Full-time employees

Full-time employees usually work an average of 38 hours each week. They're usually employed on a permanent basis or on a fixed term contract.

Full-time employee entitlements

A full-time employee is entitled to paid leave including annual leave and sick and carer’s leave. They're usually entitled to written notice when their employment ends, or payment instead of notice.

The actual hours of work for a full-time employee in a particular job or industry are agreed between the employer and the employee, or they could be set by an award or registered agreement.

Fixed term contract employees

Fixed term contract employees are employed for a specific period of time or task. For example a 6 month contract where employment ends after 6 months.

Fixed term employees are different to permanent employees who are employed on an ongoing basis until the employer or employee ends the employment relationship.

Fixed term contract employees are usually full-time or part-time employees.

Full-time or part-time fixed term employees are generally entitled to the same wages, penalties and leave as permanent employees. An award or registered agreement may provide extra terms and conditions for a fixed term employee.

Changing from full-time to part-time or casual employment

When the employer and the employee agree to change

An employee and an employer may agree to end an employee’s full-time position and change to part-time or casual employment.

When changing from full-time or part-time to casual the usual rules for ending employment apply, including:

  • giving or paying the employee the required notice
  • paying out leave and any other entitlements owed.

When the employee doesn’t agree to change

An employer may be able to change an employee’s full-time employment to part-time or casual employment without agreement from the employee.

Important factors to consider are:

  • Does the employment contract, registered agreement or award let the employer change the employee’s work hours without the employee agreeing?
  • Does the change make a new employment contract or change an existing contract?
  • What entitlements, such as annual leave or redundancy, need to be paid out?
  • How much notice does the employer need to give the employee?

We’re unable to provide advice about employment contracts, including changes to an employee’s hours. You will need to seek legal advice to find out more about your situation.

An employer can’t change or end an employee’s employment:

  • for a discriminatory reason
  • because the employee has exercised a workplace right
  • for another reason protected by law.

Read about Protections at work to find more.

Tools and resources

Related information

Help for small business

Have a workplace problem?

Problems can happen in any workplace. If you have a workplace problem, we have tools and information to help you resolve it.

Check out our Fixing a workplace problem section for practical information about:

  • working out if there is a problem
  • speaking with your employer or employee about fixing the problem
  • getting help from us if you can't fix the problem.