Rest breaks and meal breaks
A rest break allows an employee to rest for a short period of time during work hours. Rest breaks are also referred to as 'crib breaks', 'rest pauses' or 'tea breaks'.
A meal break is a longer period of uninterrupted rest that allows the employee to eat a meal.
Awards, enterprise agreements and other registered agreements provide for paid and unpaid rest breaks and meal breaks, including:
- the length of the breaks
- when they need to be taken
- the rules about payment.
Breaks between shifts
Awards and registered agreements may provide for a minimum amount of time off between the end of one shift and the start of another.
To find information about the minimum break requirements in your industry, please select from the list below.
Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Real Estate Industry Award [MA000106].
A meal break is at least a 30 minute unpaid break that doesn't count as time worked.
An employee gets 1 meal break each day.
An employee who works for more than 5 hours must get at least 1 meal break. If they work 6 hours or less, they can elect to waive the meal break, with their employer's approval.
When a meal break isn't given
There is no extra payment (eg. penalty rate) for not getting a meal break.
Breaks between shifts
The Real Estate Award doesn't have any rules about breaks between shifts.
Check Safework Australia for guidance on taking breaks to manage the risk of fatigue at work.
To find out more about who this award applies to, go to the Real Estate Award summary.
Source reference: Real Estate Industry Award [MA000106] clause 13.4
- Building, construction and on-site trades
- Contract cleaning services
- Don't know
- Hair and beauty
- Health support services
- Real estate
- Road Transport
- Social, community, disability and home care services
- Storage services and wholesale
Think a mistake might have been made?
Mistakes can happen. The best way to fix them usually starts with talking.
Check out our Help resolving workplace issues section for practical advice on:
- figuring out if a mistake has been made
- talking to your employer or employee about fixing it
- getting help from us if you can't resolve it.
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