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Incorporate Massage Blog

3 min read

Should a Company Pay for Massage Therapists to Take Breaks?

Oct 6, 2015 9:00:00 AM

When you hire a massage company to work on your employees, you want to get every ounce of stress-relief you're paying for.

So what happens when the massage therapist takes breaks? Should you be responsible for paying for their break time? 

corporate chair massage

Should Businesses Pay for Massage Therapists to Take Breaks?

We get this question a lot, both from our established clients and new businesses who are considering hiring us.

And it's a great question -- when you're doing all you can to provide employee stress relief, you don't want to worry about paying for more than you should be. So we'd like to set the record straight. 

Related: The Anatomy of a Better Workday Break


Therapist Breaks During Office Massages

Massage therapists work for a few hours at a time without a break. Their scheduled breaks will depend on how long they are scheduled to be at your facility. Our break schedule is as follows:

Shift Length
0-3.5 hours or less No break No meal break
3.5-6 hours 15-minute paid break No meal break
6-7.5 hours 15-minute paid break 30-minute unpaid meal break
7.5-8 hours plus (2) 15-minute paid breaks 30-minute unpaid meal break
10 hours plus (2) 15-minute paid breaks (2) 30-minute unpaid meal breaks

During this time, no employees will be scheduled for a massage, and our therapists will have some time to stretch, get a snack, and use the restroom. They may leave the office during their 30 minute breaks to grab something to eat. 

The way we structure our system, our your massage quote will include the 15-minute paid breaks for your massage therapists.  You will not be billed for the scheduled 30-minute meal breaks that our massage therapists take. 

Related: Is Managing a Workplace Massage Program Too Much Work? 


office massage therapy


Time Between Employees

Because corporate chair massage doesn't require employees to disrobe and there are no sheets to change over (as in a full-body table massage), the turn-around time between clients is about 30-40 seconds.

In a typical office massage scenario, employees might be scheduled for 20-minute back-to-back seated massages. At the end of their time, the therapist has a couple tasks to complete before being ready for the next employee: 

  • Sanitize the massage chair with disinfectant and paper towels
  • Throw out used face cover and replace with a new one

The only reason the massage therapist would be standing around not working during any of this time is if the next employee is late arriving to their appointment. During this time, the therapist is still "on the clock" and is still being paid for that time. This is why it's so important for employees to arrive on time to their appointment.

Related: 4 Keys for Smooth Chair Massage Event Scheduling

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Erin Hall
Written by Erin Hall