Taking a break

In August 2023, Health and Safety2 MinutesBy Tracey MurphySeptember 13, 2023

Who doesn’t like the idea of taking a break? Who is overwhelmed by the effort taking a break requires?

Breaks are essential for wellbeing. They allow us the opportunity to rest and recover, regardless of their type.

But first, let’s define the most common types of breaks:

Legislated breaks according to the Land Transport Rule – Worktime and Logbooks 2007. If you need to comply with this legislation, you must take the minimum defined breaks at specified intervals.

Employment agreement breaks. Depending on the agreement, these will likely be two unpaid breaks and one paid break. The time for these will be specified in your agreement.

Sick leave – take it if you are feeling unwell. You will recover more quickly if you rest. You can also use this to care for a dependent. Again, these will be defined in your employment agreement.

Annual leave. Some organisations have a shut period when you are required to take leave. This will often still give you more leave days.

Effort depends on where you sit in your organisation and your role. If you are lucky or the organisation is well-staffed, you submit a leave form and walk away. If you are the owner/manager or work for a smaller organisation, you may need to plan your leave, prepare for others to carry your workload and pick up the work when you return.

Even the short, paid breaks mean you can get away from your work, move, stretch and give your brain and/or muscles some respite.

Longer breaks – annual leave – may provide an opportunity to move completely away from the stresses of normal life.

At Safewise, we shut at Christmas for three weeks. All staff are expected to take more annual leave during the year. Often the middle of winter is an excellent time to take leave. A rest in the middle of the year can set you up until Christmas.