Break Planning: The Simple Way to Manage Meal & Rest Break Compliance

by Dom Newman, 6 minutes read
HOME blog break planning the better way to manage breaks

Manage employee meal and rest break compliance with break planning, from Deputy

Managing employee breaks can be a real headache for business owners. From making sure there are no coverage gaps, to meeting complex compliance requirements, getting breaks right for your team is hard work.

That’s why we’ve developed Break Planning (also known as meal and rest break compliance), a new feature in Deputy that will make scheduling, managing and tracking multiple employee breaks, simply effortless.

For a quick overview of Break Planning, check out the preview video here, or read on below!

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If Break Planning isn’t relevant for your business, the only major change you’ll notice is an updated Add Shift window on Web, and some slight visual changes for employees taking breaks on Mobile and Kiosk devices.

To start using Break Planning on iPad or mobile, please ensure you have downloaded the latest version of our Kiosk and Android apps.

Will Break Planning be relevant for me?

In many workplaces, employees are entitled to set break periods, commonly referred to as ‘meal breaks’ (typically longer, unpaid breaks) and ‘rest breaks’ (typically shorter, paid breaks).

There can be complex rules around when these breaks need to be applied to a shift, and in states with strict labor laws, like California and New York, not providing your team with the required breaks can come with a hefty price tag.

If you’re in the US and not sure about the break laws that apply in your area, we recommend checking out this guide by the Department of Labor.

Even if you’re not in an area with strict workplace meal and rest break laws, Deputy’s Meal and rest break compliance feature is a great way to organise your team breaks and ensure optimum coverage throughout the day.

Break Planning: A quick overview

Scheduling Breaks

For Break Planning we’ve enhanced our add shift experience to provide you with more functionality and flexibility when scheduling breaks.

Break Planning enables you to schedule multiple breaks, and break types within a single shift, meaning you can schedule every meal (unpaid) and rest (paid) break required by your local labor laws, as well as specific start and stop times if required.

Add Shift Modal Unpublished Detailed

To improve coverage planning, we’ve also made a change to scheduling in Day View. The updated planner will provide a bird’s-eye view of the day’s coverage – including when meal and rest breaks have been scheduled for every team member.

This visibility means any staffing gaps or break overlap can be easily spotted and avoided ahead of time. Coverage planning made easy!

Managing Breaks On-Site

Busy managers don’t have the time to micromanage employee breaks, which is why we’ve added a bunch of features that allow employees to better self-manage when and how they take breaks during a shift. These changes are now live across every device, including iPad Kiosk, iOS and Android.

With Break Planning, employees can see all of their scheduled breaks in their personal schedule, and select which scheduled break they wish to take during a shift, or start an unscheduled break if one doesn’t exist.

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To meet the unique compliance requirements of each business, we’ve added a number of new location settings, so you can customize how Meal and Rest Break compliance works for your business.

This includes the ability to prevent employees from clocking back on before their allocated break time is up, preventing employees from clocking on to their shift early, and the option to automatically allocate break times to a shift (Auto Breaks).

An Auto Break simply means the details of scheduled break(s) will be added to a timesheet, even if the employee doesn’t clock in or out for the break.

You can find more information about the new location settings, and how they can be applied for your business in this help document.

003As there are a few changes to the clock-in and clock- out experience for your team, we’ve put together a quick-read guide that highlights the key differences employees need to be aware of when taking their breaks.

Break Planning’s on-site, clock in and clock out enhancements reduce the administration burden on busy managers, and empower employees to self-manage their breaks. A win-win for everybody!

Tracking and Reporting

Lastly, Break Planning offers the ability to track and report on break details details, giving you peace of mind for managing any compliance issues that may arise down the line.

Whenever an employee takes a break during shift, start and stop times will be captured in the employee’s timesheet. This means you’ll have a long term record of all breaks, should there be any need to provide attestation in the future.

These reports can be created within the Custom Report builder within Deputy. For a summary of the fields that are available in the report builder, check out the following PDF.

PDF: Break Planning support in Custom Report Builder

To help you proactively manage compliance risk, a notification will also show up on the timesheet whenever a scheduled break was not taken in full, or missed altogether.

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Sounds great! So how do I get started?

Break Planning is now available across all platforms and devices, so you can start enjoying the benefits of Break Planning in your business today. If you require some more detailed assistance in getting set up, our Break Planning help article will provide all the technical details, or you can reach out to our 24/7 support team who will be able to assist you.

For more information on how to get started with break planning, check out our how to guides, instructional videos and more on our help portal.

Want to make meal and rest break compliance a breeze? Take a free trial of Deputy today!

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