Lunch Breaks


How long should an employee lunch break be? A friend of mine in France has one of 1hour and a half - which I think is too much. Full time people working where I work only get half an hour.



So in one of my previous job if we worked 4hrs or more we got 20 minutes, if we worked 11 or more we got 2 20 minute breaks. While that was definitely illegal, none of us minded because we got free food (as in decent cooked meals) and the job itself was hardly taxing. I think the length and regularity of breaks should depend in part on the nature of the job, with more stressful or tiring jobs getting more generous breaks.


I would argue it depends really. I get paid thru my lunch (due to my age and my boss being nice) so I don’t take long for my brake (normally 20 min tops). I think the 1 and a half hours is crazy (if paid or unpaid). I think 45 min to 1 hour on unpaid brake is reasonable (especially in some jobs)


Listen up people, this is why strict regulation doesn’t really work. Too much variation. :blush:

Which is why many governments mandate a basic work code which many companies go beyond.


Depends on the job, the people you employ, the skills needed, the regularity of dealing with customers, the time constraints, whether it’s service or manufacturing … too many variations.

Some jobs shouldn’t have breaks at all (corner shop). Others would be more suited to periodic breaks, like 4x 20 minute breaks on a 9 hour job (manufacturing is good for this)

Question is too broad and I disagree with any one-size-fits-all approach. There shouldn’t be a mandatory requirement.


Should be a mandatory minimum of 20-30 minutes.

I work 8-4:30 and get one 45 minute lunch break.


My workplace is pretty generous with breaks. Any shift over 3 hours is a 15 minute break, 5 hours and above is 20 minutes, 7 hours is a choice of either one 30 minute or two 15 minute breaks, and 8 hours and over is two 15 minute breaks and an unpaid lunch hour.


I work in a lab, so I can take lunch breaks whenever I’m not actively running an experiment or when I can afford to leave stuff alone for a while. One caveat to that is sometimes I don’t get a chance to eat until late afternoon.

Standardized lunch times are unreasonable. As long as employees do the work they’re supposed to do, then how long they spend eating lunch is a nonissue.


The military gives me about 8 hours of breaks in a 12 hour work day, but 70% of that is spent on unrelated bull crap and the remainder is waiting for something to happen.


when you like your work you’re always on a break

i worked in the NHS, a local accounting firm and going to Blackrock/TD Securities over the summer (and their breaks are generous, especially TD)

in the NHS I had 8 hour shifts in the supplies department (although often 7 hours since there was nothing to do and the staff often took rotations on taking their cards to clock out and leaving an hour earlier than contracted), in that 7 hours (8:30 - 3:30) i had 1 hour lunch break at 12 and 15 minute breaks at 10 and 2:15

in the accounting firm you could have just taken a break whenever you want really you just need to make sure you finish what you need to finish by the end of the day