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.

Health Services Award

Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Health Professionals and Support Services Award [MA000027].

Maximum number hours

The maximum number of ordinary hours employees can work is:

  • 10 hours per day
  • 38 hours per week.

Averaging weekly hours

An employer and a full-time employee can average the employee’s hours over a 2 or 4 week period.

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
152 hours 4 weeks in a row

Example: Averaging weekly hours over a 2 week period

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 for day workers in the Health Services Award can be worked during the following times:

Type of employer Monday - Friday Saturday Sunday
Private medical, dental, pathology, physiotherapy, chiropractic and osteopathic practices 7.30am - 9pm 8am - 4.30pm N/A
Private medical imaging practice - five and a half day practice 7am - 9pm 8am - 1pm N/A
Private medical imaging practice - 7 day practice 7am - 9pm 7am - 9pm 7am - 9pm
All other employers 6am - 6pm N/A N/A

Minimum hours

Each time a casual employee works, they have to be given at least 3 hours of work. If a casual employee works as a cleaner in a private medical practice they have to be given at least 2 hours of work.

If casual employees aren’t given at least these hours, they still have to be paid a minimum of 3 hours (or 2 hours if they are a cleaner in a private medical practice).

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 Health Services Award summary.

Source reference: Health Professionals and Support Services Award [MA000027] clauses 10 and 23-24 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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