Working conditions

A rostered day off (RDO) is a paid day off for working extra hours that add up to a whole working day. Generally, this is something you and your employer arrange between yourselves.

Arrangements for RDOs must comply with your award or agreement.

To apply for flexible working arrangements, write to your employer describing the change you want to make and why.

They have to give you a written reply within 21 days. They can only refuse your request if there are reasonable business grounds why the arrangement wouldn’t work.

If you’re a part-time or full-time employee, your employer can’t send you home without pay because it’s quiet. If you’re a casual they can, as long as you’ve worked (or will be paid for) the minimum shift length in your award or agreement.

Your employer can stand you down without pay if there isn’t enough work because of:

  • industrial action (not industrial action that is organised by your employer)
  • machinery or equipment breaking down
  • any reason that they aren’t responsible (like a natural disaster).

Your enterprise agreement, contract or award may allow stand down for other reasons too.

Your employer can ask you to work reasonable overtime. You can refuse to work the extra hours if they are unreasonable.

To decide whether overtime hours are reasonable, you and your employer must consider:

  • whether your health and safety are at risk if you work the extra hours
  • your personal circumstances, including your family responsibilities
  • the needs of your workplace
  • whether you’re entitled to overtime payments, penalty rates or other compensation that shows you are expected to work extra hours
  • whether your employer has given you enough notice
  • whether you have given your employer notice that you intend to refuse to work the extra hours
  • the usual patterns of work in your industry
  • your job and your level of responsibility
  • whether your award or agreement gives an average number of hours you are expected to work over a set period.

No. Employers can’t require their employees to buy specific clothes to wear to work unless they reimburse them.

If you work in retail, find our more on the Uniforms & clothing page in our Retail industry section.

Other awards could also have allowances or specific requirements for uniforms - check your award for details that apply to you.

If you don’t think you’re getting your minimum entitlements you could be able to make a complaint to us. See the Complaints section for details.

Find out more:

Employers may be able to stand down employees without pay if they can’t open their business because of extreme weather conditions.

Under the Fair Work Act 2009, employers can stand down employees without pay in certain circumstances. This includes where they can’t usefully be employed during a period because of any stoppage of work for which the employer cannot reasonably be held responsible, such as extreme weather conditions or a natural disaster.

This only applies when the employee's award or agreement doesn’t have its own stand down provision. You should check your award or agreement to see if it has any stand down provisions.

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Page last updated: 06 Feb 2014