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.

Cleaning Award

Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Cleaning Services Award [MA000022].

Maximum number of hours

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

  • 7.6 hours in a day
  • 5 days per week, or
  • 38 hours in a week.

Averaging weekly hours

An employer and a full-time employee 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 average of 38 hours per week can be worked in the following ways:

  • 7.6 hours per day, 5 days per week
  • 8 hours per day, 19 days per month
  • 152 hours within a 28 day cycle which allows for the accumulation of rostered days off, or 
  • by agreement between the employer and a majority of employees. Employees can be rostered up to 10 hours per day allowing more frequent week days off.

Spread of hours

The ordinary hours in the Cleaning Services Award can be worked during Monday to Sunday.

Minimum hours

The table below shows the minimum hours of work and payment, that a part-time or casual employee must be given.

Cleaning area Minimum hours Minimum payment
Where 1 employee is working at a small stand-alone location with a cleaning area of 300 square meters or less (and it is not possible for a longer shift to be worked across 2 or more locations).
1 hour 1 hour
Working at a location with a total cleaning area of up to 2000 square meters. 2 hours in a row 2 hours
Working at a location with a total cleaning area of between 2000 - 5000 square meters. 3 hours in a row 3 hours
Working at a location with a total cleaning area of more than 5000 square meters. 4 hours in a row 4 hours

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

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

Source reference: Cleaning Services Award [MA000022] clauses 13.1 and 13.5 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 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.

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