Rest and Break time Policy in the Philippines

Rest and Break time periods or breaks are provided and mandated by the Labor Code of the Philippines.

The Department of Labor and Employment is in charge with the administration and enforcement policy for rest or meal breaks and other provision mandated by Presidential Decree No. 442 of 1974, also known as the Labor Code of the Philippines

Defining Meal or Rest Periods

What is a Meal or Rest Period in the Philippines?

Meal Period is defined in Article 85 of the Labor Code of the Philippines as not less than sixty (60) minutes time-off for their regular meals, subject to regulars as prescribed by the Secretary of Labor.

Meal period is also synonymous for Rest periods or lunch break. This is also similar to Employee lunch break policy

Meal and Rest Periods

Can Rest Periods be shorter than an hour?

By definition of meal periods in Article 85 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, meal or rest periods shall not be less than sixty (60) minutes or an hour for regular meals.

However, the same Article of the Labor Code provides that the Labor Secretary may prescribe additional rules for meal periods.

Section 7, Rule I, Book Three of the Implementing Rules and Regulation of the Labor Code of the Philippines provides that a meal period of not less than twenty (20) minutes may be given by the employer provided that such shorter meal period is credited as compensable hours word of the employee. This may be given in only the following cases:

  • (a) Where the work is non-manual work in nature or does not involve strenuous physical exertion;
  • (b) Where the establishment regularly operates not less than sixteen (16) hours a day;
  • (c) In case of actual or impending emergencies or there is urgent work to be performed on machineries, equipment or installations to avoid serious loss which the employer would otherwise suffer; and
  • (d) Where the work is necessary to prevent serious loss of perishable goods.

Are 15 minute break required by law Philippines

As stated in Section 7, Rule I, Book Three of the Implementing Rules and Regulation of the Labor Code of the Philippines, rest periods or coffee breaks running from five (5) to twenty (20) minutes shall be considered as compensable working time.

However, it is not stated that they are required by the law to be instituted or have a set time period for employees to take it. This falls under the management prerogative of employers.

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