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TOPIC: How to cover staff breaks?

How to cover staff breaks? 7 months 5 days ago #914

  • ChildForum National Office
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  • Posts: 4
“Set rest and unpaid meal breaks for an appropriate duration of the employee’s work period” are now required under the Employment Relations Amendment Act (2018). See the details and what ECE teachers and employers need to know about the requirements here.

The law change will be really inconvenient to services that don’t currently implement scheduled rest or meal breaks.

They will need to employ extra staff, at an obvious financial cost. These services will need to look at how they can replicate the practices of those that are currently giving staff rest or meal breaks - utilising strategies such as staffing over minimum ratios so that there is always a staff member to cover or employing a part-time employee to cover rest and meal breaks.
But be warned, services who currently do not offer scheduled breaks to their employees and fail to make the necessary changes will be required to undergo mediation with Employment New Zealand and, in the case of a serious breach, will be subject to penalties.
Employers may be concerned about a lapse in the quality and safety of the service when any teacher takes a break.
However refreshed employees are able to provide a better and safer experience for children than those who are tired and demotivated.
The law change will place increased pressure on existing staffing in the sector as there are already many services struggling to recruit staff and new services are continuing to open.
Services that are currently staffing at quality ratios (above the minimum requirement) may feel forced to re-think whether they can continue to have quality ratios because of the cost of employing extra staff to give break and lunch cover.
This is a very important issue and it will be helpful for teachers and employers to hear how other ECE services are covering staff breaks.

Tell us:
• Is the law change causing headaches :angry: for your service? What are you worried :unsure: about?
• Or, how do you feel :woohoo: about the law change?
Add your comments by clicking REPLY below (which you'll see if you are logged in or to post here you'll need to first create create a free account by choosing your own unique username & password).

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Last edit: by ChildForum National Office.

How to cover staff breaks? 6 months 5 days ago #915

  • Castle Kids Centre Waikanae
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  • Posts: 1
No headache for Castle Kids. Meal breaks have always been a policy. Gotta look after the staff

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How to cover staff breaks? 4 months 3 weeks ago #923

  • Aro Arataki Children’s Centre
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  • Posts: 1
While two tea breaks is difficult to manage I think ECE teachers need care and to ensure their well being it is important to give them the breaks.

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