Hospo Voice

6 ways to avoid getting screwed by the annualised salary scam

September 6, 2021

But seriously tho

We talk a lot about the casualisation of the hospo workforce and insecurity of our workforce. For many people, getting an annualised salary arrangement can be the security they need. It provides stability of knowing your yearly income and can help you plan your life.

However, annualised salaries aren’t always the best option. Some employers can use them to rip off workers by paying for 40 hours a week but expecting you to work much more. Then there are the employers who think they can make you sign your rights away just because you’ve signed a piece of paper.

So, what should you know about annualised salary arrangements and what does reasonable overtime really mean?

1. What’s ‘reasonable overtime’?

This phrase comes up in heaps of annualised salary agreements. When used correctly, it means that you’re contracted to work a certain number of hours each week, but your employer can ask you to work “reasonable overtime.” 

Say you’re contracted to work 40 hours a week, but one weekend you’ve got a big function booked and your boss asks you to come in an hour early to prepare. Or someone calls out sick and you’re asked to stay back an extra half hour because you have fewer people on close.

These examples are fine but there’s something you need to know: they should still pay you for reasonable overtime! Your award or enterprise agreement will set out what rate they should pay you.

If you’re consistently rostered on for 50+ hours and you’re paid for 45 or less, this is not reasonable overtime. You can refuse to work overtime if that request is unreasonable.

Let’s normalise saying no!

2. What will your pay be like?

According to Fair Work Australia, your annual salary must be:

Annual leave loading and allowances can’t be included in this annual salary.

3. What happens with days off?

With a full time annualised salary agreement, they should give you 8 days off in a four-week roster cycle. This should be an average of two days a week, but it could vary for some rosters and workplaces. For example, you might get one day off one week and three in the next. 

4. Do you get public holidays?

If you’re on an annualised salary, you’re entitled to paid time off, which should be equal length to the time you worked on a public holiday.

Or you can add the time worked on a public holiday to be added to your annual leave entitlement.

Need help with your annualised salary?

Join Hospo Voice today

Hospo Voice members can access info and advice through our Mobilise app and find facts sheets, template letters, recorded training and more in our Member Hub.

5. Do you need to keep records?

It’s your employer’s responsibility to keep timesheet records of the hours you work. They should give you these records weekly to be signed.

Even though it’s the employer’s responsibility, we highly recommend you keeping your own records too. We’ve heard of many dodgy employers who have tampered with workers’ timesheets or simply not kept the records.

You can easily keep track of your hours with our Record My Hours tool in Mobilise. You can even set it up to record automatically when you get to work.

6. How often should your employer review your hours?

Your employer should do a reconciliation at the end of each financial year or when you leave your job. This checks how many hours you’ve done against what they’ve paid you.  

This is why it’s so important you keep a record of your hours so you can check it against their records. If they find that you have worked more hours than they’ve paid you for, they should pay you what you’re owed.

If you’re a member of Hospo Voice, you can access a template letter requesting that your employer conduct a reconciliation. Just check out Mobilise or our Member Hub. 

If you’d like help to understand your annualised salary agreement or want to record your hours, join Hospo Voice to connect with trained hospo veterans and get access to our Mobilise App.  

Want a more in depth look at annualised salaries?

Watch our ‘deep dive’ training

If you’re already a Hospo Voice member, check out our Annualised Salaries deep dive training in the Member Hub.

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