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.

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 2010 [MA000100].

Maximum number of hours

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

Full-time maximum hours

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

  • 10 hours in a day
  • 38 hours in a week or an average of 38 hours.

Part-time maximum hours

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

  • 10 hours in a day
  • less than 38 hours in a week or 76 hours a fortnight.

Casual maximum hours

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

  • 10 hours in a day
  • 38 hours in a week or 76 hours a fortnight.

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.

Arranging hours of work

There are different arrangements that can be used to organise an employee’s 38 hour week. These include:

  • 5 shifts per week (maximum of 8 hours per shift)
  • 10 shifts in a 76 hours fortnight (maximum of 8 hours per shift)
  • 19 shifts in a 152 hour month (maximum of 8 hours per shift, subject to practicability).

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 2010 [MA000100] clauses 10.2, 10.3, 10.4(c), 25.1 25.2 and 28.1 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

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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
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