Break Planning allows you to schedule, manage and track multiple team members breaks and break types in a single shift. Including Meal (unpaid) and rest (paid) breaks.

Supervisors will have access to break planning when scheduling but only Location Managers or System Administrators will have access to configure break planning settings.

In this guide we will cover:


How to Schedule Breaks

On the Schedule page, create a new shift or edit an existing one.

Once you have set the start and finish time of the shift, you can set the number of minutes you would like the Lunch (paid) break and Rest (unpaid) break to go for.

To schedule the times you would like the team member to take the break just click on Break Details.

Tick the checkboxes to specify a start and finish time for each break.

You can toggle on and off to view the break displayed in the shift graphically by clicking the graph icon.

You can even add and schedule more breaks if you need them by clicking on the Add Break button and completing the Duration (mins) and Start and Finish times, if required.

Delete any breaks you no longer need by clicking the Trash icon.

Don't forget to click Save before you close the modal and then publish your shift.


How to View Team Members Breaks When Scheduling

If you add a start/end time to your breaks, you can change your Schedule view to see how this affects your team's schedule and ensure you have sufficient coverage throughout the day.

To view the breaks on a schedule, simply change your Schedule view to either View: Area | Day or View: Employee | Day using the view selector.


How Team Members Start and Stop Their Breaks

Team Members can start and stop their breaks in the same way they start and stop their shifts.

They can do this by logging into any of these Deputy products and clicking or tapping on the Start Break button on the Home tab:

Deputy web application

Deputy mobile app

Deputy Kiosk / Android Timeclock

For more assistance with starting and stopping breaks please read How to Start and End your Break.


How to Amend Breaks When Approving Timesheets

Breaks will appear in their respective break types within the Timesheet Approval section.

From here, you can confirm and edit break lengths and the times they were taken. You can also add additional breaks if necessary. Approve the timesheet if everything is correct.

If a break is planned and the employee does not start the break themselves before the shift is over, the timesheet will be ‘flagged’, which will mark the discrepancy between scheduled shift break and the time taken for the break.

In the example screenshot below, the employee appears to have taken a 15 minute break when they were assigned 30 minutes.

If the timesheet is approved, this will appear in the Timesheet Summary, with a detailed explanation of the issue.

Please note, if you have the ‘Auto-approve’ timesheet extension turned on and there are flags in your timesheet, they will not auto-approve, as there may be an issue that requires your attention.


How to Rename What Your Breaks are Called

We've called our breaks Lunch and Rest break but your organisation might call breaks some other name specific to your industry.

To change the names of your breaks, click on the drop-down menu on the top right-hand corner of Deputy, then click Business Settings.

On the Custom Terms tab, you can change the Meal (unpaid) and Rest (paid) break to a term more familiar to your organisation.

Don't forget to click Apply Changes before you close the modal window.


How to Customise your Break Settings

To help ensure Break Planning works for the unique requirements of each business, there are a series of settings that allow you to control elements of the Break Planning experience by each Location in your organisation.

To configure these settings, go to the Locations tab and click Edit Settings for the location you would like to edit.

Follow the pathways described below to configure the following settings:

Default Break Length

Go to: Locations > Edit Settings > Scheduling > Basic Settings

This is will set the duration in minutes of the default (unpaid) meal break when new shifts are created. You can still edit the break duration when you schedule the shift.

Allow Employees to End Break Early

Go to: Locations > Edit Settings > Timesheets > Team Member Permissions

Enabling this will allow team members to end their break early. Disabling this will block team members from ending their break early (based on scheduled break duration).

Break Time Rounding

Go to: Locations > Edit Settings > Timesheets > Timesheet Approving

You can turn on Break time rounding and set the amount of time you wish to round to where the team member clocked outside the scheduled time.

Note: Deputy recommends against using this feature to round employee break time in the US, as some states do not permit this.

Suggest a break when clocking out

Go to: Locations > Edit Settings > Timesheets > Breaks

Enabling this will automatically suggest break duration for breaks not taken by a team member by the end of shift. Suggested break duration will be based on the team member's schedule. Disabling this will not automatically suggest break duration at end of shift.

Display warning for shorter or missed breaks

Go to: Locations > Edit Settings > Timesheets > Breaks

In Approve Timesheets, there will be timesheet warnings displayed for missed breaks and if breaks are shorter in duration than scheduled.


How to Use Break Templates (US only)

To make Break Planing a little easier for businesses operating in States with strict break laws, we’ve built shift templates to provide a guide for break requirements. To date we have templates for the following states:

  • Massachusetts

  • California

  • Washington

  • Oregon

When applied, these templates will automatically add meal and rest breaks to all new shifts created. These templates should only serve as a guide only, however, and you should always consult local workplace legislation for the most accurate legal break requirements.

How to Set Break Templates

To set break templates, System Administrators should go to Business Settings.

Under the Schedule tab, select Shift Templates.

Here you will see a list of our current break templates. To apply a template to your account, click the magnifying glass icon that corresponds to the template you would like to apply. In the screenshots below, we’ll be applying the California template.

In the window that follows, click the Default button.

You’ll receive a confirmation message stating that the template has been applied.

Next, click on the pen and paper icon next to the California template to edit the record.

Next, scroll to the very bottom of this screen and select a check box for all locations and areas in your organisation that you wish the shift template to be applied to.

Do NOT make any other edits to this template.

When you have finished, scroll back to the top of the page and click on Save this Shift Template before you close the window.

Now, when you create a shift in the Schedule tab, you’ll notice that recommended breaks will automatically populate based on the template you have applied.

While these break templates have been built to reflect local break requirements, they should serve as a guide only. Please refer to your local workplace break law for the most accurate and current break requirements.

Did this answer your question?