My hours are increasing over Christmas, what breaks am I entitled to?
All workers are entitled to have breaks while they are at work and rest periods between working days or nights. You have a right to:
A 15-minute break when you have worked more than 4 ½ hours
A 30-minute break when you have worked more than 6 hours, which can include the first 15-minute break
The break should not be at the end of the working day.
Should I be paid for my breaks?
You have no legal right to be paid for these breaks and they are not considered working time. Whether you are paid for them depends on your employment contract.
I work in a shop, are there different rules for shop workers?
Special rules apply if you work in a shop and you work more than 6 hours including from 11.30am to 2.30pm. You are entitled to a one-hour consecutive break which must be between 11.30am and 2.30pm.
How much rest time should I get between working days?
You are entitled to regular rest periods between working days. A rest period is any time that is not working time. You should get daily and weekly rest periods (weekly rest is ‘days off’).
You have the right to 11 consecutive hours rest in any 24 hours. For example, if you finish work at 8pm, you should not start work again until 7am the next day.
You also have the right to either:
A weekly rest period of 24 consecutive hours in any 7 days, following a daily rest period (should be a Sunday, unless your contract says differently)
Two 24-hour rest periods in a week if it follows a week where you did not get any 24-hour rest periods (should include a Sunday, unless your contract says differently)
Are there different rules for young workers?
There are different rules around breaks and rest periods for young workers.
If you are under 16, you should get:
A half hour rest break after 4 hours work
14 consecutive hours off in any 24 hours
2 days off per week, to be consecutive if possible
If you are 16 or 17, you should get:
A half hour rest break after 4 ½ hours work
12 consecutive hours off in any 24 hours
2 days off, to be consecutive if possible
Read more about work breaks and rest periods on https://bit.ly/BreaksAtWork, or call us on 0818 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm).
Know Your Rights has been compiled by South Connacht Citizens Information Service CLG, which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: 0818 07 6330 Address: Boyle CIC, Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon
Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0818 07 4000.