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Too busy for a break?

Posted by LNA Master Landscapers Association on 28 November 2018

The lead up to Christmas can get pretty crazy, but if an employee doesn't get a break you might be up for overtime. Check the rules to make sure you're getting it right.

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.

Under the Gardening and Landscaping Award employees are entitled to meal breaks a rest breaks


A rest break is a 10 minute paid break that counts as time worked.

A meal break is a 30 minute unpaid break that doesn't count as time worked, except for shiftworkers. Meal breaks for shiftworkers are paid and count as time worked.

An employee gets 1 rest break and 1 meal break each day.

An employee who works for more than 5 hours must get at least 1 meal break.

When a meal break isn't given

An employee required to work through their normal meal break will be paid at the rate of time and a half until such time as they receive a meal break of the customary duration.

The employee may ask to finish work 30 minutes early instead of being paid at time and a half. When this happens:

  • the time worked during the meal break is paid at the ordinary time rate and
  • the time off at the end of the day forms part of the ordinary working time and has to be paid at the ordinary rate.

For more information regarding breaks please click here

Author: LNA Master Landscapers Association
Tags: Resources

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