Overtime is any time worked by a full-time or part-time employee that is

  • in excess of their agreed ordinary hours of work 
  • outside the span of hours set by the Retail Award - except for shift workers (visit the Hours of work page for more information), or
  • outside the roster conditions set by the Retail Award (visit the Organising rosters for more information).

You can require your full-time and part-time retail employees to work overtime as long as the hours are reasonable and are paid at overtime rates. Casual employees do not receive overtime rates under the Retail Award.

Overtime rates are:

  • time and a half for the first 3 hours
  • double time thereafter
  • Sunday - double time for all hours
  • public holidays - double time and a half for all hours.

An employee can refuse to work overtime if the request is unreasonable, for example where there are risks to their health and safety, or because of personal circumstances including family responsibilities.

Overtime rates are calculated on a daily basis. This means that each day is treated independently when applying the overtime rates. For example, if an employee works 2 hours of overtime on Monday and 2 hours of overtime on Tuesday, the overtime each day is paid at time and a half.

Can employees take time off instead of being paid for overtime?

If your employee chooses, you can agree to provide them with paid time off work instead of payment for overtime. The amount of time off must be equivalent to the pay the employee would have received for working overtime. For example, if an employee works 1 hour of overtime that would have been paid at 150%, the employee can take 1.5 hours paid time off instead of being paid for working the overtime.

If your employees choose to take paid time off instead of payment at overtime rates and you agree, you must ensure the following conditions are met:

  • you and your employees agree when the time off will be taken
  • the time off is taken within 4 weeks of working the overtime or, if you both agree, it may be accumulated and taken as part of annual leave.

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Page last updated: 02 Sep 2010