What are the legal requirements for lunch breaks? Is an employee allowed to work a shortened lunch break, i.e. 30mins rather than 1 hour, in order to leave 30minutes early?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 5 November 2013
Zelda Cunningham
Arthur Cox
Issues covered:

Yes, an employee can avail of a shorter lunch break by agreement with his employer. The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 set out the provisions as applicable to working time and breaks and provides that employees are entitled to a break of 15 minutes after a 4 and a half hour work period. Where employees work in excess of 6 hours, they are entitled to a break of 30 minutes, which can include the first 15-minute break.

There is no entitlement to be paid during these breaks and they are not considered part of working time.

If the particular business is a shop, employers are entitled to provide shop employees who work more than 6 hours and whose hours of work include 11.30am-2.30pm with a

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015

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Zelda Cunningham
Arthur Cox

The main content of this article was provided by Zelda Cunningham. Contact telephone number is +353 1 618 0000 or email zelda.cunningham@arthurcox.com

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