Department of Justice is now the Department of Communities and Justice. Find out more >
Under the National Employment Standards (NES), the maximum hours of work for a full time employee is 38 hours per week. Overtime is any work that you do outside of your normal working hours. Generally overtime is paid at a rate higher than your usual hourly rate. The hourly rate you are paid will depend on:
Your employer can ask you to work additional hours but the request must be reasonable. If your employer is forcing you to work unreasonable extra hours, you should get
If you work late nights, early mornings, weekends or on public holidays, you may be entitled to a higher rate of pay. These higher rates are called penalty rates, and they can be different depending on your job or industry you work in. How much you should be paid for working during these times will depend on your award, enterprise agreement or contract of employment.
If you are only covered by the NES you are not entitled to penalty rates.
Some employees may be entitled to extra payments, for things like:
These types of payments are called allowances. The allowances that you are entitled to should be set out in the award or enterprise agreement you are employed under, or your contract of employment.
If you are entitled to overtime or any allowances, these will usually be paid at the same time that you receive your wages. For example, weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Overtime and allowances are usually singled out on your payslip so you can easily check how much you were paid for these entitlements.
If you are dismissed (sacked) from your job, you should still be paid any allowances you are entitled to and any overtime that you worked until your last day of employment. You should receive these payments when you leave your job or on the next scheduled payday.
If you haven't been paid or you haven't been paid the right amount, there are steps you can take to try and recover the money that you are entitled to. For more information, see
What if my entitlements are not paid?
Case study - Rishi