Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Storage Services and Wholesale Award [MA000084].
A rest break is a 10 minute paid break that counts as time worked.
A meal break is a 30 - 60 minute unpaid break that doesn't count as time worked.
An employee gets 2 rest breaks and 1 meal break each day.
An employee who works for more than 5 hours has to get at least 1 meal break.
An employee who gets 2 rest breaks has to take 1 break in the first half of their shift, and the other break in the second half of their shift at times fixed by the employer.
Employees can't be asked to:
- take a rest break within 1 hour of starting or finishing work
- take a rest break within 1 hour before or after the meal break.
When a meal break isn't given
There is no extra payment (eg. penalty rate) for not getting a meal break.
Breaks between shifts after working overtime
Employees who work overtime have to get a minimum break of 10 hours between finishing work on 1 day and starting work the next day.
This minimum break between shifts applies:
- after an employee works overtime and
- when it's reasonable practicable.
For breaks when working overtime, see When overtime applies.
If an employee doesn't get a break between shifts
If the employer instructs an employee to work so they don’t get a 10 hour break between shifts when working overtime and they start at their normal shift time the next day they get paid:
- double time for the hours they work, until they're released from duty to have a 10 hour break between shifts
- 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.
When employees get a 10 hour break between shifts but start work later than their normal shift the next day so they get a break they get paid:
- for all the hours they work
- the ordinary pay rate for the hours between when they were originally rostered to start work and when they actually started work.
Example: When employees have to start later to get a break between shifts
Alice is a full-time employee who works ordinary hours:
- 8:30am - 6:30pm on Monday - Thursday
- 7am - 3pm on Friday.
She is entitled to a 10 hour break between shifts.
Alice’s employer asks her to work an extra 4½ on Thursday so that she finishes at 10pm. If she starts work on Friday at her normal time of 7am she will only get 9 hours break.
If Alice starts work at:
- 7am on Friday, then she will be paid double the ordinary hourly pay rate for all hours worked on Friday
- 8am on Friday, then she will be paid the ordinary pay rate for the hours she:
- didn't work from 7am - 8am (because this hour is part of her ordinary hours)
- worked from 8am - 3pm.
To find out more about who this award applies to, go to the Storage and Wholesale Award summary.
Source reference: Storage Services and Wholesale Award [MA000084] clauses 14 and 21.4