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.
Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Real Estate Industry Award [MA000106].
Maximum number hours
The maximum number of ordinary hours employees can work is the lesser of:
- an average of 38 hours per week or
- the employee’s ordinary hours of work in a week (for employees who are not full-time employees).
Averaging weekly hours
An employer and their 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.
An employee can work an average of 38 hours over an 8 week period.
Spread of hours
The ordinary hours in the Real Estate Award can be worked at any time on any day of the week. Employees other than casuals must be rostered off duty for at least one and a half days each week.
Each time a casual employee works, they have to be given at least 3 hours of work. If they aren’t given at least these hours, they still have to be paid a minimum of 3 hours.
The minimum daily hours for full-time and part-time employees depends on their rostered hours.
Check the Real Estate Award for different minimum daily hours on public holidays.
To find out more about who this award applies to, go to the Real Estate Award summary.
Source reference: Real Estate Industry Award [MA000106] clauses 11 and 13
- Building, construction and on-site trades
- Contract cleaning services
- Don't know
- Hair and beauty
- Health support services
- Real estate
- Road Transport
- Social, community, disability and home care services
- Storage services and wholesale
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
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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