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How to work with breaks
How to work with breaks

Frequently asked questions regarding automatic break rules, working with breaks in the schedule and punch clock breaks.

Louise Devantier avatar
Written by Louise Devantier
Updated over a week ago

How do I add a break to a shift in the schedule?

Manual breaks can be added on a shift-by-shift basis directly in the Schedule.

To add a manual break to a shift:

  • Select the shift you want to add a break to.

  • Select the edit button under breaks.

  • Add the break, choose whether it should be paid or unpaid, select Close, and Save the shift.

How do I change an automatic break within a shift?

To change an automatic break within a shift:

  • Select the shift you want to change the automatic break for

  • Select the edit button under breaks

  • Change the duration of the break

  • If you want to delete the automatic break, untick “Use default breaks”

Please note that awards have specific requirements when it comes to the length of breaks required within a shift, please check your award before changing the duration of a break within a shift.

How do I change a paid break to unpaid and vice versa?

If you want to convert to a paid break, go to the Schedule and edit the relevant shift. Click on the pencil icon next to the Breaks section and change the break from Unpaid to Paid.

Can I use both paid and unpaid breaks on the same shift?

Yes, you can combine paid and unpaid breaks on shifts either by setting up break rules or adding them manually to the shifts.

Can my business use Punch Clock Breaks?

Yes, if your business is using Punch Clock, you can enable your employees to clock in and out of their shifts for breaks using the Punch Clock Break feature. To read a guide on how to set this up, click here.

Note that by default, breaks in the Punch Clock are unpaid but can manually be changed to paid.

What happens if I have added a manual break to a shift but also use Punch Clock breaks?

A manually entered break will always remain on the shift as long as the Punch Clock Break does not overlap with the manual break.

What happens if I have set up automatic break rules but also use Punch Clock Breaks?

Automatic breaks applied via Break rules will be overwritten, when Punch Clock Breaks also are enabled for the same department.

In the schedule, the automatic break will disappear from the shift as soon as an administrator has approved the Punch Clock entry. This is the case whether or not the employee has punched in and out.

Please note that overriding the breaks required for your employee could be in breach of your compliance obligations. You should seek independent legal advice as appropriate for your business.

What will the employee see from the app in terms of breaks?

The shift details timeline displays the start and end times of the shift and the breaks during the shift.

If a break is at a specific time of the day, the employee will see the start and end times of the break.

If the break occurs after a certain amount of time within the shift, the employee will see:

  • the break's start time, which is calculated automatically against the scheduled start time of the shift

  • the length of the break, counted in minutes

In the example below, the employee starts at 9:00 am and finishes at 5:00 pm. The break begins after 4 hours of work (1:00 pm) and lasts 30 minutes.

FAQs regarding Break rules

How does changing a Break rule impact existing approved or non-approved breaks on the schedule?

Only shifts created or edited after the change will adopt the new/updated Break rule. This means that the breaks you have approved in the system will not be affected and will preserve the settings before the rule change. Any new breaks with the attached Break rule will include the changes. Similarly, only future breaks are impacted when changes to breaks happen via the application of Shift types or Employee types.

How can you update past and existing shifts on the schedule to reflect the revised break rule changes?

Any past or existing shifts on the schedule affected by a change to a Break rule will not automatically reflect the changes to those shifts.

Here are two simple workarounds you can try:

  1. Apply a Schedule template: If you want to apply a new or revised break rule to a specific period, you can apply a template to that period. This will help you implement the desired break rule.

  2. Edit and bulk change shift types: Another option is to edit the shift type for a selected number of shifts. After editing, you can bulk change them back to the original shift type. This allows you to make changes to the shift types as needed.

How can shifts in a Schedule template be updated to reflect the changes made to Break rules?

When you update Break rules, the shifts in the Schedule template adjust to reflect those changes. Here's how it works:

  1. Applying a template: When you apply a template to the schedule, all shifts in the template will be checked against the updated Break rules. Any necessary adjustments will be made to the shifts based on the new rules.

  2. Copying a week: If you copy a week from an existing schedule, the shifts in the copied week will be checked against the Break rules. Any changes made to the rules will be applied to those shifts accordingly.

  3. Saving a schedule as a template: When you save a schedule as a template, any automatic breaks defined by the rules will not be carried over. Only manual breaks will be included in the template.

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