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.

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.

Electrical Award

Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award 2010 [MA000025].

A part-time employee is employed to work less than 38 hours per week. An employer must inform an employee upon engagement:

  • the ordinary hours of work
  • the start and finish times each day.

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 part-time work can be changed by agreement.

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 Electrical Award summary.

Source reference: Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award 2010 [MA000025) clause 10.2 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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