Cases In Which It Is Legal For You To Take A ‘Coffee Break’ At Work

A workday, especially a full-time one, can sometimes be difficult to endure. Getting up early, the trip to the office, a bad night or simply accumulated fatigue cause more than one problem for workers. But in many cases these employees have a sigh, a break regulated by law, to be able to rest during their workday.

The Workers’ Statute, a reference text on labor rights issues, explains in detail that some workers have the right to a break during their working day, which is traditionally known as the ‘ coffee break ‘, since this is used on numerous occasions. Period to recharge your batteries with this drink and start a conversation with your colleagues while you stop thinking about work for a while.

In its article 34 , which regulates the duration of the working day, the text states that in all those cases in which said working day exceeds six hours, the worker will have the right to a 15-minute rest break .

This pause, informs the Statute, could even be considered time worked if the collective or sectoral agreement of the workers included it. Or what is the same: it would not have to recover it. In other situations, this practice supposes a right acquired in the company and, when this break is made, its recovery is not imposed even if it is not included in the agreement.

In this regard, in 2020 the National Court decreed that the ‘coffee break’ does not have to be considered within the working time (and not be recoverable) unless the company reaches an agreement with the workers or appears regulated in a collective agreement.

Those under 18 have exceptions due to their age. Thus, just as they are not allowed days longer than eight hours or night work (among others), the law recognizes the right to have their rest be longer than that of other workers: a minimum of 30 minutes provided that their day is longer than four and a half hours a day .

This is a right that has been corroborated on many occasions by jurisprudence, which has opted to protect the right of the worker to have their freedom of rest time , forcing companies to sign express agreements or clauses in the collective agreements to modify these breaks or cancel them by means of financial compensation or of another type.

Thus, the ‘coffee break’ is conformed as one of the not always known rights that are recognized in the Workers’ Statute, such as the possibility of requesting an advance from your company, of having a day of leave in case of moving or a quota of hours per year to use in training.

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