Overtime is any time worked by an employee that is either in excess of their agreed ordinary hours of work (for part-time employees), or in excess of the ordinary hours of work set by the Fast Food Award for full-time employees.

For more information about ordinary hours of work, visit the Hours of Work section.

You can require your full-time and part-time fast food employees to work overtime as long as the overtime is reasonable and is paid at the correct overtime rates. An employee can refuse to work overtime if it would result in the employee working unreasonable hours, for example where there are risks to their health and safety, or because of their personal circumstances including any family responsibilities.

You cannot require a casual employee to work overtime.

Payment for working overtime

The payment your full-time and part-time fast food employees receive for working overtime depends on when the overtime is worked. The overtime rates that apply at different times are:

 When overtime is worked Overtime rate (percentage of ordinary rate) 
 Monday to Saturday - first 2 hours 150% 
 Monday to Saturday - thereafter 200% 
 Sunday 200% 
 Public Holiday 250% 


Yusuf works at the Fried Chicken Shack Pty Ltd in South Australia as a full-time Fast Food Employee Level 1. He works 6 hours on Tuesdays and 8 hours each day from Wednesday to Saturday, finishing work at 5pm every day.

The summer holiday period is a peak time for the business, and depending on how busy the shop is, Yusuf’s manager often asks him to work overtime to help with the rush.

During one week, Yusuf’s manager asks him to stay back on Saturday night until 8pm. For these extra hours, Yusuf is entitled to 150% (time and a half) of his ordinary rate for the first 2 hours of overtime he works (5:00pm - 7:00pm), and 200% (double time) from 7.00pm until 8pm.

Can employees take time off instead of being paid for overtime?

You and your employee can agree to time off instead of being paid for overtime. The amount time off is calculated on the equivalent overtime rate; for example 1 hour of overtime that would have been paid at 150% equates to 1.5 hours paid time off in lieu.

You and your employee must agree whether they will be paid for overtime or take paid time off on every occasion that they work overtime.

If the employee does not take the time off within one calendar month of working overtime, you must pay them for the overtime at the relevant overtime rate.

Your fast food employees may also be entitled to meal and transport allowances when they work overtime. See the Allowances section for more information about allowances.

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Page last updated: 30 Nov 2011