meal break within 1 hour of starting or finishing work, or to take a rest break combined with a meal break. Your fast food employees cannot work for more than 5 hours without a meal break.


Greg is a new part-time kitchen hand with Lou’s Milano Pizza Pty Ltd. His ordinary hours of work are Monday to Friday, 5.00pm - 11.30pm (6 ½ hours per shift). During his first shift, Greg asks his employer, Lou, what breaks he is entitled to take during his shifts.

Lou tells Greg that under the Fast Food Award, he can take one 10 minute paid rest break per shift, and one unpaid meal break of 45 minutes. 

You should schedule your employees’ meal breaks in the roster to make sure that all of your employees take the required breaks.

Back to top

Page last updated: 27 Feb 2011