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Do You Have A Lunch Break?


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At the mo we, (the staff), get a 15 minute break in the morning....and that's it! :o we start at 9.30, (well that's when the children get in - I'm generally in by 8.30, the NNEB by 9.00). The childen finish at 3p.m. A recent OFSTED picked up the lack of breaks... :( I just wonder what breaks you get? I would LOVE a lunch break! xD

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First of all Jo d welcome on board and thanks for making your first post.

 

You dont say what sort of settng you work in?

 

You are entitlled to a lunch break. Legally you are entitled to 30 minutes but in practice most places give 45 mins to one hour. (we went round this one when our Head wnated to cut our lunch break from an hour to half an hour). On the hours of contact time you mention you may lose you morning break in order to give you a lunch break but half an hour at 12.00 ish would break your day nicely. But Id crertainly ask for both as you need time away from the chldren, no matter how wonderful they are.

 

In practice, we have a 15 min break in the morning and an hour for lunch but no break in the afternoon. Thats fairly standard, certainly in schools, I dont know about other settings.

 

Good luck :D

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"An adult worker is entitled to a rest break of least 20 minutes if their daily working time is more than 6 hours."

I took this directly from the working time regulations page when I did a search for employment law. So, you should be getting at least 20 minutes because you are working more than 6 hours.

We don't have a break as most of my staff only work 3 1/2 hours, with two of us working 4. We have a drink during the morning. When we were open 3 afternoons last year any staff who were staying for the whole day had a half hour break from 12pm - 12.30pm.

Linda

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Forgot to add that we were open until 3 in the afternoons.

No Julie, it wasn't a paid break I have to be honest. Not sure where things stand on that-I think it is just a break not necessarily paid. I will try and find out.

Linda

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Have just rung my husband and he says that it is up to the employer as to whether it is paid or not. It's all to do with the working time directive and this just states the times-there is no obligation for it to be paid.

Linda

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Hi all

I work part-time, that is 3 6-hour days per week. Each working day I get a 30 minute break from 12.00 to 12.30. The full-time staff get 45 minutes, at various times according to their shifts, but somewhere from 11.30 to 2.00.

I'm in a Day Nursery which opens from 7.30 to 6.30 per day. I have previously worked in a setting (also Full Daycare) where we had a WHOLE HOUR! and a Pre-school Playgroup wher we got what we could grab, but usually between 15 and 30 minutes between AM and PM sessions. (What with late collections and setting up for next session) :) Any help? None of these breaks were paid.

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hi to all,

 

this is one of my bug bears!!!!!

 

i work 9-4, can have drink with children but not an official break but as a social thing.

 

I get 30 minutes (in theory) at lunchtime from 12.30 -1.00. in this half an hour i have to be in the same room as the children as im the qualified staff member. so i dont get away from the children at any time.

 

I do not get paid for this half an hour, as it is my break, but im not allowed to leave the building or the lunch room, even though i am supervising the children.

 

If i need to pop to shop to get my lunch, i have to nip out at 12.15 when another qualified staff is on duty.

 

i do nip outside for a quick fag break at 12.45, but i know im not meant to leave the room, but otherwise i have no time to myself all day.

 

It seems many of you have these problems, im a leader of a preschool and it just seems to be another way to be taken advantage of to me.

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Your employer has a responsibility to ensure you have an adequate break at lunch time. I f you work more than 5hours you are entitled to a minimum half hour break, this is unpaid. If you are still on duty I would not consider this to be a break. Tea breaks are at the discretion of your employer, hot tea can scald even after it has been made 5mins prior so it should not be drunk in the presence of children or carried through a classroom or play area. Of course if you choose to work through your lunch break so you can leave early you should OK this first but make sure your boss understands you have completed your duties earlier so there is no miss understanding.

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In my setting most of us work from 9.00 - 3.30 with the children (Paid). We get in at 8.30 to set up and leave at 4.00 after cleaning up. We do not have a lunch break paid or unpaid! We tried to get 'paid lunch time assistants' to cover a break at lunchtime for us but most parents are not interested - 'I'll lose my family credit....' and they are not qualified. Also we have no-where to go inside away from the children so we work through lunch. (We eat our lunch with them in the school dinner hall). We are a full daycare pre-school and are always short of funds! I think you should be paid for your lunch cover Ruthie.

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thanks,

 

I agree, i should be paid. Ive printed this page of and going to show the committee tomorrow.

 

Cant hurt to try, but i bet i know what the answer will be.

 

I'll let you know on thursday

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If you are going to have to supervise the children and take your own lunch break then I agree that it should be paid. But, if it is just that a lunch break and you are free to leave the premises then it doesn't have to be. But in reality you should be having a break from the children and having your lunch with them does not count as a break!!!

Linda

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At the mo we, (the staff), get a 15 minute break in the morning....and that's it! xD  we start at 9.30, (well that's when the children get in - I'm generally in by 8.30, the NNEB by 9.00). The childen finish at 3p.m. A recent OFSTED picked up the lack of breaks... :(  I just wonder what breaks you get?  I would LOVE a lunch break! :(

Thanks to all of you. :D ..this break/no-break debate is quite an eye opener! I am in a Nursery attatched to a Primary school, I am a qualified teacher and have a, (fantastic), NNEB working with me who also has no lunch break! The head has said that he will try to get one cover so that we can stagger our lunch break...he hasn't said how long it will be...watch this space! :o

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Thanks to all of you... :D This break/no-break debate is quite an eye opener! I am in a Nursery attatched to a Primary school. I am a qualified techer and have a, (fantastic), NNEB working with me who also has no lunch break! The head has now said he will get someone in to cover us so that we can have a staggered break...he hasn't said how long a break! Watch this space :o

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hi all

 

Breaks are a legal requirement and no employer can force you to work them

 

the problem is the good nature of us caring professionals

 

but stop for a minute and think - for that 30 minutes that you work each day .....based on 5 days a week and term time of 36 weeks

thats 2 1/2 hours each week 90 hours a year

thats over two weeks full time work unpaid!!!!

now work out how much money you would earn?

