Take the time

December 17, 2019 Know Your Rights News Our Resources

“Help! I need a break …but my boss won’t let me!

SDA members frequently contact the Union Office because their boss has refused to allow them to take a break.
These queries are often from our younger members who are given the following reasons for not being allowed to take a break:

  • You don’t need a break;
  • We’re too busy so you can’t take a break;
  • We’re short-staffed;
  • I can’t afford to give you a break.

All Enterprise Agreements and Awards outline the rules for breaks in all fast food outlets and retail stores. They explain when you are entitled to a break, how long it should be and if the breaks are paid or unpaid.

Each Enterprise Agreement has different rules when it comes to breaks and all these rules are easy to find in the respective Enterprise Agreements.

Importantly, it is your legal right to take a break that’s due – no matter where you work.

Taking a break relieves stress and helps your concentration which is very important when members work in fast food or retail.

Even if you are not due for a break, you are entitled to go to the toilet as required and get a drink where appropriate.

Your manager can’t change the rules on breaks because work is busy or short-staffed or because the manager thinks you don’t need a break.

All Enterprise Agreements have been negotiated on your behalf by the SDA. Your company’s senior management has signed off on every provision in the Agreement.

Every Enterprise Agreement is a legal document and can’t be varied at the whim of the manager.