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NSW Industrial Relations
Making NSW Workplaces Fair For All

Local Government Hours FAQs

1. What are the ordinary hours of work?

There are different arrangements for employees based on factors such as an employee’s job classification or an employee’s start date of employment. Check the award as conditions apply.


2. Does an employee work 35 or 38 hours per week?

The ordinary hours of work for employees vary depending on their job classification, location, and the start date of the employee.  Ordinary hours of work can be performed on any day of the week from Monday to Sunday with some exceptions applying. There are some specific classifications of employees who can work a 35 hour working week Monday to Friday. Check the award as conditions apply.


3. Are there any shift penalties that apply for working outside normal hours?

Employees who work outside a specific span of hours, Monday to Friday are entitled to a 20% penalty in addition to their ordinary pay. There are additional penalty rates that may apply for employees working in specific job roles prior to 1 July 2020. Check the award as conditions apply.


4. Can employees work ordinary hours on weekends?

Yes, employees who work on weekends may be considered to work ordinary hours however some exceptions apply.


5. Do penalty rates apply on a weekend?

Employees working ordinary hours on a Saturday receive a 25% penalty and employees working ordinary hours on a Sunday receive a 50% penalty. This is in addition to the ordinary rate of pay for the job classification. Check the award as some exceptions apply, for example Beach Inspectors, Cleaning and Garbage.


6. When does Overtime apply?

All time worked by direction outside the agreed start or finish times of ordinary hours, is considered overtime. Generally, overtime is paid at time and a half for the first two hours and double time thereafter.


7. Can there be an overtime rate on a Saturday?

If overtime is worked, the rate is time and a half for the first two hours and double time thereafter. Any overtime worked on a Saturday after 12 noon will be paid at double time.


8. Can there be an overtime rate on a Sunday?

If overtime is worked, all hours worked by an employee on a Sunday is double time.


9. Can I choose to take time off in lieu instead of paid overtime?

Yes, if agreed between the parties, overtime can be taken as time in lieu instead of paid overtime. The time off will be for the hours worked. Example 2 hours overtime equals 2 hours’ time off.


10. What are the gazetted public holidays under the Local Government Award 2020?

The Award specifies the following holidays:  New Years' Day; Australia Day; Good Friday; Easter Saturday; Easter Sunday; Easter Monday; Anzac Day; Queen's Birthday; Labour Day; Christmas Day; Boxing Day and all locally proclaimed holidays within the council's area, and all special days proclaimed as holidays to be observed throughout the whole of NSW.


11. Are there penalty rates for working on a public holiday?

Employees required to work on a gazetted public holiday will be entitled to double time and a half inclusive of ordinary payment for the day. Check the award as conditions apply.


12. Does an employee still get paid for a public holiday that they did not work?

If a gazetted public holiday falls on an employee’s regular working day, the employee will not suffer a reduction in ordinary pay.


13. Are indigenous employees entitled to a public holiday during NAIDOC week?

Yes, Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander employees are entitled to an extra holiday during NAIDOC week. Notification requirements apply.


14. When are you entitled to travelling allowance?

Where an employee is required to start and or finish work at a location away from the employee's normal place of work and the distance travelled is greater than the distance usually travelled by the employee between their place of residence and normal place of work, the employee shall be paid a travelling allowance for each journey of excess travel. Check the award as conditions apply.


15. Is there a First Aid Allowance?

Yes,  if an employee holds an appropriate first aid qualification and is appointed by the employer to perform first aid duties and is in charge of a first aid kit, the employee may be entitled to be paid in addition to their weekly rate.


16. Do I get extra pay, if I use my language or signing skills to help the community?

Yes, employees using a community language skill as part of their duties or providing signing services to their community, the employee may be entitled to be paid in addition to their weekly rate.