A shiftworker is an employee who works shifts and gets an extra payment for working shift hours.

An award, enterprise agreement or other registered agreement can have a specific definition of what a shiftworker is, and what type of shifts they can work.

Find information about shiftworkers 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 Industry Award [MA000100].

From Monday to Friday, a shiftworker can work the following shifts:

  • an afternoon shift - ends after 8pm and at or before midnight
  • a night shift - ends after midnight or starts before 6am.

A shiftworker can also work a public holiday shift - this is any time worked between midnight on the night before the public holiday and midnight on the public holiday.

24 hour care shift

A 24 hour care shift is when an employee is available for duty in a client's home for 24 hours. During this time, they can be required to provide the client with services within their care plan for up to 8 hours.

When working a 24 hour care shift, an employee gets paid a 24 hour care shift rate for 8 hours.

An employee should have the opportunity to sleep during a 24 hour care shift, and be provided with a bed in a private room, if appropriate.

Overnight excursion shift

An employee can agree to supervise clients in overnight excursions.

For weekday excursions employees get paid:

  • a sleepover allowance
  • ordinary rates for work between 8am - 6pm
  • overtime rates (or agree to time off instead) for work done outside 8am - 6pm.

For weekend excursions, employees get paid weekend penalties. If an employee does weekend overnight excursions the days worked by them in a 2 week cycle won't be more than 10 days.

Sleepover shift

Employees can work sleepover shifts where they sleep overnight, including at the client's home or where the client is located. This can include a place where the client is in respite care.

When working a sleepover shift, an employee has to get:

  • the sleepover allowance
  • at least 4 hours of paid work for each sleepover
  • overtime rates for the hours they work during the sleepover, with a minimum of 1 hour payment
  • a separate room with a bed, use of appropriate facilities and free board and lodging for each night.

The break between shifts for employees working a sleepover shift starts when they finish the period of duty of the sleepover or the work done after the sleepover.

Working before and after a sleepover shift

An employee can work immediately before and after a sleepover shift. They have to be rostered for a minimum of 4 hours when they work before or after the sleepover.

If they are working both before and after a sleepover, they have to be rostered for a minimum of 4 hours for one of these periods.

Broken shift

Home care employees and social and community services employees in disability services work can work a broken shift to fit with the needs of their clients.

A broken shift is when an employee works a shift that includes one or more breaks (not including meal breaks).

An employee working a broken shift has to be paid penalty rates and shift loading. The shift loading is worked out by the finishing time of the broken shift.

For penalty rates and allowances in this award, go to Penalty rates and allowances.

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 Industry Award [MA000100] clause 25.6, 25.7, 25.8, 25.9 and 29.2 external-icon.png

You do not have javascript enabled. Please select your preferred industry from the links below, to view your tailored content for this section.

Tools and resources

Related information

Help for small business

Find tools, resources and information you might need in our Small business showcase.

Think a mistake might have been made?

Mistakes can happen. The best way to fix them usually starts with talking.

Check out our Fixing a workplace problem 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.

Want to save this information for later?

If you might need to read this information again, save it for later so you can access it quickly and easily.

Page reference No: 2876