Break, also called “Work break” refers to a designated period during the workday when employees are allowed to take a break from their job duties. Break serves various purposes, including meal, rest, refreshment, and relaxation, and they can contribute to increased productivity and well-being among employees.
Set Up a Break Rule
You can easily set up break rules and assign them to employees by accessing the Break Rules page within the Time Tracking settings.
The system allows you to create multiple rules tailored to your compliance need. When creating a break rule, you can specify the following parameters:
- Break Code: A unique alphanumeric identifier for the break rule within the system.
- Break Name: A descriptive name for the rule (e.g. Rest Break, Meal Break)
- Type of Break: Paid or unpaid. Paid breaks are included in payroll calculations.
- Break Duration (Minutes): The length of the break. This is primarily used for auto-deduct and flag missing break settings. If a user manually takes a break via the web or mobile app, this duration isn't applied.
Other key parameters include
- Employees Receive a Break Criteria: Sets criteria to automatically deduct or flag a missing break if an employee works more than specified number of hours.
- Repeat Criteria: Determines if a break should be repeated based on hours worked, ensuring compliance or company policies for providing repeated breaks during long shifts.
- Auto Deduct Missing Break: Automatically deducts the break time if not taken manually.
- Flag Missing Break: Flags the missing break for review if not taken manually.
- Deduct/Flag Missing Break at: Specifies when to deduct or flag the break (e.g. beginning, middle, end, after a specific duration). The breaks are always inclusive of the designated time span. Example, A 30-minute paid break is set to automatically deduct at the end of the time entry if an employee works more than 5 hours. This break repeats every 4 hours. If an employee works from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. The first break will be deducted from 11:30 AM to 12:00 PM. The second break (repeat) will be deducted from 3:30 PM to 4:00 PM.
- Assignment : Once a break rule is specified, Assign the break rule to employees by clicking the Assign to Employees button.
Add/Acknowledge Flagged Breaks
System highlights the missed breaks for employee’s time entry, which can be reviewed by visiting employee’s time entries page. For the flagged breaks, the person who has access to manage time entries can choose whether to keep or remove them. To keep these breaks, users can click the "Add" button to include them. To remove the breaks, click the "Acknowledge" button.
Impact on Existing Time Tracking Users
There will be no impact to current time tracking users. They can continue to manually take unpaid breaks as they do now. A default unpaid break rule has been created and assigned to all employees who are currently using time tracking. This rule can be customized or removed as needed to align with your break policies.
Impact on Existing Time Entries
The structure of break entries and their independent display has been enhanced. With the implementation of break rules, all break entries will now be associated with the specific job during which they were taken. If a break previously existed without any associated job entry, it will now be linked to the primary job entry.
As a result, creating an entirely independent break entry is no longer permitted. Ideally, a break is taken when an employee clocks in, connecting each break entry with a job. If no specific job is specified for the employee, the break entry will be associated with the primary job.
Add Time Entry Manually and Apply Break Rules
To manually add a time entry and apply break rules, users with access to manage employees’ time entries can include a break while inputting the time. For a standalone break entry, you can select the job against which it should be tracked, ensuring the break timing aligns with the job's clock timing.
When break rules are already assigned to an employee and you want to enforce them on a manual time entry, simply check the 'Apply Break Rules' box. The system will then apply the break rules assigned to the employee in the sequence they occur. It's important to note that either manual break addition or the application of Break Rules can be applied at one time within an entry, but not both.
Paid Break Hours Processing in Payroll
When clicking the 'Sync Hours to Payroll' button, paid break hours seamlessly integrate into the payroll system. These paid break hours are synchronized with the respective regular, overtime (OT), and double-time (DOT) earnings corresponding to the time when the breaks were taken.
If an employee worked in multiple jobs with different rates, the processing of paid break hours considers the rates associated with the specific job where the break was taken.
- If no break rules are assigned, employees won't have the option to clock breaks on web and mobile app.
- If multiple breaks are assigned, then their auto deduct/flag setting will apply in the order they occur.
- Employees can manually take all assigned breaks regardless of auto-deduct/flag settings.
- On time entry completion auto deduct/flag settings only works for the time entry for which employees’ haven't taken the break manually.
- Auto Deduct Break setting is recommended to be used as per your own jurisdiction by referring your company time off policies and state compliance laws for the break rules.