QLD Employee Maximum Weekly Work Hours

Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now


14 June 2020

I was hoping someone was able to please give me some insight into maximum work hours for full time employees.

My boss sent out a company email advising that they "expect" us to work 8:30am to 5:00pm with only a half an hour break or 8:30am to 5:30pm with an hour break (8 hour work day excl lunch). There was no further explanation. This then got me looking into my employment contract and on the Fair Work Trading website which both stated that the maximum weekly work hours is "38 hours unless reasonable", which, to my understanding, was only if it is reasonably required (ie. Falling behind on work)?
I've been there for a couple of years now and based on this information I have possibly worked around 200 hours overtime without pay because I was just told that it was the regular work hours at the company and didn't know any better.

So I guess I just wanted to get some professional advice on whether or not it is reasonable for our normal work hours to exceed 38 hours a week, especially without overtime pay or a valid explanation?

Thank you for help in advance.
Last edited:


LawConnect (LawTap) Verified
27 May 2014
40 hrs/wk on a systematic and regular basis is likely going to rise to a claim for overtime unless you are paid significantly more than the relevant award/EA or a flexible working arrangement applies.