Hours of work

On 12 December 2017, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) made changes to part-time and casual provisions in some awards.

Changes were made to the part-time clause in some awards, including the Hospitality and Restaurant Awards, and to overtime entitlements for casual employees in other awards, including the Retail, Hair and Beauty and Fast Food Awards.

These changes apply from ppc 1 January 2018. For more information read Changes to casual and part-time entitlements in some awards. You can also read the FWC's orders external-icon.png on their website.

Ordinary hours are an employee's normal and regular hours of work, which do not attract overtime rates.

Awards, enterprise agreements and other registered agreements set out any:

  • maximum ordinary hours in a day, week, fortnight or month
  • minimum ordinary hours in a day
  • times of the day ordinary hours can be worked (eg. between 7am - 7pm).

The ordinary hours can be different for full-time, part-time and casual employees.

Spread of hours

The time of the day ordinary hours are worked is called the spread of hours (eg. between 7am - 7pm). Time worked outside the spread of ordinary hours can attract overtime rates.

Find more information about maximum and minimum hours of work and the spread of hours in your award by selecting from the list below.

Restaurant Award

Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Restaurant Industry Award 2010 [MA000119].

There were changes to part-time arrangements and casual overtime entitlements that started on 1 January 2018. The information below has been updated to reflect this and applies from 1 January 2018. See Changes to casual and part-time entitlements in some awards.

Maximum number of hours

The maximum number of ordinary hours employees can work in a week or day is different for full-time, part-time and casual employees.

Full-time maximum hours

The maximum number of ordinary hours a full-time employee can work is:

  • an average of 38 hours over a 4 week roster cycle
  • 11.5 hours in a day
  • 3 consecutive days of more than 10 hours without 48 hours break immediately after
  • 8 days of 10 hours in a 4 week roster
  • 10 hours in a day, if the employee is under 18 years old
  • a 12 hour span during a broken shift.

Part-time maximum hours

The maximum number of ordinary hours a part-time employee can work is:

  • their rostered ordinary hours
  • 11.5 hours in a day (or shift)
  • 3 consecutive days of more than 10 hours without 48 hours break immediately after
  • 8 days of 10 hours in a 4 week roster
  • 10 hours in a day, if the employee is under 18 years old
  • a 12 hour span during a broken shift.

Casual maximum hours

The maximum number of ordinary hours a casual employee can work is:

  • 12 hours in a day (or shift)
  • an average of 38 hours over a 4 week roster cycle.

Averaging weekly hours

An employer can average the employee’s hours over more than a week.

This means the employee may work more than 38 hours one week, but less in another.

Options for averaging weekly hours

The table below shows the options for averaging 38 hours per week.

Hours worked Averaged over...
76 hours 2 weeks in a row
114 hours 3 weeks in a row
152 hours 4 weeks in a row

Example:

Cindy works full-time and averages her 38 hours a week by working 76 hours over 2 weeks.

She works 42 hours the first week, and 34 hours the second week. 42 + 34 = 76 hours.

This means that over 2 weeks she has worked an average of 38 hours per week.

Spread of hours

The ordinary hours in the Restaurant Award can be worked at any time on any day of the week.

Minimum hours

Each time a full-time, part-time or casual employee works they have to be given at least:

  • 6 hours of work in a day, for full-time employees
  • 3 hours of work in a row, for part-time employees
  • 2 hours in a row, for casual employees.

If they aren't given these hours, they still have to be paid a minimum of:

  • 6 hours for full-time
  • 3 hours for part-time
  • 2 hours for casuals.

Check the Restaurant Award for different minimum daily hours on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.

To find out more about who this award applies to, go to the Restaurant Award summary.

Source reference: Restaurant Industry Award 2010 [MA000119] clauses 11, 12, 12.5, 13, 31.2 and 34.4 external-icon.png

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Maximum weekly hours

An employee can work a maximum of 38 hours in a week unless an employer asks them to work reasonable extra hours. See our Maximum weekly hours fact sheet.

Source reference: Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) section 62 external-icon.png

Think a mistake might have been made?

Mistakes can happen. The best way to fix them usually starts with talking.

Check out our Help resolving workplace issues section for practical advice on:

  • figuring out if a mistake has been made
  • talking to your employer or employee about fixing it
  • getting help from us if you can't resolve it.

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