Dear Folks, I have one question, Employees get one hour break for lunch. Is employees sleeping at that hour acceptable?
Kindly advice me on this. I am working as an Asst HR Manager.
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Dear Vidhya,
Have you checked the dictionary meaning of the "break"? Break means a brief rest, as from work. The rest can be with sleep or without sleep. Therefore, why anyone should have objection if someone sleeps during the official break is not understood.
In fact, siesta is good for health too. Check the following link:
In the countries like Spain or Italy, siesta is officially permitted. Click the following link to refer the details:
Siesta: The Little Nap with a Big History - SlumberWise
As long as siesta rejuvenates a person, everything is fine. However, it should not create a drowsiness.
Dinesh Divekar
Hi Vidhya,
I agree with Dinesh that it is alright if the employee sleeps during the lunch break as long as she/he does not exceed the break time duration. It is up to the employee on how to spend the break timing.
However, if there is any employee who may sleeping at the desk, it is also true that this may give a bad impression to customers or to the management visiting the floor. In front end customer service oriented areas like banks, supermarkets etc, this may seem awkward.
So, you could advise the employee not to sleep at the work place/site and so to choose any other area for the purpose.
Sleeping-on-Duty, whether in Factories and or Office in Industrial and Commercial Establsihment s is neither Permissible nor a Helpful Work Practice
Sleeping-on-Duty, is Potent cause of ShopFloor/ Workplace Accidents, Injuries, Lethargy etc
Certified Standing Orders, Servic Rules Expressly Prohibit Sleeping-on-Duty,
Rest while on Duty is For Recuperation
Kritarth Team
A small nap improve mood, alertness and performance. So small nap during lunch break can be permitted. However as rightly pointed out by Mr.Nelson the place of rest is also equally important depends on the nature of business of employer, it should not be awkward for Superiors / customers as applicable. Further employees may be advised to wash their faces once they resume to work after break hours.
Dear colleague,
Here the issue is whether the employees should be allowed to sleep during the break and not while on duty.
I share the same views that no restrictions can be placed on this during the break. Even extending it further, even if employees choose to engage in any other activity like use of mobile, playing some group games, chit- chatting or stroll , around , knitting etc they should not be restricted as long as it does not affect discipline or decorum.
These are leisure activities during the break which are bound to rejuvenate and give fresh energy to them and therefore by all means be permitted.
Vinayak Nagarkar
HR- Consultant
Hi Vidhya,
According to policy and standards, sleeping is permissible unless on production or working floor. He/she may utilize their break in any way including sleeping but in cafeteria or any resting place.
There is no issue if employee takes rest (Sleep) during break hours. The act & rules provided break hours for the workmen to relax but it should not extend beyond the time slot.
Sleeping while on duty is definitely a Big No.
But during breaks officially given if employee has a quick snooze, it is not wrong.Give them some place for the snooze away from customer or visitor eyesight and let them take their break within stipulated timings, wash and then come back refreshed.
A nap is generally conducive to better productivity.
That said, in practice, “don’t fall asleep at work” is common office expectation. Some of that is perceptional issues — people don’t know that you’re on a break or not officially on the clock yet and it can look like you’re sleeping when you should be on the job. That can look really bad for you, and even for your boss (who appears to have an employee who’s openly snoozing). It would be nice if people assumed that if they spot you sleeping (or appearing to sleep), it’s because you’re on a authorised break … but the reality is, people don’t always default to that assumption and jump to conclusion.
So keep all these factors in mind.
Perceptions, productivity while deciding.
Dear Friends,
As per the Industrial Employment Standing Orders Act. It is clearly indicated "SLEEPING WHILE ON DUTY IS MAJOR MISCONDUCT". The same has followed by all the organisations in their Standing Orders and Service Rules.
But in some of the organisations except manufaturing places, Office staff allowed after lunch break one snap (SIESTA). But the management has given option to work in which number of hours rest has taken that much hours the person has to work continuously during duty hours. to subsititute the loss of working hours .
An employee is normally required to work for 8 hours a day. However after a continuous work for 5 hours or as per the standing orders of the company, the employee is given a rest interval for a duration of half an hour or an hour as the case may be.During the rest interval the employee is supposed to take rest at the designated place (rest shelter) provided by the company and this rest includes sleeping also. The rest is declared officially and legally and during this period management cannot take any action other than involvement of such employee in theft ,riotous behavior or any such illegal activities which an employee is not supposed to get involved.
Sleeping on duty is a misconduct while on duty but not during rest interval.
Lunch hours usually a part of General Shift duty and sleeping on such a short period of time is varies person to person. It is certainly not a violation of disclipenary parameters. In corporate/ city offices, lot of employees usually waste their potential energy by chatting over mobile phone. Comparatively, sleeping on lunch hours is more acceptable.
However, there should be some restrictions if the said habit affect productivity.
dear vidhya,
Employees is sleeping on the lunch time it is acceptable, and also talking with phone and chatting with colleagues, roaming outside,Etc.
Everything is acceptable only at the lunch time & Tea time.
with regards
T.Vijay MBA,.
HR- Manager
Dear Vidhya,
There are never ending arguments over the issue. The practice differs from country to country and employer to employer. Employers consider sleeping on duty as an important issue and mention it in the standing orders or employee hand book. Depending upon the nature of work, it may vary from employer to employer.
If the employer provides paid lunch break he has control over the employee and can insist not to sleep or sleep during break time. Nature of work is also to be considered. For instance a truck driver on a long trip is insisted to take a break and sleep for definite hours without which he may be a danger to himself and even to others on the road. Even in India some of the drivers of parcel services are to park their trucks aside and sleep between 1 and 3 p.m. during which most accidents used to happen.
