Are employees entitled to a break during the day?

If an employee’s working day is longer than six hours, then working hours must be interspersed with at least one paid or unpaid rest period. As the purpose of this rest is to protect the health and safety of employees, the length of the rest period must be adapted to the nature of the activity carried out by workers.

ATTENTION: although it is possible to provide for several rest periods, the working day may be interrupted by only one unpaid break, which keeps employees from having to work too long a day.

Although the law specifies that the terms of application of the rest period may be specified by the applicable collective labour agreement or at the request of the staff concerned, in practice the rest period is usually based on the employee’s working hours subject to the opinion of the staff delegation and that of the Inspectorate of Labour and Mines (ITM), as set out in the individual employment contract.

How long is the daily rest period?

During each 24-hour period, the employee shall have a rest period of at least 11 consecutive hours.

How long is the weekly rest period?

Employees must have an uninterrupted rest period of 44 hours. Sunday should preferably be included in this rest period.

If the 44-hour rest period is not complied with, employees are entitled to additional leave of up to 6 days per year, as determined by the ITM.