Fact Sheet


Work Break Order


The Employment Standards Code requires that employers provide their employees with a 30 minute work break after every five consecutive hours of work. 

Employers may apply to reduce or eliminate the 30 minute work break, if they can demonstrate a particular need, and provide an additional benefit to the affected employees.





What factors will Employment Standards consider in reviewing a Work Break Order application?

Employers must meet very specific conditions for Employment Standards to consider giving an exemption to the work break provision. Prior to applying, employers should consider if, in their workplace: 

  • Employees have care of someone or something that cannot be abandoned
  • Meeting the break requirements is an unreasonable hardship to the employer or unduly restricts the operations of the business
  • The timing of the break (within five hours) is the problem, not the length (30 minutes) of the break
  • Employees want to change the break schedule and receive a clear benefit from the new conditions being proposed
  • Employees have the discretion to take a break when operations of the work allow
  • Employees without a scheduled break are paid for their entire shift

How do I apply?

Download applications forms from www.manitoba.ca/labour/standards/forms.html or by calling Employment Standards. The completed application can be dropped off, mailed, or faxed to the nearest Employment Standards office.


What is the Employee Survey?

Employers must use the Employees’ Survey to survey each worker who will be affected by the new schedule.

The employer must specify the proposed terms and conditions for the new schedule at the top of the form, and have all affected employees complete a form. At least 75% of the employees must agree to the proposed schedule for the permit to be granted. Employers must send the originals of the completed surveys to Employment Standards. The employer must provide an explanation for any employees unavailable to sign, such as those on leave.

Download the Employees’ Survey from www.manitoba.ca/labour/standards/forms.html or calling Employment Standards. The completed application can be dropped off, mailed, or faxed to the nearest Employment Standards office.


What if I disagree with the proposed schedule?

Employees with questions about their rights should call Employment Standards. If a permit/order is issued, the employer can require the minority of employees who did not agree to work the new schedule.


How do I know if there is a permit/order in my workplace?

Permits/orders must be posted at the workplace at all times, in a place where employees can see it. Employers who do not post the permit/order or restrict access to it, risk having it cancelled.


When can the employer start the new schedule?

New schedules can begin once a permit/order is received by the employer and posted in the workplace. Until the permit is received, minimum standards remain in place. The new schedule will be in effect until the permit expires.


Does the permit expire?

The permit/order will show the date it expires.  The employer must reapply before the expiry date to avoid any disruptions in their operation. Once the permit has expired, scheduling must go back to minimum standards until a new permit is approved.  Each application needs the written support of the affected employees.


For more information contact Employment Standards:

Phone:     204-945-3352 or toll free in Canada 1-800-821-4307

Fax:           204-948-3046

E-mail:     employmentstandards@gov.mb.ca

Website:  www.manitoba.ca/labour/standards

This is a general overview and the information used is subject to change. For detailed information, please refer to current legislation including The Employment Standards Code, The Construction Industry Wages Act , The Worker Recruitment and Protection Act, or contact Employment Standards.


Available in alternate formats
upon request.

 


Date Published: February 21, 2017