Minimum hours of work for part-time and casual employees

Under the Cleaning Award, you must give your part-time and casual employees a minimum number of hours of work (in a row). This means that even if you do not require your employees to work for a continuous period, they must still be paid for the minimum hours provided by the Cleaning Award.

The minimum hours of work depend on the total cleaning area that your business is contracted to clean:

 Total cleaning area   Minimum hours of work
300m² (where only 1 employee is employed and where it’s not possible for a longer shift to be worked across 2 or more locations)   1
 Up to 2000m²   2
 Between 2000m² and 5000m²   3
 More than 5000m²   4

Definition of cleaning area

Cleaning area means the area that the employer is contracted to clean, including internal areas, offices, toilets, kitchens and all other common / public areas. Cleaning area does not include car parks.

Special requirements for ongoing contracts

Under the Cleaning Award, there are transitional provisions regarding minimum hours of work for contracts that started before 1 January 2010. These apply until there is a change of contract or until 31 December 2014 (whichever is the soonest). Part-time and casual employees in all states and territories (except for NSW and ACT) must work, or be paid, for at least:

  • 3 hours’ work on Sundays and public holidays, and
  • 2 hours’ work on a Monday to Saturday (where the employee is the only person employed on the premises, the minimum will be 1 hour).

Part-time and casual employees in NSW and ACT are guaranteed minimum hours of work based on the total cleaning area that your business is contracted to clean:

 Total cleaning area   Minimum hours of work
 Up to 500m² (where only 1 employee is employed)  1
 More than 500m² (where only 1 employee is employed)   2
 All others  3


Paolo has a contract cleaning business providing cleaning services to various large entertainment venues around Melbourne. He is expanding his business and needs an extra part-time cleaner to work on Saturdays and Sundays. The part-time employee would be required to regularly clean areas of more than 5000 square metres.

In January 2010, Paolo employs Martin on a part-time basis, recording his employment status in writing when he starts work. As required by the Cleaning Award, Paolo drafts an agreement that states that Martin will work four hours every Saturday and Sunday, starting at 8.00am and finishing at 12 noon. 

Paolo also advises Martin that he will be advised in writing of any change to his regular roster. If Paolo needs Martin to work for less than 4 hours, Martin will still need to be paid for 4 hours because of the minimum hours of work provision in the Cleaning Award. Both Paolo and Martin sign and date the agreement and each party receives a copy.


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Page last updated: 17 Sep 2010