Part-time employees

Part-time employees work less than 38 hours per week and their hours are usually regular each week. They're usually employed on a permanent basis or on a fixed term contract.

What part-time employees get

Part-time employees get the same minimum entitlements (such as sick leave and annual leave) as a full-time employee, but on a pro-rata basis.

Example: Sick and carer's leave entitlements for part­-time employees

Suzanne is a full-time employee who works 38 hours, 5 days a week. Rebecca is a part-time employee who works an average of 19 hours per week, working a 5-day fortnight. Suzanne gets 76 hours (or 10 days) of paid sick and carer's leave per year. Rebecca gets half of Suzanne’s paid sick and carer's leave per year as she works half the hours Suzanne works.

How part-time is different to full-time or casual employment

Full-time employees work longer hours. On average, they work 38 hours per week.

Casual employees usually work irregular hours. A casual employee does not have a firm commitment in advance from their employer to ongoing work with an agreed pattern of work.

Find information about changing from part-time to casual employment.

Part-time hours of work agreements

Many awards, enterprise agreements and other registered agreements have record-keeping arrangements for part-time employees about their hours of work.

Find information about hours of work arrangements for part-time employees in your award by selecting from the list below.

Fast Food Award

Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Fast Food Industry Award [MA000003].

A part-time employee is employed to work less than 38 ordinary hours per week. An employer and employee have to agree on a regular pattern of work when the employee starts.

The agreement has to be in writing and include:

  • the hours worked each day
  • the days of the week the employee will work
  • the start and finish times each day
  • that any change to the agreement will be in writing (which can include electronic communication eg. text message)
  • that the minimum daily hours is 3 consecutive hours
  • the times and length of meal breaks.

The employer has to keep a copy of the agreement, and give a copy to the employee.

The hours in the agreement have to be worked within the ordinary hours in the award. This includes the times of day the hours can be worked and the maximum and minimum hours of work. For the ordinary hours in this award, go to Hours of work.

Use the Part-time hours of work agreement and variation (DOC 91KB) template to record part-time hours of work.

When can a part-time employee’s hours be changed?

Regular pattern of work

The employer and employee can agree to change the regular pattern of work if they agree to it in writing (which can include electronic communication eg. text message)

The change to a part-time employee's regular pattern of work can be for either:

  • a specific period or rostered shift, or
  • on an ongoing basis.

Rostered shift

If the change is for a specific rostered shift, the employer and employee need to:

  • agree to the change in the rostered shift
  • record the change by or at the end of the shift.

The employer needs to keep a record of the agreed change in writing and give the employee a copy if they ask for it.

If they don't keep a record of the agreement to change an employee's specific rostered shift, the employee will be entitled to overtime for any hours worked in excess of their regular pattern of work.

Use the Part-time hours of work agreement and variation (DOC 91KB) template to record changes to part-time hours of work.

When can an employee change to part-time?

An employee might want to go part-time, either for a short amount of time or permanently. The employer and employee should agree in writing to the change to part-time employment.

An employer can’t make a person change from full-time to part-time employment. If an employer does this, it may be a redundancy. For more information on what a redundancy is, go to Redundancy.

What happens to leave entitlements when changing to part-time?

When an employee changes from full-time to part-time, they keep any leave they have accumulated, such as annual leave or sick leave.

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

Source reference: Fast Food Industry Award [MA000003] clause 12 external-icon.png

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