Changes to casual overtime and part-time provisions are effective on 1 January 2018.

In July 2017, the Fair Work Commission determined that the Restaurant Industry Award (RIA) would be varied to –

  1. change the part-time employees hours clause to provide for a minimum of 8 ordinary hours to be rostered each week, with the ability to roster the employee for additional hours up to less than 38 hours within the employee’s agreed availability; and
  2. extend overtime loadings to casual employees, not only just for permanent employees. Prior to this, it was probable that casuals were not entitled to work and be paid overtime under the RIA.

On Friday 24 November 2017, the Commission decided that these changes are to start on 1 January 2018.

As mentioned above, the changes include the following:

1. Part-time Employee Hours

Varying the part-time employees’ hours clause by removing the requirement to pay overtime for work in excess of a part-time employees’ guaranteed hours agreed in writing, as long as they are within the available hours they have notified to their employer.

Specifically, the change is from fixed hours agreed in writing, to guaranteed hours (minimum 8 hours and less than 38 hours per week over the roster cycle) within the employee’s notified hours of availability to work their guaranteed hours (clause 12.2(a)).

Overtime will now only apply if work is in excess of 38 hours per week, the employee’s rostered hours or the ordinary hours set out in clause 31.2.

The change to part-time employment is a significant new benefit to employers. Part-time employees may now work additional hours beyond their guaranteed hours without necessarily attracting overtime, as long as it falls within Award requirements (clause 12.8).

2. Casual Overtime

Extending overtime loadings to casual employees who work a certain amount of hours.

Specifically, a casual employee may be engaged to work:

  1. For a maximum of 12 hours per day or per shift:
  2. For a maximum of 38 hours per week or, where the casual employee works in accordance with a roster, an average of 38 hours per week over the roster cycle (which may not exceed 4 weeks) (clause 12.2).

All time worked in excess of the above hours will be paid at overtime rates (clause 13.4).

What do you need to do?

  • Review your part-time employment contract to ensure you get the benefit of the changes for new part-time employees, or by a new hours agreement with existing part-time employees.
  • Ensure your payroll system is updated to include the new overtime penalties for casual employees.
  • Review current rostering practices and educate your managers with the rostering duties of the changes to minimise surprises.
  • Log into our ER Strategies website and download the new 1 January 2018 wage schedules with the new casual overtime loadings and access the new template employment contract.

Further assistance

Should you have any further enquiries regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact ERS on 1300 55 66 37.

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