When do I get overtime pay?
You work “overtime” when you work extra hours above your ordinary hours of work.
If you are covered by the federal system, you will be entitled to overtime pay when you have worked overtime and an award or registered agreement states that you are entitled to overtime pay. The award or registered agreement will state the rate at which your overtime is to be paid.
If you are not covered by modern award or enterprise bargaining agreement, then you may not be entitled to overtime pay if you are being paid a salary and if the overtime work is reasonable. If the overtime work is not reasonable, then the business may be in breach of the Fair Work Act 2009, and you may be entitled to a remedy.
What if I don’t want to work overtime but my employer demands it?
If you are a full-time employee under the federal system, your employer usually cannot demand that you work more than 38 hours per week unless the extra time is reasonable.
Note that you may have an award or registered agreement that allows for the averaging of weekly hours over a certain period. For example, you may work 60 hours in one week and 16 hours the next week. Despite the disparity between the two weeks, the average is still 38 hours per week. Your award or registered agreement may allow this so that you may not be entitled to overtime pay for the additional hours in the first week.
However, even if your award or registered agreement allows for the averaging of weekly hours, other factors are still important in determining whether the overtime is reasonable. Other factors include your health and safety when working additional hours, whether you were given notice for the need to work the additional hours, and your family responsibilities. If your employer demands that you work unreasonable overtime, you can refuse.
What meal breaks or other breaks am I entitled to?
If you are covered by the federal system, your meal breaks or other breaks (eg. tea breaks and other short breaks) will largely depend on your award or registered agreement. Your award or registered agreement will usually set out the obligations regarding the duration of your breaks and when they can or should be taken. Your award or registered agreement will also specify whether you are to be paid for certain breaks. We can help you understand your award or registered agreement.
What roster days-off do I get?
Again, this will usually depend on your award or registered agreement. Your award or registered agreement may set out when you are entitled to roster days-off and whether they are to be paid or not.
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