Setting up and managing automatic breaks

Automatically apply compliant breaks to your scheduled shifts.

Updated over a week ago

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Take the work out of adding breaks to shifts with’s automatic break functionality. This feature is optional, and can simplify your scheduling processes by:

  • Factoring breaks into the schedule cost without entering a known break start and finish time

  • Showing staff what breaks they are required to take without requiring a start and finish time

  • Automatically adding breaks to timesheets when staff forgot to clock them

How automatic breaks work

Each automatic break rule takes into consideration:

  1. What is the minimum shift length to receive the break?

  2. How long does the automatic break need to be?

  3. Is the break paid?

  4. Are staff required to clock the break?

When a shift meets the minimum length defined, breaks are automatically added to the shift upon creation.

If a break is set as unpaid, the break length will be deducted from the total scheduled time.

If a break is set as paid, the total scheduled time remains as is.

Automatic break rules and manual breaks are mutually exclusive, so creating a manual break on a schedule will disable automatic break rules and remove them from the shift. Deleting the manual break will re-trigger the automatic breaks.


'For shifts 6 hours or longer, the break length is 30 minutes' is set, it will be an unpaid break, and does not require clock-ins. This would produce the following results:

A 5 hour 45 minute shift will not have an automatic break apply and the shift will appear on the schedule as:

A 6 hour shift will have an automatic break apply, the break length will deduct from the total scheduled time, and the shift will appear on the schedule as:

A 6 hour 15 minute shift will have an automatic break apply, the break length will deduct from the total scheduled time, and the shift will appear on the schedule as

Creating a new break rule set

Break rules can be created through Settings > All Settings > Shift Breaks. When creating a new rule set, you'll need to enter the following details:

  1. Who it applies to based on their earnings template (optional)

  2. Who it applies to based on their earnings tags (optional)

  3. Whether the rule set applies to certain ages

  4. What length a shift need to be to trigger an automatic break

  5. How long the automatic break must be in minutes

  6. Whether the break is paid or unpaid

  7. Whether a clock in is required to add the automatic break to the timesheet

  8. Whether the breaks will have start times on the schedules

A summary of the break rule set will appear at the bottom of the page, and will update to reflect any changes you make to the values.

Advanced break settings

With the Breaks on schedules have times setting enabled, you'll have the option to View advanced break settings. Here, breaks can be configured to start at or before a certain number of hours have been worked.

By default, the break will commence at the latest point it can within the parameters, so a break set to start at or before five hours will start on exactly on the fifth hour.

Set break buffer rules

With the Breaks on schedules have times setting enabled, you can configure 'buffers' where breaks cannot begin in the first or last specified hours of a shift.

Values from 0 - 2 can be entered in this field, and when configured, no automatic breaks will be placed within the specified number of hours at the start or end of a shift.

For example, setting the buffer to 1 hour means a shift from 12pm - 5pm will not have a break occurring before 1pm or after 4pm.

Overlapped rule sets

Depending on how rule sets have been configured, an employee may have more than one break set applicable to their profile.

Should this overlap exist, an orange warning will appear on the affected rule set, listing the affected employees and which rule set will take priority and apply instead. Continue reading to learn more about prioritization with rule sets.

Prioritize a rule set

If an employee qualifies for multiple rule sets, you can prioritize which set should apply when scheduling.

While the Default set will always take the lowest priority, any newly added rule sets will be numbered, with Set 1 taking the highest priority. To change the priority of rule sets, click and drag the six dots on the rule set you'd like to move, and the set number will automatically update.

Any new rule sets will take the lowest priority (excluding the Default set) when first created.

Breaks on schedules

When a scheduled shift meets the requirements of an automatic break rule set, the relevant breaks will be assigned to the shift once both a start and end time are entered.

To view breaks that are applying to a shift, click on the shift card and refer to the shift summary left of the schedule or select the three dots in the corner of a shift card and then click the Edit Breaks option. For a quick check of the total number of breaks for a shift, refer to the teacup icon next to the shift times.

Times will only appear on the Edit Breaks option if the Breaks on schedules have times is enabled for the rule set in the Shift Breaks settings page.

Validation warnings

A validation warning can only be triggered when breaks are manually added to a shift that would otherwise meet the requirements for an automatic break rule.

These warnings will highlight if:

  • The shift doesn't have enough breaks, whether paid or unpaid

  • The break doesn't commence before a specific time (this warning requires the Advanced break settings to be enabled)

  • The break doesn't abide by buffer settings

Breaks on timesheets

Break information can be found on the right side of a timesheet, and includes:

  • Total break time (both paid and unpaid)

  • Number of automatic breaks (symbolized by the lightning bolt)

  • Number of paid breaks (symbolized by the dollar sign)

  • Number of manual breaks (symbolized by the coffee cup)

  • The option to View breaks on an approved timesheet

  • The option to Edit breaks on an unapproved timesheet

On a timesheet's colored bar, an unpaid break will appear gray, while a paid break will not be visualized.

Automatic breaks on back-to-back shifts

When engaging task-based scheduling or back-to-back shifts if staff are working in multiple teams for a day, automatic breaks will consider the total time worked when applying automatic breaks, instead of each individual shift.

Shifts will only be considered back-to-back if the gaps between the shifts are less than or equal to 60 minutes. Any gaps up to 60 minutes will be recognized as unpaid breaks, and will appropriately skip assigning auto unpaid breaks if the gap is long enough to accommodate the break.

For example, shifts 4 hours or longer require a 30 minute unpaid break. If a gap between back-to-back shifts is only 15 minutes, the unpaid break will apply elsewhere in the shift.

What do employees see?

On the mobile app, employees can see the total break time for each shift that has breaks assigned.

To see automatic break start and finish times on the app, the Breaks on schedules have times setting will need to be enabled.

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