Bringing back tea breaks and lunch breaks

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14 years 6 months ago #2082 by reggit
Isn't it shocking that we are having to legislate to get these sorts of things back into the workplace - things that we took for granted 10-15 years ago and lost.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikatotimes/4309693a6579.html

I know shop workers now who are sole charge during the day and are not allowed to have breaks at all. They are lucky to be able to get to the toilet when they need to.

Shameful...[V]

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14 years 6 months ago #67992 by max2
If the shopworkers complain enough, they will be given 4 hour shifts only for their working day, and thus cut short any economic benefit to their wallet...

I dunno, I have seen extremes, in the public service we used to get the 3 meal breaks as a matter of course, naturally b all was achieved because these breaks always extended as One chats away and it always means someone is left behind at the desk to field the calls and enquiries. Not fair on that person.

Then in private enterprise we had a tea lady and trolley who would come around twice a day with a bickie and cuppa to have at the desk.

That worked well, but as she sought to better herself and became the company's reception person, a good replacement could not be found because most applying for the job didn't like the washing up afterwards... the only other applicant was a European lady who used to abuse anyone coming back for 2nd's in the "her" office...

Then I went elsewhere in private enterprise and one of my shift colleagues was a smoker. He would wander off for smoko at any given time and we had to have him paged to come back to his desk to handle enquiries or overload. As his colleague, we should not have had to put up with that because as non smokers we stayed where we were and did our job, eating at the desk for morning and afternoon teas...

Now I am fully self employed, the young man who works for us has always been given the choice of stopping for a paid meal break, or knocking off early and getting out of the heat of the day.

No brownie points for guessing which choice he prefers, and he eats his meals as he is being driven home or to work as the case may be so he isn't missing out there either.

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14 years 6 months ago #67998 by reggit
We had staggered tea breaks so no-one got left by themselves on the phones :D

To me it is a safety issue, and also common sense, you don't get the best out of staff without giving them breaks and mistakes get made if people don't get up and out to stretch their legs/clear their heads with something different from day to day work.

I get annoyed with smokers taking random breaks, but that is up to the bosses to sort out, not everyone should suffer because some are irresponsible.

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14 years 6 months ago #68014 by maggies mum
Replied by maggies mum on topic Bringing back tea breaks and lunch breaks
That's illegal surely not to give someone break!

This isn't a third world country is it!

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14 years 6 months ago #68017 by reggit
That's what happened when the Employment Contracts Act came in, effectively breaking quite a few of the unions, MM. Places with collective agreements/unions (govt departments, banks, tertiary institutions etc) still tend to have these things in place, but plenty of private businesses in particular do not.

People are expected to negotiate their terms with their bosses one on one. Great for the highly skilled workers who are in big demand and can name their terms, but for most of the rest of the population, its more a case of take or leave what is put in front of you.

That same Act effectively meant the end of penal rates (time and a half and double time for working over a 40 hour week, or working weird hours)

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14 years 6 months ago #68021 by Kilmoon
The ECA covers everyone (you can easily look it up online) and you cannot sign away your basic rights under it. If you are a good employee (ie the boss needs your skills) then you can negotiate more better terms if you so desire.

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14 years 6 months ago #68024 by maggies mum
Replied by maggies mum on topic Bringing back tea breaks and lunch breaks
Wow! That's unreal, there'd be anarchy in the UK if ya didn't get ya tea break. And not all companies have unions either.
Basic employees rights, if you work 4 hours or more you get a tea break. Personally I wouldn't take a job that didn't have tea breaks!
I've heard some awful stories about some employers in NZ, sound like some can walk right over their staff if they want, that's unacceptable.

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14 years 6 months ago #68029 by reggit

quote:Originally posted by Kilmoon

The ECA covers everyone (you can easily look it up online) and you cannot sign away your basic rights under it. If you are a good employee (ie the boss needs your skills) then you can negotiate more better terms if you so desire.

