Poll: do you work through lunch breaks?


Are you getting the breaks you need in the workplace?

Earlier this week, PPA reminded employee pharmacists that it is illegal to force pharmacists to routinely work through lunch breaks, unless certain “very strict” requirements are met.

These requirements include being fully financially compensated for working through lunch.

“We are alarmed a[t] the number of pharmacists who tell us that they receive no financial compensation at all for the lack of a lunch break,” the union said.

“Working through every lunchtime is unacceptable practice that could cause dangerous levels of fatigue.”

Reader responses suggested that working through breaks is all too common.

“Lol the last 12 years working as a hospital and retail pharmacist, I was often forced to work during my lunch breaks due to the workload and being short staffed,” wrote reader Jenny.

“It got to the point where I did not even see lunch breaks as a given thing but more of a luxurious gift that occasionally happened.”

Dubious wrote that “I wish someone paid me for a lunch break… as an owner operator ‘yer dreamin!’”

And Andrew wrote, “lol… ‘laws’.

“Next you’ll be telling us that employees should get paid for the 30 mins of stuff they have to do before and after hours.”

Are you expected to work through your scheduled breaks?

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2 Comments

  1. mary hasouros
    06/11/2016

    It may be ‘illegal’ to ‘force’ someone to work through lunch, however how do you police it? Certainly not through QCPP – and of course pharmacies have no HR department, union, supervisor etc. If you want to continue being employed – you work 15-20 minutes before the shop opens, throughout the day and 30-40 minutes after the shop closes – all with no remuneration. You eat on the run, go to the toilet when the shop is quiet and never complain. And you are available for any staff or customer, at any time – even if you have just put a piece of food in your mouth.

  2. Mac
    09/11/2016

    I wonder how many of the owners who say they are “not compensated” earn enough overall to cover the award rate with appropriate penalties?

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