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NT Working Afterhour Callouts Not Mentioned in Employment Contract?

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by Michael Grayson, 8 September 2016.

  1. Michael Grayson

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    I am newly employed, on a salary basis and on a 10 days-on, 4 days-off roster.

    My contract states I am paid for a 38-hour week wages with reasonable overtime required. This overtime is unpaid. Once I arrived on site, we were informed that we will be required to work 10-hour days. This equates to 70 hours a weeks.

    We have also been made to carry out an afterhours call out roster (every 2nd week for myself) in which we will not get paid for. In the month I have been here, I have already had 3 middle of the night call outs. We were not told we would have afterhours call outs and it does not state it in the employment contract.

    My first question is:

    Can I be forced to work 70 hours a week when getting paid for only 38? I would class reasonable overtime as 2 hours a day maximum. Going off the contract, if I worked 7 days at 38hours a week I would be starting work at 6 am and finishing at 12. Or with reasonable overtime starting at 6 am and working till 2 pm.

    The next question is:

    If there is no afterhours callout mentioned on the employment contract, can iI be forced to do these? I am happy to do them but I need to be compensated for my time. I raised the concern for this issue with managers and had the response that they would start paying a $150 one-off payment for on call, but I have not yet received this.

    However, I am not happy with the 150 payment. I believe we should be receiving a payment for being on call of at least 150, then a minimum of 4 hours payment for each and every callout that occurs. This is the minimum that companies usually provide.

    I appreciate your time.
     
  2. Matthew Lynch

    Matthew Lynch Lawyer

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    Hi Michael

    That sounds extremely onerous. However if you are being paid a high salary your employer might argue you are being compensated adequately for the hours you put in.

    Having said that if your hours specifically state 38 hours then that contractual term is uncertain and may be unenforceable. It may be that the expectations of the parties in entering that contract were different from what is in fact occurring.

    If you can inform me of the industry you are in and your salary that would assist me to better answer you?
     
  3. Michael Grayson

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    Thank you for your reply.

    My salary is $105, 000 pa. I am a tradesman in a mining town maintenance role. This equates to about $28 per hour when working a 70-hour week.

     
  4. Matthew Lynch

    Matthew Lynch Lawyer

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    That salary you would expect to work more than 38 hours. What is the standard working hours for that position in your industry?

    Ultimately you can legitimately raise this as a complaint if you were expecting to work 38 hours or 40 hours a week and if they take adverse action against you like dismissing you then you would likely have a claim.
     

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