Monday, 6 April 2009

compulsory tea breaks now the law

i've posted at the hand mirror, a bit of a rant against some awful advertisements on our tv screens at the moment (AENers will know exactly what i'm talking about!).

it was a lovely weekend, and our open day for community radio on saturday went really well. amazingly, this was the first time that i'd ever barbequed sausages. i guess it's because BBQs are somehow male territory (not that i'm complaining, not one little bit!), so i've never had to venture near a lighted one. and working at a BBQ on a hot, sunny day is not a particularly good idea. but i survived, and we had heaps of people come through the station, so a good day overall.

and another bit of good news: the "voices of brazil" show is again a finalist for the radio awards. good luck guys, hope you get through.

on friday we celebrated the passing into law of the work breaks legislation on 1 april. it's now a legal requirement that employers must give workers tea breaks, as well as breaks for breastfeeding mums. this is good news for many employees who were never allowed a tea break. i remember my first full-time job, where the managers were brought tea or coffee at their desks and were expected to work through. restaurant staff often aren't given a break, and neither are many teachers who have to patrol the grounds during interval or prepare for the next class.


TeaQueen said...

It was interesting to see that you now have a law that gives all workers a Tea Break. For some years I have written a publication called Tea Break.This contains articles about tea and more, but is really named to encourage people to take a little time out of their busy day and relax by reading my publication. In Britain the tea break was for years an institution and most companies employed a tea lady who brought round tea and cakes or biscuits, specifically for the purpose of a tea break. Today in Britain most workers get their tea from vending machines. In the USA very few workers have an actual tea break. In fact they often gobble down their lunches whilst seated at their desks.This is not a good thing, as we all need time out from our busy schedules to relieve stress and keep our productivity up.
Life is short drink tea!

stargazer said...

that's really interesting. is your publication available on line? if so, please do leave a link.

tea breaks were compulsory in nz as well, until the employment contracts act 1990 which, coupled with the abolition of union awards, resulted in workers losing the automatic right to a tea break. they could negotiate with their employer to have these included in the contract, but in a period of high employment, vulnerable workers are unlikely to be in a position to push hard for something like this.

also we had an erosion of rights that happened without people noticing, so they wouldn't have thought to put it in their contract.

i'm so glad we've got the law back to where it should be. next fight is to bring back the 40 hour working week!

TeaQueen said...

Tea Break is published quarterly and is a bit large to put over the internet. Eventually I will have a smaller version that can be read in ten-fifteen minutes the typical time allowed for a tea break. There may be laws for a a forty hour week, but it is not easy to enforce them. Most people in the UK work a 37 hr. week, and in the USA anything goes. People feel they are lucky to have a job, and working long hours will make them an invaluable employee. Sadly, this is not the case,as there is always someone willing to do your job cheaper, and the bottom-line is money. People in the USA and probably elsewhere spend their weekends grocery shopping and doing household chores. It is something one realizes as one gets older, why work for stuff, because that is all it is just stuff. My motto is less is more, except when it comes to tea, then more is better.