Meal breaks - know your obligations

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Employee / workerEmployer

Do you know the requirements for meal breaks?

Most WA awards outline requirements for meal breaks, for example, when and how they may be taken, the duration of the break, and what pay rates apply if a meal break is delayed to suit the requirements of the workplace.

Employers should check the meal break provisions in the relevant WA award summaries for this information.

If the employee is covered by a WA award, it is compulsory for the employer to keep employment records that detail all meal breaks taken. Employers can be fined up to $5,000 by the Industrial Magistrates Court for not keeping employment records or for keeping inadequate or fraudulent records. A common requirement that employers fail to observe is a lack of detail in keeping employment records, particularly for employees covered by a WA award.

Details on record keeping obligations for WA award employees and award free employees are on the Record keeping requirements page.

Labour Relations
Department News
12 May 2017

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