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Setting Up and Using Manual Meals Breaks in ExakTime Connect

Manual Meal breaks is a feature for ExakTime that allows you to better track your employees' meal breaks during their work day by letting them start and end their meal breaks themselves. This manual meal break can be considered a "pause" in their work day and will

If you would rather deduct your employee's lunchtime automatically, you can refer to the following dedicated article for automatic lunch deductions

Table of Contents

Recorded Webinar for Meal Breaks

You can also view other Just in Time w/ ExakTime webinar recordings and sign up for future webinars here.

Important Notes for Manual Meal Break

  • ExakTime Mobile Version Requirements
  • Manual Meal Breaks do not respect rounding policies and will be recorded at the exact time it ended and began. For example, if you have a 15-minute in/out rounding and an employee starts their lunch at 12:02 PM and ends it at 12:36 PM, it will appear on time cards as such.

Enabling Manual Meal Breaks

  • Go to Manage and click Policies.


  • Add a new policy or select an existing policy group.


  • Enable Meal Breaks.


  • Adjust the options for Meal Breaks towards the right. Enable the option to "Specify meal break duration" if the employee should only have a set meal break length and adjust the available options. 
    • Enable the option "Specify meal break duration".
    • Specify the length of every meal break and the hours & minutes an employee must work before every meal break should be taken.
      • As employees will be expected to take a meal break for every X hours worked, it is possible for an employee to receive multiple meal breaks. For example, if an employee is expected to take a meal break every 5 hours and work an 11-hour day, they will be expected to take 2 meal breaks.
    • Employees clocking in early from meal break - What should happen if an employee tries to end their meal break early.
      • Prevent Employee - Prevents the employee from ending their meal break early.
      • Warn Employee - Warn the employee if they are ending their meal break before their allotted time and enter the warning message that should be shown to employees.
        • If the employee ends their meal break early, the employee may receive more work time than expected if they work their normal shift.
    • Notify employees about meal breaks - Enable if the employee should view a notification before their meal break and/or before their meal break end time and how long before the notification should appear. 


  • Save your changes.
  • If you need to assign the policy group to an employee, you can do so from the employee's profile or the policies page.

If you would like to learn more about other policy options, you can refer to the following dedicated article.

For JobClock Users

If your employees are using keytabs and JobClocks, you can assign a keytab to the "Meal Break" cost code so your employees can track their meal breaks. Your employees would simply tap their "Meal Break" keytab when they start their meal break and clock in when done with their meal break. 

As the employee would not receive any reminders, your employees will need to keep track of when they should start and end their meal break themselves.


If enabled and the employee is logged in and clocked in to ExakTime Mobile, the employee will see a notification like the below examples reminding them when they should take their meal break and when their meal break will be ending.

If your employees are sharing a device, such as a tablet, the notifications will not provide an ideal experience as notifications require an employee to both be logged in and clocked in. Employees may not be logged in or may not be near a device for the notification. 

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What Employees Will Do

With ExakTime Mobile

  • The employee will press Meal Break to begin their meal break. They should see a confirmation screen that their meal break has started. The meal break option will not prompt for Facefront or require location services like a typical punch.

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  • The button text should change to "End Meal Break" and the GO/STOP buttons will be grayed out and unpressable. The timer near the top of ExakTime Mobile will let them know how long their meal break has been. Tapping it will show them when the meal break started.

    EM_-_AND_-_Meal_Break_-_03.png EM_-_AND_-_Meal_Break_-_04.png

  • When they are done with their meal break, they will press End Meal Break. They will be clocked in to the previous location and cost code before they started their meal break. Depending on your company's settings, they may be unable to end their meal break early or may receive a message if they try to end it early. They can tap OK to end their meal break early.

    EM_-_AND_-_Meal_Break_-_06.png EM_-_AND_-_Meal_Break_-_05.png

Employee Resources

If you would like to provide your employees with a resource on what to do or expect, you can provide them with the following dedicated article. The article can also be found in the help section of ExakTime Mobile.

With Connect Clock

When using Connect Clock, the "Meal Break" and "End Break" buttons will be available for employees. If you have a warning for employees that try to end their meal break early, they will see a warning message letting them know that they have some more time left. 


Employee Resources

If you would like to provide your employees with a resource on what to do or expect, you can provide them with the following dedicated article.

Reviewing Manual Meal Breaks

After Manual Meal Breaks are enabled for an employee's policy group, additional options will appear for the employee's time card on ExakTime Connect and Mobile. Reports are also available to track how many 

On Time Cards


There will be some new additions.

  1. Break summary and column - A break summary and column will appear on yours time cards to indicate how long the employee's break was for the day and date range. The meal break is not a deduction of time like an auto-lunch deduction, but a separate set of time. 
  2. Missing Meal Break - An indicator if the employee did not take their meal break for the day. If the employee worked under the minimum amount of hours, the indicator will not appear.
    • Manual Meal Breaks will not respect excluded cost codes currently. For example, if you were to enter an 8-hour time record with an excluded cost code, the "Missing Meal Break" indicator will appear. 
    • If an employee has a missing meal break, it will not affect AccountLinx exports. It is merely an indicator if an employee missed an expected meal break. If you need to add a manual meal break, you can do so prior to exporting.
  3. Punched in early from meal break icon ETC_-_Time_Card_Details_-_i_icon_-_Meal_Break_-_01.png - An indicator if the employee has ended their meal break early. Hovering the icon will list additional information about the punch.
  4. Meal Break icon ETC_-_Time_Card_Details_-_Meal_Break_Icon_-_00.png - An icon for any time record that is a meal break.
  5. Add Meal Break  - Add a meal break record to the employee time card.

On Mobile Time Card


The mobile time card will have some new additions:

  1. Break total - Total duration of meal break time for the week and specific meal breaks.
  2. Yellow Exclamation Point - Indicator for a meal-related issue for the day.
  3. Missed Meal Break - An indicator if the employee did not take their meal break for the day. 
  4. Punched in early from meal break - An indicator if the employee ended their meal break early. 

ExakTime Reports

The "Meal Break" report allows you to track the # of meals expected, taken, short, and missed through the "Meal Break" policy. For more information about the meal break report, you can refer to the following dedicated article.


Adding a Manual Meal Break to a Time Card

If you need to enter a manual meal break for an employee's time card on ExakTime Connect, you can refer to the following dedicated article for the steps.

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