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VIC Employment Contract - What Does Reasonable Overtime Entail?

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by confuseddesigner, 12 September 2016.

  1. confuseddesigner

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    Hello there!

    I've recently acquired a new full time job under a 38-hour employment contract - with a reasonable overtime clause. I am a little confused as to what this entails. I have been advised by my employer that I should be working and 8-hour day - 40 hours a week to account for 'reasonable overtime' as my standard day - regardless of workload.

    However, my understanding of the requirement of reasonable overtime was to work a standard 7.6 hours per day and to occasional weeks of additional hours during times of high workloads. If anyone has any clear fact sheet re: reasonable overtime under employment law, I'd greatly appreciate it.
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Can't point to any specific fact sheets but my understanding, which could be wrong, is that overtime should be the exception, not the rule.

    If the employer is treating it as a rule then it becomes unreasonable and should be part of standard conditions.
     
  3. Matthew Lynch

    Matthew Lynch Lawyer

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    It may depend on your industry. What industry are you in? What is your position?
     
  4. confuseddesigner

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    It's retail/design industry. My meeting with HR to discuss it outlined the definition of 'reasonable overtime' according to their understanding meant my 38 hours plus overtime meant a strict 40 hour week/8 hour day, and would sometimes mean more than that.

    Overtime is not uncommon in a design environment, but I've never had it enforced as a daily expectation / strict hours. I am concerned that this enforced overtime on top of the need of legitimate overtime.
     
  5. Matthew Lynch

    Matthew Lynch Lawyer

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    You are definitely in the danger zone of reasonable overtime. An extra two hours a week on top of a 38 hour week is likely to be reasonable if it is common in your industry to have some overtime. Having more overtime on top of that seems unreasonable.

    I would email them about it and ask them to put down their policy in writing.
     
  6. confuseddesigner

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    I did ask for documentation that outlined this in my meeting but was confronted with the response "why do you need it in writing?" And a basic refusal/statement that they didn't have it. As I am new to the business, I'm afraid prying much further will lose my job, though I'm not sure it's worth keeping at this rate.
     

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