Managers who make their employees come in early or stay late without paying any overtime have been breaking the law.
Under the Fair Work Act, staff must be paid for all hours they commit to working, including time spent closing or opening a store.
If an employee is required to be at work early to prepare for the store before it opens at 8 am, bosses should pay them from the time they come.
The Fair Work Ombudsman wrote on Facebook: “So if you’ve been finding your pay packet is always a bit light because your boss rounds down your hours to the nearest 15 or 30 minutes or asks you to work ”off the clock”, know this isn’t OK.”
The organization wants to help young workers who are heading out to look for employment during summer months.
In addition, time spent training outside or meetings should be paid, especially if compulsory.
“Employees are entitled to be paid for the time they are required to spend at any meeting or training,” the website adds.
When it comes to Christmas and New Year, there are also rules whether managers can tell employees they cannot have time off as it is ‘too busy’ – under the Fair Work Act, it is an ‘unreasonable’ excuse.
One internet user commented: “10% is reasonable unpaid overtime according to the legal team of a top multinational firm operating in Australia. Went through a lot to get that number out of them as the managers wanted a lot more OT for free.”
Another wrote: “I have worked with people who turn up right on start time. Then go and get their coffee, unpack, go to the loo etc. and aren’t ready to actually work until 15 minutes later. Can the boss legally deduct their pay?”
A third added: “My father said always show up to work 15 mins early, get organised grab your coffee and clock on at start time. Never had any issues doing it like this, its when people clock on and then go get organised, grab their coffees, have a chat and start work 30 mins later. As for reasonable overtime, 5-10% of your normal working week, nothing more. If you’re on salary you will get taken advantage of, always go for contracts where you get paid hourly.”
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