Regulations for breaks/rest periods

14th October 2019

Taking time to have a break during the working day can be very important. According to the author Ralph Marston first there is rest and then there is work.

“Rest when you’re weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work.”

A Lexis Nexis survey of 1700 employees in China, South Africa, The US and the UK uncover that information overload is a very common problem in the modern office. This issue is a growing hindrance among young professionals internationally. The result of information overload can be time consuming and a disaster for productivity. The same survey reveals that on average, staff can spend over a half a day just receiving information alone, this makes it incredibly difficult just to process the information bombarding them daily.


Taking a break or a rest period is a great way for an employee to take the time to process information and refresh themselves. The science of breaks has been studied and much publicized in recent years. A study was conducted in 2011 by a psychology professor for the University of Illinois. Alejandro Lleras found that “brief diversions vastly improve focus”. It is easy to see that breaks improve employee focus and productivity. It can also affect the moral of employees.


Governments around the world have at some point introduced laws to regulate the rest periods of employees. In America regulations can vary from state to state. For example, in California an employee that works for more than 6 hours in a day needs a 30-minute break made available.


European law is clear on its guidelines for employee rest periods. The implementation and penalization due to noncompliance can also vary from Member Sate to Member state. According to the Directive 2003/88/EC of the European Parliament’ employees of the EU are entitled to an organization of working time which respects their rights as a human being.  Different countries have different regulations to ensure that employees are getting the breaks they need. In Europe staff should not work more than 48 hours in a week in the region of over 4 months. In a 24-hour period a staff member must have 11 consecutive hours of rest between work shifts. If an employee is working for longer than 6 hours, then he/she should be given a rest period. The details of this break can be regulated by the individual EU Member State.

However, the law might be implemented in your country. It is important to remember the human side of time tracking and the benefits for your employees. 1Time Tracking’s time recording feature sends reminders to your employees to track their times. This means that break time and rest periods can be easily tracked across the company. This ensures that you are in full compliance of any laws or regulations overseeing time tracking in your area. 1Time is available online, so no matter where you are located, you can access it anywhere, at any time. So, if you are considering a time tracking software solution, why not try our free 30-day trial 1Time Tracking today

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