What are reasonable additional hours? What are the pay and record requirements for additional hours? What are staff entitled to when it comes to sick leave? How does sick leave work? This weeks ACAPMA Employment Q & A explores these issues…
ACAPMAs Employment Team are HR Professionals who live and breathe fuel wholesale, transport and retail and they are available to answer ACAPMA Members questions.
“I always say to new members to sing out with even the smallest question. No question is too “silly” or “embarrassing” to ask. The compliance pressures on businesses are constantly changing, and employment and regulatory compliance in the fuel industry is…well unique is a word for it…frustratingly complicated is another word” explains ACAPMAs Elisha Radwanowski
Some of the common Fuel Retail Questions and Conundrums include;
REASONABLE ADDITIONAL HOURS
What is reasonable when it comes to additional hours for salary staff?
This is one of those questions that does not have a simple answer. What is reasonable depends on a couple of things and is determined by the courts. What the definition of reasonable will take into account how many hours the employee usually works for and how much the employee is paid.
How do you pay staff for reasonable additional hours?
Staff have to receive at least what they would have if they were paid according to the applicable Award, including if they are paid on a salary. This means that they need to receive payment for the additional hours they work…even when they are on a salary. Usually the salary modelling accounts for payment for guaranteed hours plus rostered overtime plus some additional hours.
If I’m modelling a salary how many additional hours should I include?
How many hours to include is changeable. A good rule of thumb is to provide for between 2-4h per week for full time staff. Another approach is to set a single number, like 80h per year, and include overtime up to that amount in the salary. What is important then is to make sure that when the employee works more than 80 additional hours that they receive additional payment for it.
Are there other options or do the additional hours have to be in the salary?
The business can make the decision that additional hours will all be paid in addition to the salary – this is particularly helpful when additional hours are rare. Another alternative is to offer Time Off In Lieu of payment – TOIL.
What is TOIL?
Time Off In Lieu of payment is an agreement to provide employees with paid time off instead of payment for additional hours. It is important that such agreement is noted and that when the employee takes the time off it is equivalent. When we are talking about overtime the TOIL has to be recorded properly. For example if Joe works 3 hours overtime that would usually be paid at 1.5 times the base rate. So when recording TOIL hours the number of hours worked needs to be multiplied by the 1.5…so while Joe worked 3 hours it will record as 4.5h TOIL.
PERSONAL AND CARERS LEAVE
Is Personal and Carers Leave the same as sick leave?
Yes. What is sometimes known as sick leave is actually personal and carers leave.
Is it ok to ask staff for a doctors certificate for personal and carers leave?
Yes…but only if there is a clear and communicated business policy about it. The business is able to put into place reasonable policies around the taking of personal and carers leave…such as “a doctors certificate (or equivalent) will be required for any leave adjacent to a weekend, public holiday or planned annual leave, or for any leave longer than 2 days”.
What if I have a business policy about doctors certificates but the staff cant get in to see a doctor?
Even with a clear and communicated business policy requiring doctors certificates the business must also accept reasonable equivalents, such as a Statutory Declaration, for those times where an employee cannot get to a doctor.
HR Highlights are things to consider, implement and watch out for in your business. They are provided as general advice and you should seek further advice on your situation by emailing email@example.com its free for members. ACAPMA membership is affordable at only $810 per year for a single site and valuable with sites gaining HR and IR advice support and representation as well as a raft of other benefits and discounts see; https://acapma.com.au/membership/ for more information.
Elisha Radwanowski BCom(HRM & IR)
This article has been adapted from one first published in Convenience World: https://convenienceworldmagazine.com.au/cw-sep-2022/