Two-thirds of workers too busy to take breaks

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Almost two-thirds (64%) of British workers say they are too busy to take the 20-minute break required by law when working six hours or more.

Research by Bupa, which surveyed 2,000 people, also found that only 29% of employees are taking a lunch break and 28% are not taking any break at all during the working day.

Even when staff do try to rest, they are continuing to work, with 42% saying they respond to work calls and 40% replying to emails while on a break. Nearly half (43%) of employees said they have too much work to pause for a few minutes.

The example set by management is contributing to the problem, with a quarter (24%) of employees saying they feel pressured not to take a lunch break because their boss does not.

Of those employees taking a lunch break, 45% said they rarely use this time to leave their workplace.

Patrick Watt, corporate director at Bupa, called the fact employers are not encouraging staff to take time out “worrying”.

“Not only does this affect productivity levels, but it can have far wider implications on business performance,” he said. “Taking a proper break helps employees to stay alert, focused, and performing at their peak.

“Employers should start 2015 as they mean to go on by recognising the importance of taking breaks, leading by example and not letting breaks fall by the wayside.”

 

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