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Awards can be difficult to interpret, which is why the MTA’s Workplace Relations team is available to assist members in meeting the Award obligations.

An example is Clause 37.2 of the Vehicle Award which relates to Ordinary Hours of Work for employees working under the Repair and Retail section of the Award. This clause excludes persons principally employed to perform vehicle sales related duties (Vehicle Salespersons).

Under this clause, it states that the ordinary hours of work of an employee will be an average of 38 hours per week on not more than 5 days in any week.

This can be calculated on the following basis:

  • 38 hours within a work cycle not exceeding seven consecutive days;
  • 76 hours within a work cycle not exceeding 14 consecutive days;
  • 114 hours within a work cycle not exceeding 21 consecutive days;
  • 152 hours within a work cycle not exceeding 28 consecutive days; or
  • Any other work cycle during which a weekly average of 38 ordinary hours are worked or may be determined by agreement between the employer and the employee or employees.

This means that in any week of 7 consecutive days, an employee’s ordinary hours can only be worked on 5 of the 7 days. So a full-time employee needs to work their 38 hours within 5 working days in a weekly roster.

For example:

Scenario 1 (6 days work, including a Saturday)

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Total
Hours worked 6.3 6.3 6.3 6.3 6.3 6.3 37.8
Ordinary Hours 6.3 6.3 6.3 6.3 6.3 0 31.5
Overtime = 0 0 0 0 0 6.3 6.3


As opposed to:

Scenario 2 (5 days of work, including a Saturday)

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Total
Hours Worked 7.6 7.6 7.6 7.6 7.6 38
Ordinary Hours 7.6 7.6 7.6 7.6 7.6 38
Overtime = 0 0 0 0 0 0


In scenario 2, Saturday would still be categorised as ordinary hours but would incur the Saturday penalty rate. The penalty rate for ordinary hours worked on a Saturday is time and a half for the full day.

Consequently, hours worked on the sixth and/or seventh day in any week should be treated as overtime and paid as such. Please note that the above provision in clause 37.2 also applies to part-time and casual employees.

Members interested in discussing this further or anything else in regards to interpreting the award should contact the WR team for advice and assistance on 8291 2000 or via email by clicking here.