Overtime hours for casuals and part-time employees

8th February 2018

Further to the Fair Work Commission decision last year clarifying the entitlement to overtime payments for part-time and casual employees, as well as minimum hours of work, several awards have now been varied. The awards are: Fast Food Industry Award; Hair and Beauty Industry Award; Hospitality Industry General Award); Passenger Vehicle Transportation Award; Pastoral Industry Award; Restaurant Industry Award; General Retail Industry Award; and Social Community Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award.

Overtime Payments for Casuals

These awards have been varied to make it clear that casual employees are entitled to overtime payments of 1.5 (first two hours) and 2 times the ordinary hourly rate of pay (inclusive of casual loading) where they work more than an average of 38 hours each week over a roster cycle or in excess of the daily maximum hours of work. Usually between 9 and 12 hours per day. The General Retail Industry Award also provides overtime payment where the casual employee works outside the span of ordinary hours.

Minimum Part-time and Casual Hours of Work

Hospitality employers and employees must agree on the minimum number of hours to be worked each week and the times the employee is available to work. Part-time employees can be rostered for additional hours during their availability period without getting payment for overtime. A part-time employee who regularly works additional hours for 12 months may ask to increase their guaranteed hours. Employers may only refuse on reasonable business grounds.

Generally the weekly number of hours and daily start and finish times of part-time employees must be agreed at the commencement of employment and may only be varied by agreement. The Hospitality, Restaurant and General Retailindustry awards presecribe minimum weekly hours of work. In the Social Community Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award there is no requirement that the same number of hours must be worked in each week i.e. part-time employees may agree to work variable hours over a 2 week or 4 week roster.

Modern awards provide for minimum daily hours of work for part-time and casual employees. This usually ranges between 2 and 4 hours per day.
In some of the awards, including the General Retail Industry Award the minimum daily hours of work may vary depending on the age and circumstances of the employee. For example, a new 2-hour minimum engagement for dairy operators applies to employees 18 years or younger who are full-time secondary school students.
School bus drivers transporting students to and from school can be rostered for 1 or 2 shifts per day. Each shift needs to be a minimum of 2 hours.

Further Information

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