Employment Relations Amendment Act 2014

50 Sections 69ZD and 69ZE replaced
  • Replace sections 69ZD and 69ZE with:

    69ZD Employee's entitlement to rest breaks and meal breaks
    • (1) An employee is entitled to, and an employer must provide the employee with, rest breaks and meal breaks that—

      • (a) provide the employee with a reasonable opportunity, during the employee's work period, for rest, refreshment, and attention to personal matters; and

      • (b) are appropriate for the duration of the employee's work period.

      (2) The employee's entitlement to rest breaks and meal breaks may be subject to restrictions, but only if the restrictions—

      • (a) are—

        • (i) reasonable and necessary, having regard to the nature of the employee's work; or

        • (ii) if subparagraph (i) does not apply, reasonable and agreed to by the employer and employee (whether in an employment agreement or otherwise); and

      • (b) relate to 1 or more of the following:

        • (i) the employee continuing to be aware of his or her work duties or, if required, continuing to perform some of his or her work duties, during the break:

        • (ii) the circumstances when an employee's break may be interrupted:

        • (iii) the employee taking his or her break in the workplace or at a specified place within the workplace.

      (3) An employee's entitlement to rest breaks under this section is to paid rest breaks.

    69ZE Timing and duration of rest breaks and meal breaks
    • (1) An employee must take his or her rest breaks and meal breaks—

      • (a) at the times and for the duration agreed between the employee and his or her employer; but

      • (b) in the absence of such agreement, at the reasonable times and for the reasonable duration specified by the employer.

      (2) For the purposes of subsection (1)(b), an employer may specify reasonable times and durations that, having regard to the employer's operational environment or resources and the employee's interests, enable the employer to maintain continuity of service or production.

      (3) An employer must provide an employee with a reasonable opportunity to negotiate with the employer and reach agreement under subsection (1)(a) on the times when the employee's rest breaks and meal breaks are to be taken and on the duration of the breaks.

      (4) To avoid doubt, subsection (3) does not limit the requirement of the employer and employee to deal with each other in good faith as set out in section 4.

    69ZEA Compensatory measures
    • (1) An employer is exempt from the requirement to provide rest breaks and meal breaks in accordance with section 69ZD(1)—

      • (a) to the extent that the employer and the employee agree that the employee is to be provided with compensatory measures; or

      • (b) if paragraph (a) does not apply, only to the extent that, having regard to the nature of the work performed by the employee, the employer cannot reasonably provide the employee with rest breaks and meal breaks.

      (2) To the extent that an employer is not required to provide rest breaks and meal breaks under subsection (1), an employee is entitled to, and the employee's employer must provide the employee with, compensatory measures.

    69ZEB Compensatory measure must be reasonable
    • (1) A compensatory measure provided to an employee under section 69ZEA must be reasonable.

      (2) To avoid doubt, if an employer provides an employee with a compensatory measure that involves time off work at an alternative time during the employee's work period, that measure is to be treated as complying with subsection (1) if—

      • (a) the employee is provided with an equivalent amount of time off work (that is, the same amount of time that the employee would otherwise have taken as a rest break or meal break); and

      • (b) the time off work at an alternative time is provided on the same basis as the rest break or meal break that the employee would have otherwise taken.