 

the employer doesnt have to pay for the breaks but why should they gain all that voluntary work either? may be sugesting banking some of the time to allow some flexi time such as being able to leave early of start later thats how we operated in one place I worked we didnt get any where near the time we worked back but at least we could book a few hours off here and there to avoid using a full days holiday just to pop to the dentist

 

there is dedication which is highly commendable but there is also stress and burn out!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I work from 8.30am until 3.30/4pm. The only breaks we get is when the children have snck/lunch even then we are on the go, but we try to fit in a drink and a sandwich .We are allowed a lunch break but it would be unpaid. :o

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I am told that every employee no matter what profession should legally haveAT LEAST twenty minutes break every six continued hours of working. If you are not your employee is breaking some section in the employment act. We have just started taking regular breaks I start work at 8.45 everydayand somedays I work until 5.45 I have my break from 1.30-2.00 and the other person it involves has hers from 2.00-2.30 it was hard at first but you must think of yourself and have a break, In fact the breaks are getting longer as I feel more confient that the place is not going to collapse without me there, I might soon be brave enough to take my hours lunch break like most other professions do. I don;t go far, just sit in the garden or the car and read the paper and have lunch so if there is a crisis they can come and get me. I didn't have any breaks during the sessions for the last five years of working here but it's surprising how much you appreciate them when told you have to take them. I have even started to pop home and put the dinner on so that my dinner is cooked when I get in and I can sit down earlier in the evening. Take that rest, believe me you'de have earned it. :o

 

Most lunch breaks are not paid. If you are working your break which is unpaid then you are giving them about two and a half hours per week voluntarily. I bought this up with my managment committee and they more or less said "it's not our fault you are working your lunch break." So take the breaks it's the committee or the owners responsiblilty to make sure there is cover, this is a legal requirement.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest valletta

hi have read all these views about lunch breaks....

 

I would like to know how you settle the children after there luch - do you do quiet structured play or darken the room for a short sleep

 

on friday it was maic to say the least - we found that after there lunch they all seem to want to go to the ' poo ' there was only me and another member of staff with 12 children - is this right? or unfair - we were both stressed out as the chilf=dren had been with us from 9.15 and they were looking tired.

 

any advice please on what to basically do with them?

 

thanks

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Hi Valletta, we still haven't got a break xD

After lunch we toilet all the children, (they should be toilet trained before they start with us at three years, most of them can go alone! :o ), then we have 'free play' either outside or in. This gives them chance to let off steam - we then have 2nd registration and a story to help wind down before the afternoon session. we have 32 children on the register at the mo but juggle part timers so that we never have more than 13 children to 1 adult...it's tough going but I love my job :D

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  • 7 years later...

how do people in a one form entry get a break in reception class. we have just been given our duty rota for next year and we have not been given any breaks. when i asked the head he just said that's the way it is in foundation and said we had to manage something ourselves. even suggested we both give the chiuldren a whole class input while the other has a break! 2 carpet times in one hour. are we entitiled to a break, how do others manage it

 

jobags

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Hello there jobags, welcome to the forum, make yourself at home.

 

Its tricky in a one form entry school, and we always had to 'sort it out ourselves' as we weren't included in playtime rotas with the rest of the school.

I presume you are getting a lunch break? If not, you are entitled to one and you would need to go back and discuss this again with your head.

 

If its a morning break, then the school does not have to give you one but in essence it's equitable to have the same entitlement if other staff get one. I used to make sure my TA got one but I never took one myself. I'd take a comfort break in I needed one.

 

What has happened previously in your school?

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school teachers daily break is covered by the school teacher pay and conditions (also known as the burgundy book).

 

Daily break

63.3 A teacher who is required to be available for work for more than one

school session on any school day must be allowed one break of

reasonable length either between school sessions or between the hours

of 12 noon and 2.00pm. Deputy Head Teachers, Assistant Head

Teachers, Advanced Skills Teachers and Excellent Teachers are entitled

to a break of reasonable length as near to the middle of each school day

as is reasonably practicable.

 

Cx

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How long would a lunch break normally take? If it would be an hour... could it be divided into 1/2hr lunch, 15 mins morning break and 15 mins afternoon break? I have seen this before. The children started at 8:30am and left at 3:30pm. Not sure how it runs now.

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Lots of teachers assume it's an hour but this is not the case - it can be shorter. They are often longer because of the complexities of dinner times in a school.

 

Breaks are there because of the children, not really the adults!!

 

Cx

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Lots of teachers assume it's an hour but this is not the case - it can be shorter. They are often longer because of the complexities of dinner times in a school.

 

Breaks are there because of the children, not really the adults!!

 

Cx

 

That's true, Catma! Rest Breaks

 

We have a small school that covers EYFS, Primary and Secondary with only one outside/playground area, so the Management Team tries to balance it in a way that all the students can benefit from it. When our children are outside, then one of us three does the duty while the other two can do some preparations, go to the toilet or drink something. In reality, we hardly have a break. We can eat our lunch in the classroom while the children eat theirs. It's a nice social time. The children enjoy it a lot when they can go outside on the bikes, the climbing frame, play their games or role-play. This does not mean we don't use the outside area for their learning out of those 3 break periods, but we then have to keep an eye that we do so when Primary and Secondary are not using the area.

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