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QLD Does overtime need to be negotiated?

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by Loren Fisher, 14 April 2018.

  1. Loren Fisher

    Loren Fisher Active Member

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    My position is a clerical one covered by Clerks Award. I am on minimum wage of the employer determined classification of Level 2 Year 2.

    My employer says that I am not entitled to overtime as "any overtime must be pre-approved". I find this difficult to do when it is the day to day operations of the company that causes the need for overtime. e.g. I am meant to clock off at 3.45 p.m. The phone rings at 3.40 p.m. with an enquiry from a potential new customer. The phone call takes 15 minutes. The follow up material can be sent the next day, but by the time I finish off the work I was doing before the phone call, it is 4.00 p.m. It is not possible to get permission to work this overtime beforehand. Payroll sees my electronic time sheet but only ever pays me for 38 hours. My pay slip lists 38 hours and does not record the times as per the time sheet.

    Can they do this???
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    You mean are they legally allowed to do this. The answer is generally no, however if your employment contract or EA specifies otherwise, then - maybe.
     
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  3. Adam1user

    Adam1user Well-Known Member

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    What you are saying is you want to be paid overtime for the 20 minutes a day ? I am not judging you or taking the company's side, but this is not a significant time to consider, if they asked you to work for an hour or so every day, then this could be an issue, think about you taking out time during the day for bathroom or coffee....
    I think it is not a significant time to dispute, if you are just asking from a theory point of view, this is different,
    I think you need to consider the benefit of the employer too, if you do not, then you will not stay with the business, if the business stays open to work, then you are working, anything like this may put your employment at risk. employers are looking for people who want to work, not just complain, don't forget if your boss sees you willing to work, then at review time you will get an increase, if they see negative vibe from you, you will not be looked at favorably.

    This is my point of view.
     
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  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    This is what is wrong with our employment laws and attitude of bosses who want to continually push for more and more and not offer a fair return.

    We have minimum wages for a reason. We have awards for a reason.

    Employers are using the high unemployment rates to screw people who are forced to put in unpaid time just to retain their job. Fines to bosses, both the employer and the manager, should be high for this behaviour to act as a general deterrent. An employee should be able to leave the job at the end of the day at the correct time without fear of losing their job. They should be paid for the extra time they put in. No different to a business wanting to be paid for the services they provide to customers.

    I'm tired of the large multi-national companies paying no tax here, sending jobs overseas and working to the bone the employees left here.

    Can't wait to go after the companies abusing employees in this way.
     
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  5. Adam1user

    Adam1user Well-Known Member

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    Rod,
    I agree with you but in the above situation (based on what is written), I don't think it is the case as you stated, my point is that for a person and a business to succeed, both have to work hand in hand. I understand your point of view and I do agree with it, but the above is just a normal thing, and also employees don't give 100% of their time working, they spend time to talk about other than work, coffee time etc.... , see my point, if the business owner requested Loren to work 1 or more hours a day, then it would fall under what you mentioned, but I think it is better to provide advice to help Loren. This is my point of view,
     
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  6. Loren Fisher

    Loren Fisher Active Member

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    Adam I fully understand your stance. I am a staunch advocate of the premise that "working for the benefit of the Company, will ultimately benefit everyone".

    And in that vein, please understand that I am NOT a young person who wants to clock on 30 seconds before start time, do the absolutely bare minimum that I HAVE to do during the day and then have everything packed away, computer turned off and standing at the time clock waiting for it to click over to "time".

    My current job is in a factory environment and I am the only person in the office (no one there to chat to and waste time). I do not get a morning nor afternoon tea break. Yes I do make a cup of tea and yes I do go to the toilet. But no, I do not stand around chatting to other staff, nor do I surf the web or review my personal phone or email during business hours. My 38 hours is consumed with the tasks listed in my duties. In a normal day the workload can, and is, completed within the prescribed time. But everything doesn't always go to plan and there are times when it just CAN'T be done in the allotted time.

