Hours of work

JobKeeper changes to the Fair Work Act

The JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme helps qualifying employers significantly affected by coronavirus to keep paying their employees. To support the JobKeeper scheme in Australian workplaces, temporary JobKeeper provisions have been added to the Fair Work Act.

Under the Fair Work Act JobKeeper provisions, employers can give directions (called ‘JobKeeper enabling directions’) and make agreements with their employees to help manage their business in certain circumstances. Find out more at JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme.

For information about directing employees in the JobKeeper scheme to return to the workplace or perform work, go to Directions to return to work and the workplace.

Due to the impacts coronavirus is having on the community, a number of unions and employer associations are applying to the Fair Work Commission to increase award flexibility.

This may affect the entitlements on this page.

For a list of determinations and to see if your award is affected go to Temporary changes to workplace laws during coronavirus.

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.

Vehicle Award

Temporary changes to the Vehicle Award

On 11 May 2020, the Fair Work Commission varied the Vehicle Award by adding a temporary new Schedule I. Schedule I operates until 31 August 2020.

Schedule I changes entitlements relating to:

  • full-time and part-time employees' hours of work
  • annual leave.

The changes under Schedule I apply to employees engaged in vehicle industry repair, services and retail work.

They don’t apply to employees engaged in vehicle manufacturing under the previous sections 2-4 of the Vehicle Award (such as vehicle manufacturing employees, drafting, planning and technical employees and supervisory employees). This is because from 29 May 2020 the Manufacturing Award started covering these employees. Go to Changes in awards in 2020 to learn more about coverage changes to the Vehicle Award.

Schedule I also doesn’t apply to employees in the JobKeeper scheme. For information about the JobKeeper scheme, see JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme.

While Schedule I operates, an employee’s usual terms and conditions of employment under the Vehicle Award continue to apply, unless they’ve been changed by Schedule I. If they have, Schedule I applies instead.

These changes may affect the information on this page.

Go to Vehicle Award changes during coronavirus for more information about the changes and when they apply.

Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Vehicle Repair, Services and Retail Award [MA000089].

Other than vehicle sales

Maximum number of hours

The maximum number of ordinary hours employees can work is:

  • 10 hours per day, or
  • 12 hours per day (where agreed to)
  • an average of 38 hours per week (spread over a maximum of 5 days per week).

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

An employer and employee can agree to average the hours over a longer period than 4 weeks.

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 Vehicle Award can be worked at any time on any day of the week.

Minimum hours

The minimum daily hours for full-time and part-time employees will depend on their rostered hours.

Casual employees

Each time a casual employee works, they have to be given at least 2 hours of work in a row.

If they aren’t given these hours, they still have to be paid a minimum of 2 hours.

Arranging hours of work

An employee can work a maximum of 5 days a week. However a part-time employee may work more than 5 days a week, where the employee requests this is writing.

Vehicle sales

Maximum number of hours

The maximum number of ordinary hours employees can work is an average of 38 hours per week.

Spread of hours

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

Minimum hours

Every week a part-time employee works, they have to be given at least 2 days of work in a week.

The minimum daily hours for full-time and casual employees will depend on their rostered hours.

Casual employees

Each time a casual employee works, they have to be given at least 2 hours of work in a row.

If they aren’t given these hours, they still have to be paid a minimum of 2 hours.

Arranging hours of work

A full-time employee can work a maximum of 5 and a half days a week or by agreement 11 days a fortnight.

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

Source reference: Vehicle Repair Services and Retail Award [MA000089] clauses 10.8, 11.3, 22 and 28 external-icon.png

You do not have javascript enabled. Please select your preferred industry from the links below, to view your tailored content for this section.

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 s.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.

Help for small business

Want to save this information for later?

If you might need to read this information again, save it for later so you can access it quickly and easily.

You might also be interested in

pdfButtonLong

Page reference No: 2146