Part-time employees

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) recently handed down a decision proposing to change some entitlements for casual and part-time employees in a number of awards. This includes adding casual conversion provisions in 85 awards.

These changes aren’t finalised, so they don’t apply yet. We’ll update this website with more information when it applies. In the meantime you can read the summary of the decision external-icon.png or the full decision external-icon.png on the FWC’s website.

A part-time employee:

  • works, on average, less than 38 hours per week
  • usually works regular hours each week
  • is entitled to the same benefits as a full-time employee, but on a pro rata basis
  • is a permanent employee or on a fixed-term contract.

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

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

Casual employees usually work irregular hours but they don’t get paid sick leave or annual leave.

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

What part-time employees get

Part-time employees get the same minimum entitlements (such as sick leave and holiday leave) as a full-time employee, based on how many hours they work each week.

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.

Social and Community Services Award

Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Award 2010 [MA000100].

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.

The employer should 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?

The pattern of work can only be changed if the employer and employee agree to it in writing. The employer should keep a copy of the change, and give a copy to the employee.

The roster for the days and times of work (not the amount of hours) may be changed in other ways than by agreement. For the rules about when a roster can be changed, go to Rosters.

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 Social and Community Services Award summary.

Source reference: Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Award 2010 [MA000100] clause 10.3 external-icon.png

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Source reference: Fair Work Regulations 2009 (Cth), regulation 3.33(2) 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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