Commonwealth Consolidated Acts

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Maximum weekly hours

Maximum weekly hours of work

             (1)  An employer must not request or require an employee to work more than the following number of hours in a week unless the additional hours are reasonable:

                     (a)  for a full-time employee--38 hours; or

                     (b)  for an employee who is not a full-time employee--the lesser of:

                              (i)  38 hours; and

                             (ii)  the employee's ordinary hours of work in a week.

Employee may refuse to work unreasonable additional hours

             (2)  The employee may refuse to work additional hours (beyond those referred to in paragraph (1)(a) or (b)) if they are unreasonable.

Determining whether additional hours are reasonable

             (3)  In determining whether additional hours are reasonable or unreasonable for the purposes of subsections (1) and (2), the following must be taken into account:

                     (a)  any risk to employee health and safety from working the additional hours;

                     (b)  the employee's personal circumstances, including family responsibilities;

                     (c)  the needs of the workplace or enterprise in which the employee is employed;

                     (d)  whether the employee is entitled to receive overtime payments, penalty rates or other compensation for, or a level of remuneration that reflects an expectation of, working additional hours;

                     (e)  any notice given by the employer of any request or requirement to work the additional hours;

                      (f)  any notice given by the employee of his or her intention to refuse to work the additional hours;

                     (g)  the usual patterns of work in the industry, or the part of an industry, in which the employee works;

                     (h)  the nature of the employee's role, and the employee's level of responsibility;

                      (i)  whether the additional hours are in accordance with averaging terms included under section 63 in a modern award or enterprise agreement that applies to the employee, or with an averaging arrangement agreed to by the employer and employee under section 64;

                      (j)  any other relevant matter.

Authorised leave or absence treated as hours worked

             (4)  For the purposes of subsection (1), the hours an employee works in a week are taken to include any hours of leave, or absence, whether paid or unpaid, that the employee takes in the week and that are authorised:

                     (a)  by the employee's employer; or

                     (b)  by or under a term or condition of the employee's employment; or

                     (c)  by or under a law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory, or an instrument in force under such a law.

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