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Can my contracted hours of work change?

Members sometimes call the IEU to explain that their employer (the school) wants to, or has, altered their hours of employment for the coming semester or year and ask, “Is that allowable?”

There is no simple answer to that because it will depend upon a number of variables, the most important of which are:

  • what is expressly written into your contract of employment about such changes and
  • any referenced documents covering your conditions of employment such as an enterprise agreement or an award.

Clearly, at the time of employment there is agreement about the work you will perform and the hours you will be employed to do so.

It may be that the work is ongoing (permanent) full time or part time. It may be for a fixed period of time, for a specific purpose or to replace another employee. It may even be on a casual basis but the original agreement and the terms upon which it was struck will determine whether work hours can be changed and if so under what conditions and how that should occur.

Unless expressly written into a contract of employment an employer should not make a unilateral decision to alter the number of hours you have been employed to work.

If your contracted hours of work are ever unilaterally altered contact the IEU office and seek clarification around the permissibility of such action — 8410 0122 or email