Working conditions

Rest breaks from work: Overview of regulations, research and practice

This report addresses the rarely discussed issue of rest breaks at work across the European Union. Based on input from the Network of Eurofound Correspondents, it reveals some of the complexities involved in defining whether such breaks should be paid or unpaid, how long they should be and where they should be taken. The report compares different approaches among Member States, gives examples of judicial rulings, highlights some types of work that attract special consideration and looks into causal relationships between breaks, health and performance at work. When rest breaks are of an appropriate duration and appropriately scheduled, they can reduce some of the harmful effects of work on health and well-being while contributing to improved performance and productivity.

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