What are Reasonable Additional Hours?

The National Employment Standards provide the maximum weekly hours which a full-time employee can be required to work is 38 plus reasonable additional hours. 

In determining ‘reasonable additional hours’, an employer must take the following into consideration:

  • Any risk to employee health and safety.
  • The employee’s personal circumstances, including family responsibilities.
  • The needs of the workplace.
  • Whether the employee is entitled to receive overtime payments, penalty rates or other compensation for working additional hours.
  • Any notice given by the employer to work the additional hours.
  • Any notice given by the employee of their intention to refuse to work the additional hours.
  • The usual patterns of work in the industry.
  • The nature of the employee’s role and the employee’s level of responsibility.
  • Whether the additional hours are in accordance with averaging provisions included in an award or agreement that is applicable to the employee, or an averaging arrangement agreed to by an employer and an award free employee.

Employers should seek advice before insisting on any changes to an employee’s working hours other than with consent.

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