The expectation is that businesses provide a meal break after five hours of work, as per legal requirement. The Amendments to the BCEA (Clause 2.6) published in the Government Gazette on 31 January 2020 explicitly refers to that fact that the meal break should be provided after five hours of work and does not indicate that the employer can provide it at any time thereafter.

Organisations need to carefully keep record of timesheets to allow employees to take the required breaks when needed.