Hours of work

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

Our Pay Calculator and Pay guides have been updated to reflect these changes.

For information read Changes to casual and part-time entitlements in some awards. You can also read the Fair Work Commission'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.

Horticulture Award

Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Horticulture Award 2010 [MA000028].

Maximum number hours

The maximum number of ordinary hours full-time and part-time employees can work is:

  • 8 hours per day
  • 152 hours over 4 weeks (an average of 38 hours per week).

Check clause 22.1(c) of the Horticulture Award for information on how to change the maximum ordinary hours per day.

Averaging weekly hours

An employer and full-time and part-time employees 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: Averaging 152 hours over 4 weeks

Cindy works full-time and averages her 38 hours a week by working 152 hours over 4 weeks.

She works 42 hours the first week, 34 hours the second week, 45 hours in the third week and 31 hours in the fourth week. 42 + 34 + 45 + 31 = 152 hours. 

This means that over 4 weeks she has worked an average of 38 hours per week.

Spread of hours

The ordinary hours for full-time and part-time employees (other than shiftworkers) in the Horticulture Award can be worked during 6am - 6pm on Monday to Friday.

Changing the spread of hours

An employer and a majority of employees can agree to change:

  • the daily spread of hours
  • the days ordinary hours can be worked to include Saturdays.

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

Source reference: Horticulture Award 2010 [MA000028] clause 22 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

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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