AEU Member Resources

Lunch Breaks

Lunch Breaks are mandatory. No less than 30 minutes

Please note that this is not a discretionary condition, but one that must be complied with—it is a legally enforceable condition for all employees, in the public sector.

Teaching Staff

You are legally entitled to a daily lunch break of 30 minutes, or longer if mutually agreed, between 10:45am and 2pm. This break is to be an unbroken continuous period, two 15 minute breaks will not be in accordance with the Agreement. This entitlement is safeguarded in the Teachers Agreement 2023.

Education Support Personal (ESP/Support Staff)

You are legally entitled to an unpaid meal break of 30 to 60 minutes. This break is to be taken not later than five hours after you begin work.

If you and your principal/manager agree then you can work more than five hours (but not more than six hours) without a meal break. This entitlement is safeguarded in the Tasmanian State Service Award 2020 (p 104)

If you are not getting your lunch breaks

Here are some suggestions that may help:

  1. Have a collegial discussion with your principal about your lunch break entitlements.
  2. Talk to your AEU rep and discuss an approach. For example, Teachers who undertake lunch duty will have at least 30 minutes provided immediately before or after the duty period. This can be done by having someone else take the class for a period either before or after lunch. 
  3. Contact your AEU for support – see details below.

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