A roster is a timetable that shows the days and times employees are required to work.

When an employer wants to change an employee’s regular roster or ordinary hours of work, they have to discuss it with the employees first. They have to:

  • provide information about the change (eg. what the change will be and when)
  • invite employees to give their views about the impact of the change
  • consider these views about the impact of the change.

Awards, enterprise agreements and other registered agreements can set out extra rules about changing rosters and how and when employees are given rosters.

Find information about rosters in your award by selecting from the list below.

Retail Award

Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the General Retail Industry Award 2010 [MA000004].

Notification of rosters

An employer has to put the staff rosters on a notice board.

The rosters have to show the following information on the roster:

  • the number of ordinary hours they will work each week
  • the days of the week they are working
  • the start and finish times each day they work.

An employer must keep old rosters for 12 months. Old rosters may be requested for inspection, for example by a Fair Work Inspector.

Changing the rosters

If there is an unexpected operational need to change the roster, then the employer and employee can agree to change the roster before the employee gets to work.

When there is a permanent change to the roster and the employee:

  • agrees to it, the employer has to give the employee 7 days notice, in writing, of the change, or
  • disagrees with it, the employer has to give an employee 14 days notice, in writing, of the change. The extra notice is to allow for discussions between the employer and employee to resolve the disagreement. After the 14 days the roster will change.

Permanent roster change provisions don't apply to casual employees.  

If a roster is changed to avoid paying an employee a penalty, loading or other benefit, the employee has to be paid the amount they would have got if the roster hadn’t been changed

Changing a part-time employee’s roster

The roster for the days and times a part-time employee works (not the amount of hours) can only be changed:

  • at any time, if the employer and employee agree
  • if the employer gives the employee 7 days notice in writing, or
  • if the employer gives the employee 48 hours notice (in the case of an emergency).

Overtime when rosters are changed

A roster can be changed for a once-only event (eg. a special event that needs extra staff) when:

  • an employer provides 7 days notice of the change (according to the table above)
  • the roster goes back to the normal pattern, the week after the change.

All extra work done by the employee because of the roster change is paid at the overtime pay rate.

Once-only events don’t include emergency situations.

Use the Roster template – Retail Award (DOC 79KB) to record employees rostered hours of work.

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

Source reference: General Retail Industry Award 2010 [MA000004] clauses 12.8 and 28.14 external-icon.png

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