In these tough economic times most employees are so glad to secure employment that they don’t even bother perusing their employment contracts before signing it and only when they start employment they are starting to enquire about the nitty gritty details such as meal intervals.
So what are your rights pertaining to meal intervals?
Clause 4.2 (a) of the MIBCO Main Collective Agreement states the following:
“No employer shall require or permit any employee –
to work for a continuous period of more than five hours without an uninterrupted interval of less than one hour:
Provided that, for the purposes of this paragraph, a period of work interrupted by a period of less than one hour shall be deemed to be continuous:
Provided further that an employer may agree with those of his employees who normally work on only five days each week that the uninterrupted interval referred to in paragraph (a) of this sub-clause shall be reduced to not less than 30 minutes, but before a reduced interval may be put into operation the employer shall enter the details of the Agreement to the reduced interval, including the terms thereof and the employee’s consent thereto, in a proper record to be kept for inspection purposes”
This clause means that an employee is not allowed to work for more than 5 hours on any given day without a meal interval of an hour or 30 minutes if agreed to between the employer and employee in writing.
In a Nutshell: You are entitled a meal interval of an hour or 30 minutes depending on the agreement entered into between the employee and employer, therefore ensure you ask the necessary questions before entering into an employment agreement to foresee unhappiness.
Remember MISA is just a phone call away!