If not paid for, employees are on their own time at break and they may sleep or do whatever they want but not in the work area.
Sleeping in the offices gives an unprofessional appearance which is not acceptable at any cost. However realizing that it may boost morale and improve productivity some companies have policies to allow employees to take napping breaks during duty hours. On the other hand some companies on hazardous operations are quite strict and use video surveillance to check those who sleep on the job even during lunch break. Those who are caught are subjected to disciplinary actions. This is to ensure that employees are available or not missed during any emergency if occurs.
At construction sites sleeping is strictly prohibited even during lunch break because of safety reasons. Especially in inclement weather any employee taking a nap there will be considered as sick and ambulance will be called for. Heat related illness is so serious at such sites and its management is different.
In certain jobs sleeping at work is not only permitted but encouraged. Where work is extremely demanding flexible time schedules are given. However in such cases employers provide sleeping area and materials for employees, such as a couch and even blankets.
In conclusion there is no hard and fast rule on this.
However if your office is kept open and employees are permitted to sleep in their seats during break time it will be an unpleasant scene for the visitors. They will be seeing most of the employees in their seats sleeping, snoring and a few of them keeping their mouth fully opened and in awkward positions. You can imagine of the impression it will give.
If your premises are not in hazardous zone and if you can afford a separate rest room; there is nothing wrong in permitting the employees to take a nap during their break time.
Kesava Pillai
If someone sleep during working hours except break hours, its punishable.
Santosh Kakde
Please read the history and evolution of Human Resource as a Job Role. During world war, british men were engaged in war. There was no manpower available to keep manufacturing armaments and other industrial production. Therefore women were drafted. The supervisors in the factories started exploiting the people for higher productivity and they were not given any kind of rest. Due to public protest, Welfare officers were appointed. From then so many changes and modifications to the rules and laws were introduced to stop exploitation of labour. According to labour laws, people engaged in physical activities or work, need to take a break after every four hours. If there is an eight-hour shift,, an hour's break or at least 30 minute break is given for the workers. What they do in the break is none of the manager's business. When the second bell or buzzer goes off they have to be back at the work spot. That is all. Therefore, please do not play the role of a stooge of the management and find out what they do and what they should not do. HR role is to stay neutral and do the balancing act.. If you are a HR person, please go through the origin and evolution of HR. Read, Maslow's theory, Adam's theory etc. Best wishes
Dear Colleagues,
Some members have commented on sleeping while on duty while the query was whether sleeping during lunch hours is acceptable or not.
Somebody has also said about paid and unpaid lunch break which is unheard of in law and practice.
Some have made unnecessary distinction between allowing sleeping only at rest rooms and not at work place during lunch break. Big organizations provide for rest rooms but in several MSEs where about 100 workers work, because of space crunch are unable to provide rest rooms and therefore, workers eat and sleep/ rest at work place during lunch break.
Obviously, sleeping while on duty may be punishable but making any rule restricting or prohibiting employees to engage in any leisure activities during lunch break is against the grain of sound human relations. I share the view that any leisure activity including sleeping during lunch break may be acceptable within boundaries of commonsense and decency.
Vinayak Nagarkar.
HR- Consultant.
If the the lunch break is out side 8 hours duty then employee can sleep. However if the organisation is allowing lunch time from duty hours then NO.
I have read your post. It solved some aspects of the problem. I think you need to make the problem clearer
electric man 4 - Google Search
Dear Friends,
I fully agree with the opinion expressed by Mr Divekar & Mr Nagrkar. The term "Break" means break from duty, it does not mean "On Duty this point is very clear. While on break some of the employees go out of work place meaning thereby that they are not on duty. Employees who stay near by to their place of work go to their homes to take lunch. Can we stop that, the answer is no.
Please note that the big factories having residential colony for their employees allow them to go to their houses in the colony during break for taking lunch & rest. Even Factories Act has mandatory provision for providing rest room to the employees to take rest during shift hours.
Standing orders treat sleeping while on duty as offence & not otherwise.
Warm Regards
Bharat Gera
HR Consultant
Sleeping while on duty is a very serious issue and sets a very bad example for other colleagues and can have direct impact on business. No provision is made for the employees to sleep during lunch break. However, In factories where operations are round the clock / Odd hours shift change etc. Provision is made in some of such factories as a welfare measure to retain their productivity.
Management can definitely come up with a notice clearly communicating sleeping at workplace as not acceptable and also disciplinary action that follow for repeating such behavior. If the employee repeats the same behavior explanation may be sought and appropriate disciplinary action to be taken. Sleeping on duty is defined as a Misconduct under Model standing orders.
You can sleep during your lunch hours without exceeding the given time, as small naps tends to refresh your brain so that you can be productive for the remaining work hours.

I hope you find this information useful.

If u have any queries regarding labour laws please feel free to contact me @8356832404
Hi Team

Humans getting exhausted is usual, Taking a shot naps will make them fresh and work better.

But the question is why will I sleep?

Because no enough work?
Your work place is having no activity center?
If the employees just come to work and there is no place for activity then usually employees get board.
If team is not interacting ?

It should be helpful, we should start working on these 3 areas first.

Thank you
Aditya Varma
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