HR Home Forums Private Canada- Meal Break Requirements

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    Post count: 14


    It is my understanding that hourly employees in the below provinces of Canada are entitled to meal breaks (requirements vary some based on location).

    -Do any of the provinces below REQUIRE that employees take daily meal breaks, or is the only requirement that the employers must offer/provide it (and then the employee has the ability to take it or not take it)?

    -Do hourly employees have to record meal breaks each day?

    -Are employers subject to any kind of penalty if a meal break is not taken?

    -British Columbia
    -Nova Scotia
    -New Brunswick

    Thank you!
    Post count: 14

    Hi there – just wanted to follow up on the above! Appreciate your assistance.

    Rick Tobin
    Post count: 58

    In Canada, the rules regarding breaks during work hours, including the possibility of abstaining from taking breaks, vary by province or territory, as labor laws are primarily a provincial matter. Generally, labor standards mandate certain rest periods and breaks for employees, but the specifics can differ.

    For instance:

    Ontario: Employees are entitled to a 30-minute meal break after every 5 hours of work. However, this break can be unpaid, and if both the employer and employee agree, it can be split into two 15-minute breaks.

    British Columbia: Workers must receive a 30-minute meal break after working 5 hours. This break may be waived with a mutual agreement if the shift is no longer than 6 hours.

    Alberta: Employees must have at least a 30-minute break (paid or unpaid) every 5 hours.

    Quebec: Employees are entitled to a 30-minute unpaid break after 5 consecutive hours of work.

    In many cases, the law allows for some flexibility if both the employer and employee agree. However, it’s important for employees to be aware of their rights and for employers to adhere to the minimum standards set by law. If an employee chooses to skip their breaks, it should be a voluntary decision and not due to employer pressure.

    HR Inisider Staff

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