Change in Extension of Ordinary Hours Provision in Some Modern Awards

By 2 September 2021Workplace
Change in Extension of Ordinary Hours Provision in Some Modern Awards

The Fair Work Commission recently amended the extension of ordinary hours provisions in the following Modern Awards:

  • Airline Operations – Ground Staff Award 2020
  • Aquaculture Industry Award 2020
  • Business Equipment Award 2020
  • Clerks- Private Sector Award 2020
  • Contract Call Centres Award 2020
  • Food, Beverage and Tobacco Manufacturing Award 2020
  • Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2020
  • Pharmaceutical Industry Award 2020
  • Seafood Processing Award 2020
  • Storage Services and Wholesale Award 2020
  • Sugar Industry Award 2020.

The Awards have been amended to clarify differing views on what these provisions allowed. The Commission determined that these Awards only allowed for the span of hours to be moved by moving both the start and finish times by one hour, either way, rather than actually extending the span by one hour and determined that the relevant award provisions should be amended to make that clear.

These Awards now state that the spread of hours specified can be moved up to one hour forward or one hour back, by agreement between the employer and:

  • the majority of employees in the workplace; or
  • the majority of employees in a discrete section of the workplace; or
  • an individual employee.

Different agreements may be reached with the majority of employees in different sections of the workplace, or with different individual employees.

This amendment took effect on 1 July 2020.

Key takeaways

If you have employees covered under any of these Awards and have varied the spread of ordinary hours, review these arrangements to ensure they are consistent with the new Award provisions.

If you are proposing to alter the spread of ordinary hours, you should ensure that you do so in accordance with the new Award amendments.

If you have any questions or queries in relation to your obligations or rights under these award provisions, Murdoch Lawyers Employment team can assist you.

Please contact Matt Bell on 1300 068 736.


This publication has been carefully prepared, but it has been written in brief and general terms and should be viewed as broad guidance only. It does not purport to be comprehensive or to render advice. No one should rely on the information contained in this publication without first obtaining professional advice relevant to their own specific situation.


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