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Don't Forget Your Lunch: Why Recording Breaks Matters

lunch breaks

As an employer, it is important to ensure that your employees take their lunch breaks. Not only is it a legal requirement in many countries, but it also promotes a healthy work-life balance and increases productivity. However, it can sometimes be challenging to keep track of everyone’s breaks. This is where cloud-based time tracking comes in handy.

Everyone deserves a break from time to time. But it is about much more than just deserving a break. Poor lunch habits, including skipping lunch, are bad for employees’ health and productivity. Researchers, scientists, and writers of management have all come to this same conclusion. For employers, accuracy in their payroll administration is a reason to make sure to properly record work hours, including lunch breaks.

One of the most important reasons for recording lunch breaks is to ensure compliance with labour laws. In many countries, employers are required by law to provide their employees with a certain amount of break time. For example, in the United States, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to provide a meal break of at least 30 minutes for employees who work more than six hours in a day. Failure to comply with these laws can result in legal consequences, such as fines and lawsuits.

Always Check Local Requirements

According to the European Union's Working Time Directive, employers are required to provide employees with a minimum daily rest period of 11 consecutive hours per 24-hour period, and a rest break during working hours if the worker is on duty for longer than six hours. However, the directive does not specifically require the recording of lunch breaks.

That being said, individual EU member states may have their own laws and regulations regarding lunch breaks and time recording. For example, in Spain, employers are required to record the start and end times of their employees' lunch breaks. It is recommended that employers consult their local labour laws to determine if there are any specific requirements for lunch break recording in their country or region.

Improved Overall Job Satisfaction

Aside from labour laws, fairness and equality on the work floor are important arguments to make sure lunch breaks are recorded properly. Ensuring that all employees are taking the same amount of break time can help to prevent resentment and conflicts amongst employees, as everyone is being treated equally.

An employer should be aware that taking regular breaks, including lunch breaks, can increase productivity and job satisfaction. When employees take breaks, they have the opportunity to recharge and refocus, which has proven to increase productivity and creativity. Additionally, taking breaks can reduce stress and fatigue, which improves overall job satisfaction.

Recording Breaks with TimeMoto

In TimeMoto Cloud, recording breaks is easy. Available in the Essential and Plus Plan, there are various break types you can use in a work schedule. For fixed break times, for example, you can choose per day of the week which break times to include. It is possible to have breaks automatically deducted from work time, so employees do not have to remember to clock these breaks and make potential mistakes. Another example is the use of conditionally deducted breaks. These are breaks that are deducted from the worked time under certain conditions. As an employer, you can indicate how much break time is automatically deducted after how many hours of uninterrupted work.

Remember, by default breaks are considered unpaid time in TimeMoto Cloud. However, it is perfectly possible to include paid breaks if these are included in your employees’ scheduled work time.


Recording lunch breaks is crucial for employers to ensure compliance with labour laws and promote productivity, fairness, and accuracy in payroll. TimeMoto helps you to make this an easy task. Enable your employees to clock their work times (including breaks) with a Time Clock, the TimeMoto Cloud web service, and the mobile app. To guarantee full transparency, TimeMoto Cloud provides a clear audit trail of all clocking events. It also offers many features that help you manage and plan absences, holidays, overtime, and more.

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