Hours of work

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

Understanding ordinary hours

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 (for example, 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 (for example, 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.

Social and Community Services Award

Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award [MA000100].

Arranging hours of work

The way an employee’s ordinary hours of work can be arranged depends on whether they’re full-time, part-time or casual.

Full-time hours of work

The ordinary hours of work for a full-time employee are:

  • 5 shifts, 38 hours per week
  • 10 shifts, 76 hours per fortnight, or
  • 19 shifts, 152 hours every 4 weeks, if practical.

The maximum ordinary hours per shift is 8 hours, or 10 hours by agreement.

Part-time hours of work

The maximum number of shifts for a part-time employee is:

  • 5 shifts per week, or
  • 10 shifts per fortnight.

The ordinary hours for a part-time employee are:

  • less than 38 hours per week, or 76 hours per fortnight
  • a maximum of 8 hours per shift, or 10 hours by agreement.

Casual hours of work

The maximum ordinary hours of work for a casual employee are:

  • 5 shifts, 38 hours per week, or
  • 10 shifts, 76 hours per fortnight.

The maximum ordinary hours per shift is 8 hours, or 10 hours by agreement.

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.

Spread of hours

The ordinary hours in the Social and Community Services Award can be worked during 6am - 8pm on Monday to Sunday. This only applies to day workers.

Minimum hours

The table below shows the minimum hours of work and payment, that a casual employee has to be given.

Employee's stream Minimum hours Minimum payment
Social and community service employees except when undertaking disability services work 3 hours in a row 3 hours
Home care employees 1 hour in a row 1 hour
All other employees 2 hours in a row 2 hours

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

To find out more about who this award applies to, go to the Social and Community Services Award summary.

Source reference: Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award [MA000100] clauses 10.2, 10.3, 10.4(c), 25.1 25.2 and 28.1 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

Tools and resources

Related information

Help for small business

Think a mistake might have been made?

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

Check out our Fixing a workplace problem 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.

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.

Page reference No: 2146