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Factsheet - Take a break

Rest and recuperation in the workplace

These five workers are obviously taking a break from a hard day. They are at rest in the sunshine and are stood talking. They wear appropriate safety gear.

Rest and meal breaks are designed to provide employees with a reasonable opportunity for rest, refreshment and to attend to personal needs, and be appropriate to the length of the work period.

There are two important reasons for employers to provide regular breaks:

People can't go on performing at a high level without breaks of some sort and these breaks need to be matched to the intensity of the work.

Fatigue can lead to harm, especially in the busy summer months when activity at both work and home are likely to increase. Just taking a couple of minutes to relax, have a drink of water, bite to eat and a chat with colleagues can make all the difference.

For further details regarding breaks, including information on timing and length of breaks and the circumstances in which breaks may be restricted or not provided, visit Rest and meal breaks.

Read the guide to Managing shift work to minimise workplace fatigue.