One Employee...One Workplace...Two Jobs

One Employee ... One Workplace ... Two Jobs

April 24, 2018 | By Charlene Woodbine, Vitil

Can an employee claim overtime cumulatively when they work two jobs with the one employer?

The recent decision of Lacson v Australian Postal Corporation [2018] FCCA 51 provides some useful insight into a situation where an employee performed two different, and very distinct roles with the same employer.

The Facts

The employee had two roles at two different sites, which he started at different times. He worked in the mail room sorting mail in the mornings and in the parcel depot in the evenings.

Each of the employee's role was covered by a different agreement but neither agreement covered multiple assignments with the same employer. As such, the employee claimed unpaid overtime, rest and meal allowances across both agreements.

Australia Post said that the employee's two roles were separate engagements under separate employment contracts. Therefore the issue of employee entitlements would need to be covered by the relevant agreement for which the employee was covered during that time.

The Decision

The Commission found that each of the employee's roles were separate and distinct jobs each governed by their respective agreements. As such, the Commission rejected the notion that the employee could claim overtime cumulatively across both jobs.

Key Points

Although multiple assignments are fraught with challenges, if an employer wishes to engage the same employee for two roles, the following points may be helpful:

  • Keep the roles separate from each other as much as possible. Having different start and finish times, areas of work will help distinguish both roles
  • Ensure that the employee is issued with a new contract for the second role. Therefore, it is highly recommended that the employee will have 2 separate contracts - one for each role
  • Ensure that the employee accrues annual, sick and other leave entitlements separately for each role
  • Where possible, the employee should be issued with a payslip for each role
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