PA Show
City Cruises

Only 1 in 5 employees take a traditional lunch break

Only 1 in 5 employees take a proper lunch break

New research has found that the traditional hour-long lunch break is disappearing, with only one in five employees taking their full allowance.

Worryingly, half of those surveyed by recruiter Right Management said they work through their lunch break, while most of the rest take less than 30 minutes.

The law states that employees working six or more hours a day are entitled to a one-hour break, while those under 18 can take 30 minutes if they work more than four and a half hours. However, the research found employees in digital marketing, recruitment and telesales take as little as 14 minutes a day.

Commercial property company Savoy Stewart found that administration professionals tend to take longer lunch breaks at 40 minutes, while those in media and communications take the longest time at 55 minutes. What’s more, 52% of respondents said they eat lunch at their desks most days.

When asked why they didn’t take a full lunch break, a surprising 75% said they wanted to look good while on probation and 27% did it to impress their boss. Savoy Stewart also heard from several respondents that they think an hour is far too long and they get much more done in a day by taking a shorter break.

In response, the company turned to CEOs to find out their answer to employees wanting to impress them. One boss at a recruitment company says he encourages his staff to take their full lunch break, but the decision is ultimately theirs to make. Another said he believes a full hour is needed to refresh yourself and boost productivity.

Read the full research findings at