But the basic rights under the ECA were somewhat less than the basic rights that most workers had before the ECA! [:I] The ECA has now been replaced with the Employment Relations Act.

An example: At one particular council I will not mention by name, staff on the collective contract were pressured to change to individual contracts using all sorts of lovely underhanded techniques. The ones who hung on were threatened with the good old 'you'll be first out the door if any redundancies are required in future' unless they switched. Switching to individual contracts meant that they lost the ongoing long service leave provisions that workers had fought long and hard for many years before, for a one-off payment that appealed to those thinking short term - ie the ones who would probably never stay in the job for the long haul anyway.

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14 years 6 months ago #68032 by ronnie
My last job (which I finished on Friday - THANK GOODNESS) forbade me to have smoko breaks. The only reason I managed to get an unpaid lunch break is because of a medical reason that they knew about.

Long time from breakfast till lunch time with no break inbetween.

Mind you, I did get my own back in various other ways :D:D[}:)];)

cheers
Jan

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14 years 6 months ago #68034 by reggit
FYI minimum employee rights under the Employment Relations Act can be found here:

http://www.ers.dol.govt.nz/relationships/minimum.html

Covers minimum rates, pay, leave provisions etc

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14 years 6 months ago #68035 by max2
Let's bring it back to basics, that is, if you were paying on your lifestyleblock someone to work for an hourly rate, and you saw them sitting on their duff 3 times a day having a good ole yak and a cuppa (or beer) would you be entirely happy and celebrating the cause?

(Please add to that your kiwisaver responsibilities as a new employer).

I think not....

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14 years 6 months ago #68040 by reggit
Tea breaks are part of your work, lunch breaks are not paid anyway. Hubby is a builder, has his morning and afternoon smokos included in his work day, but doesn't charge for his lunch break.

I would have no problem with contractors who are there for more than a couple of hours having their morning and afternoon cuppas! If they were near the house I'd have the jug on for them or a cold drink ready. For goodness sake, it is 15 minutes each break, and I know from what hubby has said about sites he works on that tradespeople don't loaf around.

If it was a contractor who was only there for an hour or two I'd expect them to work their breaks around jobs.

Swaggie, are you saying that you'd expect your hubby to be out roofing for 8 or 9 hours straight without breaks? That would be pretty rough on him! [}:)]

I might add that what self employed contractors chose to do or not to do is entirely up to them, this is employees we are talking about who's conditions are dictated by others.

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14 years 6 months ago #68048 by betenoir
Totally agree with you Tigger...and its also a matter of safety.if you are an employer you have a certain amount of leagal responsibility to ensure employees safety. Regular breaks to ccol off/warm up/ regather thoghts can actually boost productivity and reduce the chance of the silly sort of accicdents that happen when peoples minds are 'not on the job'. Cheaper than a DOL investigation in the long term.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] BAAAAAAAAA

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14 years 6 months ago #68052 by DiDi
swaggie... I am a smoker and every time I took a break to have a smoke - given that I was not taking the mid morning and mid afternoon break I was "entitled" to under my contract (adding up to half an hour) my workmates would say " How the hell do you smoke a cigarette in that time? The reality is that it is not a "smokers break" but how long the employee takes for that break and that is very telling. In my case I would have had at least 20 minutes entitlement up my sleeve every day but the difference was that I took a two minute break maybe four times a day (outside of lunchtime that wasn't paid) adding up to 8 minutes of 30 owed. Who was losing - the employer or me? Needing to feed your addiction is one thing - taking longer than that is another thing. Enough said!

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14 years 6 months ago #68054 by betenoir
I'm with you on that one DiDI. My last employer whinged about me taking 2 x 5 minute smokos a day...but conveniently forgot I started half an hour early each day ..and was usually the last to leave...admkittedly some people do take the 'proverbial...but the said same boss spent most of her work hours on trademe!

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] BAAAAAAAAA

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