Offsetting the Cost of Staff Breaks

It’s a natural inclination for employers to keep a very close eye on their finances, whether you’re a growing enterprise with a steadily growing staff or indeed if you’re a well established company that even has a multi-layered recruitment structure. Either way, some of the costs associated with running an organisation driven by employees are not so obvious, such as the cost of staff breaks. Taking a look at Paper cup and disposable catering specialist, Inn Supplies’ breakdown of the costs, employers can then make adequate plans to offset the cost of staff breaks, which can otherwise run into some rather concerning figures if left unchecked.


Staff Break Regulations


As with all labour-related matters, there has to be some sort of core principles with which employers are supposed to operate within as a means through which to protect both the employers and employees. In the case of the regulations surrounding staff breaks, employees whose daily work stretches for longer than six hours are entitled to a 20-minute break (uninterrupted), while workers between the ages of 16 and 18 working longer than 4.5 hours are entitled to a half-hour break. Paid rest breaks are only required of you as the employer if stipulated in your employees’ contracts and all of this is good and well to ensure compliance, but naturally the reality of operating a business with employees capable of independent thoughts is slightly different to what’s written down somewhere. Toilet and tea breaks add to the amount of time your staff will be away from their work and so a typical day at work entails more than just the government stipulated times.


How much does it cost you though?


Tea Breaks

Assuming your employees are on an average wage of £26,000, the cost of tea breaks amounts to about £400 per year, per employee, since us tea-loving Brits spend around 24 minutes per day making tea. Naturally if you have employees on higher wages it’ll add up to more costs and these figures don’t take into account those employers who foot the bill for the supply of ingredients with which to make hot beverages.


So the cost was worked out using the following standard considerations:

  • 50% of employees drink four cups of tea per day
  • 33% of employees drink two cups of tea per day

Two is chosen as the median value from this indicated range. These figures are then multiplied by the cost per cup of tea, thereby arriving at the final value.


Toilet Breaks

Three of the six to seven average toilet visits per person, per day occur at work, each lasting four minutes, which amounts to 92p per toilet trip per employee that earns £26,500. This adds up to £662.50 per employee, per year.


Smoking Breaks

The cost to a company per full-time employed member of staff who smokes amounts to £1,815 per year, according to some research for the British Heart Foundation. The increased sick leave days smokers take in relation to non-smoking employees adds an extra £50 per smoking employee, per year to your expenses.


Offsetting these additional costs simply entails planning properly by working them into your running business expenses.