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Working hours

On this page:

  1. Reasonable hours of work
  2. Working hours and fatigue

This information is for people in the WA industrial relations system.  If you do not know if it is relevant to you, read our information on who is in the WA system.

Reasonable hours of work

An employer cannot request or require an employee to work more than:

  1. the ordinary hours of work outlined in the employee’s award or agreement; or
  2. 38 hours per week if there is no award or agreement;
  3. plus reasonable additional hours of work.

The following questions may help determine whether the additional hours of work are reasonable?

  1. Will there be any risk to the employee’s health or safety?
  2. What are the employee’s personal circumstances, including family responsibilities?
  3. What is the nature of the business and work done?
  4. Has the employer provided the employee with notice about working additional hours?
  5. Has the employee provided the employer with notice about their intention to refuse to work the additional hours?
  6. Are the additional hours on a public holiday?
  7. How many hours has the employee worked over the previous four weeks?

Other issues may also be considered when determining if hours are reasonable.

Pay for additional hours of work

There is no minimum entitlement to a higher rate of pay for overtime, shift work or weekends.  Most awards and agreements do provide for higher rates, check your award or contact Wageline on 1300 655 266 for more information.

Wageline's award wage summaries (link to pay rates and award summaries) provide detail on overtime and penalty rates for the most common WA awards.

Working hours for children

There are additional rules and requirements relating to when and where children can work. Visit the Laws on Employing Children page for more information.

Working hours and fatigue

Visit the WorkSafe website for information on fatigue and safety issues related to working hours, including the Code of Practice Working Hours 2006.