Rostered days off

A rostered day system usually works on the basis of a banking of time on say 19 workdays so that an employee accrues sufficient time to be entitled to the 20th day as a day off.

 
Definition and scope 
 
A rostered day system usually works on the basis of a banking of time on say 19 workdays so that an employee accrues sufficient time to be entitled to the 20th day as a day off.
 
Source of entitlement
 
Awards and agreements are the source of entitlements to rostered days.
 
General issues
 
The key issues for the Pay Office relating to Rostered Days Off are: 
 
 
1. System explained
 
The object of such a system is, in order to achieve an average of 38 hours per week, to permit, as an alternative to working 7.6 hours per day, the working of 8 hours per day for 19 days followed by a rostered day off.
 
This means that for three weeks, 40 hours per week are worked and then in the fourth week, 32 hours only are worked, giving an average of 38 hours per week over the 4 week period. To avoid fluctuating weekly wages, pay is averaged over the whole four week period. In other words, they receive payment for 38 hours each week whether they work 40 hours or 32.
 
This is achieved by the creation of a ‘credit’ of 0.4 hours (24 minutes) for every day that 8 hours is worked. These ‘credits’ are accumulated over 19 days until, assuming 19 x 8 days have been worked, a ‘credit’ of 7.6 hours (1 full working day) has been accrued. This obligation is discharged by giving to the employee a paid rostered day off.
 
This mechanism is a device for giving effect to the primary purpose of the scheme of the award — namely, to pay average wages over the full four week period, rather than allowing wages to vary according to time actually worked.
 
2. Accrual of RDOs 
 
Some awards allow for the accrual of a maximum number of RDOs during a calendar year (commonly five). However, the absence of an accrual provision, or when certain conditions are not met (notifying the relevant union in writing), renders the arrangement invalid and the payment of penalty rates would apply.  
 
3. Public holidays 
 
Generally, awards prescribe that a public holiday falling on a rostered day off defers the holiday to be observed on another day with pay. Depending on the provisions of a particular award, difficulty can arise where employees' work a 4-day week and a holiday occurs on the weekly RDO. Entitlement to the holiday can still occur depending on the award. 
 
4. Workers compensation
 
The forerunner to the Fair Work Commission, the AIRC, has held that employees receiving workers compensation benefits are not entitled to an additional payment for an RDO. The employee would receive payment for the RDO for any time worked during the roster cycle on a proportionate basis. An employee on workers compensation for the whole of the roster cycle would not receive any payment for the RDO from the employer. 
 
5. Shift workers 
 
Unless otherwise prescribed by the relevant award/agreement, shift workers are entitled to be paid shift allowance for the rostered day off as the 0.4 hour credit which is carried over each day was worked on that shift and has not been paid.
 
6. Casuals
 
For a casual employee to be entitled to a RDO, the casual employee must actually accrue the entitlement, eg by working more than a 38 hour week.
 

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