Facilities for rest and to eat meals

Suitable and sufficient, readily accessible rest facilities should be provided.

Seats should be provided for staff to use during breaks. Rest areas or rooms should be large enough and have sufficient seats with backrests and tables for the number of staff members likely to use them at any one time, including suitable access and seating which is adequate for the number of disabled people at work.

Where staff regularly eat meals at work, suitable and sufficient facilities should be provided for the purpose.

Where provided, eating facilities should include a facility for preparing or obtaining a hot drink. Where hot food cannot be obtained in or reasonably near to the workplace, staff may need to be provided with a means for heating their own food (eg microwave oven).

Canteens or restaurants may be used as rest facilities provided there is no obligation to purchase food.

Suitable rest facilities should be provided for pregnant women and nursing mothers. They should be near to sanitary facilities and, where necessary, include the facility to lie down. For further guidance see New and Expectant Mothers at Work

Drinking water

An adequate supply of high-quality drinking water, with an upward drinking jet or suitable cups, should be provided. Water should only be provided in refillable enclosed containers where it cannot be obtained directly from a mains supply. The containers should be refilled at least daily (unless they are chilled water dispensers where the containers are returned to the supplier for refilling). Bottled water/water dispensing systems may still be provided as a secondary source of drinking water.