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The True Cost of Work Breaks

As employees and even as employers, we take a lot of things for granted in the work place. Employees take their breaks, employers provide the breaks and items associated with those breaks. But if your business is based on adequate cashflow and not too many costs, you should be aware of those hidden costs that can add up dramatically.

Have you any idea how much your employee breaks are costing you as a business owner? Can you even afford them? Disposable catering specialist Inn Supplies, and Paper coffee cups, answer this question.

The regulations

  • Tea / coffee Breaks
  • Smoking Breaks
  • Toilet Breaks
  • Paid Lunch Breaks

If your employee contracts stipulate that the workers are entitled to all these then you should be more aware as to how much they might be costing you.

  • If your employees are working for over 6 hours per day then that means they’re entitled to an uninterrupted break of 20 minutes.
  • Employees that smoke are entitled to cigarette breaks too.
  • Members of the workforce that are aged between 16-18 years old are entitled to a 30-min break if they work for over 4 and a half hours.

Coffee breaks

Brits love their tea and they spend, on average, 24 minutes a day brewing up. That adds up to almost189 days in the average working life of an employee. Breaking that down to the cost per year, it’s £400 based on an average wage of £26,000. Naturally, a higher paid employee with the same habits will cost you more.

That tea break cost doesn’t stop there. You are probably footing the bill for the tea, coffee, milk and sugar, costing you even more over the course of the year. If you work out a figure based on 50 employees on the payroll then these supplies cost a business between £64.32 and £92.46 a day on tea and coffee supplies.

Almost 50% of workers drink four or more cups a day, while 33% drink between one and three and just 20% don’t drink any.

Cigarette breaks

Those cigarette breaks are becoming rarer, with many companies not allowing them anymore. But there are still a few businesses that permit a smoke break. According to research for the British Heart Foundation, each full-time member of staff who smokes at work cost their employer £1,815 a year.

Toilet breaks

You can’t stop people going to the loo. Six or seven visits a day is the average and we can assume three of those will occur at work with each lasting four minutes. Over the course of the year, this works out at £662.50 — for just one employee!

Don’t forget to add in the cost of toilet roll, soap and other bathroom essentials and maintenance.