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Employee breaks company policy template

The Employee Breaks policy delineates guidelines for employees taking breaks during their workday. It promotes a balanced work environment, detailing types of breaks like meal, rest, restroom, and breastfeeding breaks. The policy ensures compliance with local laws and emphasizes the importance of health and productivity.

This employee breaks policy template is ready to be tailored to your company’s needs and should be considered a starting point for setting up your company policies.

The employee breaks policy should include:

  1. Specific types of breaks, such as meal, rest, restroom, and breastfeeding breaks, with their respective durations
  2. Guidance on how working hours are affected by different breaks, distinguishing between paid and unpaid breaks
  3. Provisions for special circumstances, like mandatory breaks, working during breaks, unforeseen breaks, and breaks for minorsemployee breaks policy

Employee breaks company policy template

Policy brief & purpose

Our employee breaks policy describes how employees should take breaks during their workday. We want our employees to be able to rest, eat, smoke and relax for some time during their workday to foster a pleasant workplace.

Breaks may be mandated by local law or union agreements. We will comply with these guidelines at all times.


This policy applies to all our employees.

Policy elements

Our employees can take the following breaks at work:

Meal breaks. We provide all employees who work more than [six hours] on a given day with a [30-minute] meal break. They should take it within [two to five hours] from the beginning of their workday. If you work longer than [10 hours] in one day, you can take a second meal break. These breaks are generally unpaid for non-exempt employees, unless local law states otherwise.

Rest breaks. Our employees can take one paid [10-minute] rest break for every four hours worked. So, if you work ten hours you may normally take two rest breaks.

Restroom breaks. Employees can take reasonable toilet breaks, whenever they need to, as part of their workday.

Breastfeeding breaks. Employees who want to pump/express milk can use our lactation rooms according to our breastfeeding policy. A general provision for these unpaid breaks is [15 minutes.]

How working hours are affected

Meal and breastfeeding breaks won’t count against your standard working hours or overtime. If possible, schedule these breaks in advance so your team will know when you will be unavailable. For certain positions, we may schedule lunch breaks to avoid any negative impact on our operations. For example, if you work in customer support, we may schedule lunch time so someone will always be available to answer customer requests.

Rest and restroom breaks are included in your working hours and are paid as normal.

Mandatory breaks

Local law may make meal breaks mandatory. If this is the case, please take time to have a meal as expected.

To safeguard your health and productivity, your manager may ask you to take a break if you haven’t taken one for more than [five hours.]

Working during breaks

We expect that employees will not be working during their breaks. If you need to perform any kind of work (e.g. answering calls on your phone), we will pay your normal compensation for that time. Also, you will be paid as normal when you are obliged to remain on company premises during your meal break for a work-related reason (e.g. waiting for a delivery.)

Unforeseen breaks

We want our employees to feel well and be productive while working. If you become indisposed or experience another issue, ask your manager for an impromptu break. Ask for a sick leave or partial PTO if you believe that you need a break lasting more than [30 minutes].

Breaks for minors

Local law may have special provisions for minors regarding their breaks. We will follow the law and ensure our underage employees rest adequately during their workdays.

Disclaimer: This policy template is meant to provide general guidelines and should be used as a reference. It may not take into account all relevant local, state or federal laws and is not a legal document. Neither the author nor Workable will assume any legal liability that may arise from the use of this policy.
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