by Jessica Sullins
Breaks provide employees with the opportunity to refresh and step away from their desks. Exempt employees tend to take a break when needed. However, employers must consider how to handle breaks for nonexempt, hourly employees.
Workload, hours worked and department all impact when an employee can take a break. Employers should create a companywide policy and communicate it to all supervisors and employees to ensure consistency in the workplace.
The survey says:
According to AAIM Employers’ Association’s 2017-2018 Policies and Benefits Survey of 95 St. Louis and central Illinois businesses, 54.4% of employers provide two breaks of 10 to 15 minutes (excluding meals) and 90% of those employers pay employees during those breaks. Furthermore, 63.1% of employers provide 30 minutes as the average meal period length.
What to consider:
It is important to track breaks, both paid and unpaid, to keep an accurate record of the hours employees worked in case there is ever a question.
Any compensation rules the employer implements for employees’ breaks need to be in the handbook and communicated to employees.
Employers need to ensure they are consistently providing all employees with the same number of breaks and treating them fairly.
Jessica Sullins, PHR (firstname.lastname@example.org) is on the Research and Solutions Team for AAIM Employers’ Association, which helps Missouri and Illinois companies manage their people and processes.
Submitted 3 years 249 days ago