Penalty rates are to be paid when work days and times change from employee contracted days and actual shift times are exceeded.

With the move from casual to part-time employees, Employment contracts now need to include days and times to be worked each week.

The Fair Work Ombudsman refers to ordinary hours as the standard working hours of an employee as defined in their employment contract or relevant industry award. These are the hours during which an employee is expected to work each day, week, or month without receiving any additional pay for working within those hours. Example

Awards require penalty rates to be paid when the times worked differ from the employee’s contracted hours and times. This requirement could add substantially to the business payroll where the times are changed for any reason without documented employee agreement.

There is, however, the provision that these times can be changed in the roster and timesheet by agreement between the employer and employee.

Inzenius has a simple process of recording these acceptances to reduce the risk of a future claim against the company for underpayment of these penalty rates.

The Inzenius system includes all the processes in one system, from the employee’s work times in their file to their accepted rosters to timesheets with automated payroll award interpretation and payroll reporting and processing.

Employee record times used to create roster 

The employee rosters are initially built on their employee record times, allowing variation at the work site level with electronic employee acceptance sign-off.

The original roster from contracted hours

The roster can be changed from their contracted times with employee approval.

Agreed modified times to work

The timesheet will facilitate the approval of the rostered or timekeeping worked times and the employee’s electronic sign-off of the times worked acceptance.

Agreed on times to work

Timesheet times agreed to be paid for.

Timesheet agreement

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Example of award conditions – Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2020

Setting guaranteed hours and availability for part-time employees in the Hospitality award

At the time of engaging a part-time employee, the employer must agree in writing with the employee on all of the following:

(a) the number of hours of work which is guaranteed to be provided and paid to the employee each week or, where the employer operates a roster, the number of hours of work which is guaranteed to be provided and paid to the employee over the roster cycle (the guaranteed hours); and

(b) the days of the week on which, and the hours on those days during which, the employee is available to work the guaranteed hours (the employee’s availability).

10.5 Any change to a part-time employee’s guaranteed hours may only be made with the written consent of the employee.

10.6               Rostering

The employer may roster a part-time employee to work their guaranteed hours and any additional hours in accordance with clause 15.2—Part-time employees and clause 15.5—Rosters (Full-time and part-time employees).

10.7 However, a part-time employee:

(a) must not be rostered to work any hours outside the employee’s availability; and

(b) must have 2 days off each week.

10.8               Increasing guaranteed hours to match regular work pattern

If a part-time employee has regularly worked a number of ordinary hours in excess of their guaranteed hours for at least 12 months, then they may request in writing that the employer agree to increase their guaranteed hours.

10.9 If the employer agrees to a request under clause 10.8, then the employer and the part-time employee must vary the agreement made under clause 10.4 to reflect the employee’s new guaranteed hours. The variation must be recorded in writing before it occurs.

10.10 The employer may only refuse a request under clause 10.8 on reasonable business grounds. The employer must notify the part-time employee in writing of a refusal and the grounds for it.

10.11           Change in employee’s circumstances that change their availability

If there is a genuine and ongoing change in the part-time employee’s personal circumstances, then they may alter the times they are available by giving 14 days’ written notice of the alteration to the employer.

10.12 If the employer cannot reasonably accommodate the alteration to the part-time employee’s availability under clause 10.11, then (regardless of clause 10.5):

(a) the part-time employee’s guaranteed hours agreed under clause 10.4 cease to apply; and

(b) the employer and the part-time employee must agree a new set of guaranteed hours under clause 10.4.

10.13           Payment rates

(a) An employer must pay a part-time employee for ordinary hours worked in accordance with clause 18—Minimum rates.

(b) An employer must pay a part-time employee at the rates prescribed in clause 28.4—Overtime rate for all time worked in excess of:

(i) 38 hours per week or, if the employee works in accordance with a roster, an average of 38 hours per week over the roster cycle; or

(ii) the maximum daily hours limitations specified in clause 15.2—Part-time employees; or

(iii) the employee’s rostered hours.