Hours of Work

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					          Department of Consumer            Module 2
          and Employment Protection         Section 1
          Government of Western Australia
          Labour Relations

                    Hours of Work

                 STUDENT MODULE
Normal Hours of Work
      Awards and Agreements
      Full Time, Part Time, Casual
      Child Employment

Meal Breaks and Tea Breaks

Working Additional Hours
      Overtime- What is it?


Awards and Agreements

An employee’s normal hours of work can vary between jobs and are
generally specified in their award, agreement or individual contract.

It is important that you check your award or agreement, as each may
state something different. There may be differences in:
        What days of the week work can be performed; and
        How many hours can be worked on any one-day

For example, in the hospitality industry employees can usually work on
any day of the week, including Sunday. However, in the clerical industry
normal hours are usually worked between Monday and Friday only.

Full-Time, Part-Time, Casual

Full-time employees generally work 38 hours per week.

As a general rule, part-time employees will work less than 38 hours per
week. Some awards and agreements will state the maximum and
minimum number of hours that part time employees can work per week.

The hours of work for casual employees can vary depending on their
position. Some weeks they may work 38 hours and some weeks they
may be given no work. It is the nature of casual employment that they do
not have set hours each week.

In many awards and agreements casual employees must work a
minimum 3 hours for every shift they work.

Child Employment

Depending on their age, children can only work at certain hours of the

Children between 10 and 13 years can only work between 6.00am and
7.00pm. They can only deliver newspapers, pamphlets and advertising

Young people between 13 and 15 years can only work between 6.00am
and 10.00pm. They can be employed to deliver newspapers, pamphlets
and advertising material, work in a restaurant, shop/retail outlet or be a
trolley collector.

There is no restriction on the hours young people can work once they
have reached 15 years and 1 day.

As of 2008, the compulsory schooling age will be up to and including 17
years. This means that youth aged 17 or younger cannot work during
school hours.

In the State system there is no set rule that states when meal breaks or
tea breaks are to be taken, or after how many hours work.

You will need to consult your award, agreement or individual contract to
find out your entitlement to meal breaks and tea breaks. Each award or
agreement will state something different; however, as a general guide
meal breaks usually range from 30 minutes to 1 hour and are unpaid.

Tea breaks usually range from 10 to 15 minutes, and are paid time.
Some awards and agreements do not allow for any tea breaks and
others allow for two tea breaks per day.


Overtime- What is it?
Sometimes employees will be required to work more hours than what
they normally do. This is generally considered overtime.

Overtime may apply when:
      An employee works more than the prescribed number of hours
      per day;
      Work is performed outside the normal spread of hours; or
      A full-time or part-time employee works more than 38 hours in a

When an employee works overtime they generally receive additional pay
for each hour of overtime worked.

Casual employees generally do not work overtime, as they do not have
set hours of work.


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