A number of members have contacted the PSA recently seeking advice in relation to overtime vs being on-call. This bulletin seeks to clarify the difference and provide information on what is known as a ‘disturbance’ allowance. This information is of relevance to you if you are a day worker (not a shift worker).
Overtime occurs when your manager/supervisor directs you to perform work in the evening after you have finished work for the day. You may or may not be on call and you are advised of this work prior to finishing flex time for the day. You are entitled to overtime for the actual time worked. If the work is performed on a Public Holiday or on a weekend, you are entitled to a minimum 3 hours of payment.
On-Call (standby) occurs when you are required to be on standby for a possible recall to duty outside your working hours. You are entitled to an on-call allowance for the actual time you are required to be available. This is an hourly rate but may be annualised if your position is required to be on-call 24/7.
If you are not required to be on standby for a possible recall to duty and you receive a call, you do not have to perform the work.
If, after completing work for the day, you are called to work overtime, that is referred to as Recall to Duty. It is not standard overtime because you were not informed in advance of leaving work for the day. You will be entitled to a minimum of three hours’ payment at the appropriate overtime rates. A recall to duty commences when you start work and terminates when the work is completed. A recall to duty does not include time spent travelling to and from the place at which work is to be undertaken.
While you don’t have to be on-call to receive a recall to duty, if you are on-call, you will be required to attend to the work.
A Disturbance Allowance is paid where the work can be performed without travel to the place of work, whether on a weekday, weekend or public holiday. Work performed is compensated at ordinary time for the time actually worked, calculated in 15 minute increments.
If you are in any doubt about this going forward, please feel free to contact your local delegate in the first instance.