Learn about an employee’s entitlement to meal breaks, rest breaks and split shifts.
On this page:
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.
- 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
Tools and resources
Think a mistake might have been made?
Mistakes can happen. The best way to fix them usually starts with talking.
Check out our Fixing a workplace problem 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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