    Everyone's general answer is "just leave it, walk out and go home." But my work ethic won't allow me to do that. Besides which, it is still going to be there the following day, and time still needs to be found to do it. In past positions there has always been a quid pro quo, give a little, get a little. "20 minutes here and there through the week? - hey, go home at 3.30 on Friday instead of 3.45". This is not allowed. Furthermore there is a policy (listed in the induction documentation) that if you clock on at 7.31 (instead of 7.30), you lose the full 15 minutes and your time will be marked as commencing at 7.45.

    And in reference to your comment:

    "employers are looking for people who want to work, not just complain, don't forget if your boss sees you willing to work, then at review time you will get an increase".

    I can only guess that you do not work in regional Australia. I have been with the company for almost 5 years and I have NEVER been reviewed. I do not know anyone in the Company who has. Increases? What is the government ruled, absolute bare necessity, increase per annum?

    The Company is not "asking me to work" ANY extra hours. However, they constantly reaffirm "expectations".

    Finally, yes my initial query was seeking a "legal" opinion solely for my own peace of mind.

    I commenced this position on a Grade 2 Year 1 classification. 4 weeks after the 1st anniversary of my employment, I asked HR why the classification hadn't been upgraded to Grade 2 Year 2. I was told that the Company would decide when/if reviews would take place. When I had FWA confirm that no "review" was required, HR and the General Manager, called a meeting with me and spent 45 minutes going through my job description reaffirming that nothing had changed and I would not be getting the increase.

    I say to you Adam, the same thing I said to them at that time. I am NOT going to risk losing my job for 20c per hour. But that doesn't mean that you are right.

    And at this point of time, that is ALL I am asking for. Clarification of the rules.
     
    #6 Loren Fisher, 16 April 2018 at 7:42 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: 17 April 2018 at 4:27 PM
  7. Loren Fisher

    Loren Fisher Active Member

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  8. Loren Fisher

    Loren Fisher Active Member

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    Thanks Rod.

    Your comment "We have minimum wages for a reason. We have awards for a reason." Is at the heart of my query.

    However, can I ask you to find out more about what happens in regional areas. It is NOT big business that is doing the most damage. Large multi-nationals are in the public eye all the time, and at least give "lip service" to employee services.

    Try looking at regional companies who "don't even try". And give a thought to regional employees who don't know any better, whatever the boss says, that's the way it is.
     
  9. Adam1user

    Adam1user Well-Known Member

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    Hello Loren,
    I am sorry that you work in this type of environment, it is harsh. I informed from the start that I am not taking the company side or judging you. I just want to give you an advice that will help you. But you know your situation and the environment more that I do. I worked in the Sydney mostly and went to regional area for work (but were visits), my type of work is professional and not factory worker so I think that is a big difference in the environment. I am trying to give you an advice to help you out not to judge you or take the company's side. From my experience, my field of work, the overtime was taken as leave in lieu, saying this, I did not book the actual hours spent as I mentioned I chatted with others on general and private matters and took time to make coffee, as I said, it goes back to be ethical (which you are) so if I stayed 4 hours, I would put 2 chargeable hours, but my situation is different from yours, so don't take my advice negatively as I was just trying to help you out as you know by now the market is hard and becoming hard, some people under pressure may act in unreasonable way and regret it later, as I did some times. I just wanted to help.
    I hope you find your answer and good luck.
     
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  10. Loren Fisher

    Loren Fisher Active Member

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    Thanks Adam. My background too is in Sydney, most recently as Admin Manager for a Group of ASX Listed Companies. I think that is why I am soooo frustrated. I can't believe what the regional companies get away with.

    I am, however, still interested in an answer to the original question. There is nothing in the letter of offer, nor the induction/policy papers signed on accepting the position. Which leaves it up to the "legal" position. Are they allowed to do this??
     
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