November 28, 2017 Know Your Rights News


The rostering provisions in SDA Enterprise Agreements and Awards are designed to provide a proper balance for a member between their work, their non-work commitments and their obligations. All members should become familiar with their rostering entitlements. Do not leave it to others!

One of the most important issues at work impacting on us all is rostering. Rostering entitlements are specifically designed to provide employees with rights and entitlements that must be observed. How employers establish and change rosters has a huge impact on our lives and the lives of those who depend on us.

As always, if a member is not able to resolve a matter to their satisfaction, the union is there to provide expert advice and assistance.

Your Needs

Far too often, employees act as if they have few rights when it comes to rostering issues. Many people operate under the false belief that “whatever roster my employer gives me, I have to work”. This is just not true!

All employees have their own needs and circumstances and these must be taken into account with respect to rostering. Employees must speak up and raise these matters with their manager so that they can be taken into account and properly accommodated.

There is no room for the ‘take it or leave it’ approach. Your employer must consider your needs and circumstances and genuinely consult on the change.

Important Issues

Most Agreements and Awards negotiated by the SDA require employers, when establishing or changing a roster, to have regard for the family responsibilities of the employee and whether the employee can access safe transport home. Some Agreements and Awards also require employers to consider the employee’s study and sporting commitments.

Other Issues

In addition to those detailed above, there are other issues that employers may be obliged to take into account. Employees can have particular matters that are important to them and employers should be informed of them so that they can be properly taken into account when rostering.

Changing Rosters

Most Agreements and Awards contain specific provisions relating to changing rosters. Typically, employees must receive seven days notice of a roster change. If they disagree with the change, 14 days notice is given in lieu of the seven and the issue should be dealt with through the ‘Grievance Procedure’.

Furthermore, most Agreements and Awards provide:

  • that employees will be given a regular roster which shall not be subject to frequent variation; and
  • that rosters cannot be altered with the intent of avoiding payments or benefits applicable under the Agreement or Award.

Further Rights

  • Other matters relating to rostering typically covered by Agreements and Awards include:
    the maximum number of consecutive days that can be worked;
  • the minimum and maximum number of hours that can be worked on a shift;
    the number of consecutive days off an employee must have per week or fortnight; and
  • the maximum number of hours that can be worked per week or roster cycle.

Check Your Agreement or Award

Your Agreement or Award contains specific provisions relating to rostering. Your employer is obliged to know what these entitlements are and apply them correctly. If you want to know what your rostering entitlements are, speak to your workplace Shop Steward, Delegate, Organiser or contact the SDA office.

Involve the SDA…

The SDA will help any member requiring assistance with respect to their rostering. Shop Stewards, Delegates, Organisers and our Brisbane Office staff are available to make sure you get your full set of entitlements.