Should I be paid for any overtime I work? - ACTU Australian Unions
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Should I be paid for any overtime I work?

Leonie asks: I work for the local council and I’ve just now changed jobs within the council. I’m not being paid for overtime or coming in on the weekends.

As you work for a council which will no doubt be unionised, there would be be an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement in place. Have you checked what this says about your overtime?

You don’t mention whether you’re paid on an hourly rate or whether you’re on a salary.

If you’re on a salary you’re paid at a higher rate but that is taken to include any reasonable extra hours (the keyword here is reasonable). For example if you’re on a salary and do an hour on Saturday that could be taken to be a reasonable expectation which is compensated for by your  higher wage rate.

Perhaps there is a TOIL (time off in lieu) arrangement in place whereby if you work a lot of extra time or some hours on the weekend you can apply for some paid time off to compensate you for this.

If however you’re on wages – that is paid by the hour, you should receive payment for any extra time or weekend work you do – along with any applicable penalty rates.

We really need to have some more information to make sure the answer we give you is right for your situation. Why don’t you give us a call on 1300 486 466?

We’ll be able to have a look at your agreement and find out exactly how much you should be paid.

Of course if you’re a member of a union you need to talk to your delegate ASAP. Don’t worry if you’re not – that’s something else we can help with as we have a confidential free joining service.

We’ll find out who your union is and how much the fees are; then if you want to go ahead and join we send your details to the union and they add you to their membership list. It’s that easy and honestly is the best thing you can do to make sure you’re protected at work.

Give us a call, your boss will never know you’ve spoken to us.