The National Employment Standards (NES), which fall under the Fair Work Act, stipulate that an employee can work a maximum average of 38 ordinary hours, plus reasonable additional hours.
In assessing whether additional hours are reasonable, the potential risk to employee health and safety needs to be considered.
The NES also provides minimum conditions with respect to pregnancy. If a pregnant employee’s health and safety is at risk at work, an employer must transfer them to a safe job if available. If not, the employer must provide ‘no safe job leave’ to the employee.
If the employee is entitled to unpaid parental leave, the ‘no safe job leave’ must be paid at the base rate of pay. If the employee is not entitled to unpaid parental leave, the ‘no safe job leave’ is unpaid.