Find out more about what overtime is, and if you are entitled to be paid overtime.

Young Workers Advice Service Team avatar
Written by Young Workers Advice Service Team
Updated over a week ago

Overtime is work performed outside of ‘ordinary hours’. This can mean different things based on your industry, and whether you are a permanent part-time or full-time employee, or a casual. 

Overtime is usually paid at a higher rate than the normal hourly rate. For part-time and full time staff, you may also be entitled to take time off instead of being paid overtime. This is known as ‘time off in lieu’ (‘TOIL’). This depends on your Award or Enterprise Agreement. You can find out more about overtime in your industry by looking at the Fair Work Ombudsman website here

Scenario 1 

Matt works as a casual in a fast food business. Over the summer holidays, a lot of his co-workers have taken time off, leaving many shifts to fill. Matt usually worked about 15 hours a week, but over summer this increased to up to 30 hours a week. He is not being paid anything extra on top of his normal hourly rate and any shift penalties he is entitled to. 

This is okay. Matt is employed under the Fast Food Industry Award, and is a casual. Under the Award, casuals can only get overtime rates if they work more than 38 hours a week, or more than 11 hours in a day. 

Scenario 2 

Anna is a part-time worker at a department store. Her employment contract says she is required to work 20 hours a week. During a busy period, Anna is asked to fill in one more shift each week, bringing her hours up to 25 hours a week. She checks her pay slip and she is being paid at her normal rate. 

This is not okay. This is because Anna is covered by the General Retail Industry Award, which says that part-time employees get overtime rates if they work outside of their agreed times of work, or work more than their agreed hours. 

What do I do if I think I am not getting what I am entitled to?
If you have a question about your entitlements, get in touch with us. We can give you advice about what your entitlements are, and help you decide what to do. We can also direct you to other people who can help.   

To find out more about how to join your union, visit http://www.unionsact.org.au/joinyourunion/ or have a look at our fact sheet here

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