Are we obliged to pay our staff for their rest breaks?

The Working Time Regulations 1998 states there is no obligation to pay for rest breaks. However, you must refer to the employee’s Contract of Employment to see whether breaks are stated as being paid or not.

What is the minimum amount of rest our adult staff are entitlted to?

Employees have the right to a minimum rest break of 20 minutes during the working day that exceeds 6 hours; a minimum daily rest period of at least 11 consecutive hours in each 24-hour period and an uninterrupted weekly rest period of at least 24 hours. The rights to a minimum daily and weekly rest period do not apply in relation to shift workers, or to workers engaged in activities involving periods of work split up over the day.

Can our adult staff opt out of rest breaks?

Under the terms of a collective or workforce agreement, the right to rest breaks and rest periods can be varied, so long as the employer undertakes to provide equivalent
periods of compensatory rest. However, employees cannot opt out of statutory minimum rest entitlements on an individual basis. Employers must make sure that workers
can take their rest breaks.