Lack of Lunch Breaks Causes Productivity Slump, Warns CIPD

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has warned businesses they are losing productivity by not encouraging employees to have a proper lunch break.

Research for Bisodol health group found that that only 21 per cent of staff take a full lunch hour, and 26 per cent take a 15 minute break or less.

“Managers should be aware that if people aren’t taking full breaks it can be a sign that they are suffering from excessive pressure or stress,” said CIPD spokesman Ben Wilmott. “This certainly isn’t good for their productivity and it might mean that over the long term they’ll suffer from ill health and be off work.

“Employers have a duty to ensure that employees are taking at least their statutory breaks under the Working Time Regulations,” he added. “The pace of work has increased and quite often there seems to be less time to switch off, leave work and take a proper break.”

Bisodol product manager Jay Banerjee added:

“There is an idea that if staff take a full hour for lunch then they’re somehow less committed to their job than they might be if they ate a sandwich at their desk.

“But taking a proper break, not rushing to eat their food and getting away from their desk into the fresh air can actually make people less likely to run out of energy towards the end of the day and less likely to suffer common complaints like indigestion and heartburn,” said Banerjee. “It can also boost their ability to think properly, which can only be good for business.”

Under the Working Time Regulations, employees over the age of 18 are entitled to a 20 minute rest break if they work for at least six hours in one stretch, while younger workers aged under 18 must take a 30-minute break if they work for four and a half hours or more.

working time regulations

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