This fact sheet outlines your rights when it comes to scheduling. Your conditions on these matters are outlined in clause 74 of the ATO (General Employees) Agreement 2009. Clause 74 does not apply to Non-Ongoing Employees whose current period of employment with the ATO commenced after the 1st of July 2009.
What is Scheduling?
Scheduling is the rostering arrangement that ensures the Client Service
Window (CSW) of 8am – 6pm is covered. The preference is to use volunteers, and
partial or team-based scheduling are options for Operations outbound telephony
and Operations processing functions. However, staff can be directed to work
scheduled hours. Employees will not be scheduled before 7.45am or after 6.15pm
Who can be scheduled?
Scheduling is not restricted to employees in Client Contact or employees who
are working on the phones. Scheduling applies to employees involved in:
Inbound telephony work including the ‘first point of contact’ areas
(receiving 13, 1300 and 1800 phone enquiries. And ‘plus 1’ areas that take
referrals and provide crucial support to these areas)
Employees in Operations doing outbound telephony and/or Operations
processing work where the ATO decides it’s needed.
What are the ATO’s obligations to staff?
In adopting rosters the ATO will:
Support the balancing of work and family commitments for its employees
Consult with you and CPSU before new or changed rostering arrangements
are introduced in the workplace.
Minimise the impact on your access to flexibility.
Rely on voluntary processes, to the maximum extent practicable, in the
development of rosters.
Ensure that they have sufficient staff in these areas to meet client’s
needs but at the same time allow employees to take leave entitlements and
flex days and have access to study leave, training and development.
Take into account the personal circumstances of employees.
Ensure equity and fairness is applied for all employees.
Not roster an employee when it would cause the employee hardship.
Emphasis on voluntary arrangements (Clause 74.6)
The arrangements which may be reflected in rosters or schedules may include:
Managing the accumulation and taking of planned leave.
Facilitating regular hours agreements that acknowledge not everyone
wants to work the same working pattern.
Voluntary rosters and schedules.
Providing a facility to identify other employees with suitable skill
sets to assist employees who wish to arrange a swap of working times.
Partial or team based rostering
The use of partial or team based rostering may be used for Operations
outbound telephony and Operations processing functions. There is little detail
in the Agreement about how this works in practice, but it is about having less
formal arrangements where that suits. It is most likely that this means more
rostering of finishing times rather than starting times, or less formal
arrangements within the team. In any case, these options should be designed to
better support voluntary arrangements and should be developed in consultation
with employees and the CPSU so they suit the individual workplace.
Before the ATO can put you on a roster there is a process that needs to be
followed to attempt to fill the roster on a voluntary basis:
The work cycle is set to meet business needs (a maximum of 4 weeks).
The ATO advises affected employees of the predicted staffing
requirements for that period as early as practicable.
Employees then advise the ATO of their preferred working hours,
including their preferred lunch breaks and any other hours they cannot work.
This can be for hardship or any other reasons.
The ATO then develops the draft roster and identifies any gaps.
The ATO then tries to get volunteers to fill any gaps.
The ATO can include incentives such as giving you first preference to
preferred working times or flex leave if you volunteer to work during the
gap in the current roster.
If after following these steps, the ATO is still has gaps, then they can
roster staff in their area to fill those gaps. Your personal circumstances must
be taken into account when developing the compulsory roster and ensure equity
and fairness for all affected employees. This does not mean that everyone has to
“take their turn”, but at the same time, doesn’t mean gaps should always filled
by the same group of employees. The ATO must also take any hardship into
Overtime (Clause 47)
Overtime may be scheduled where client demand exceeds the employees hours
available (i.e. 147 hours, within the bandwidth, per settlement period for
full-time employees) Overtime will also be applicable where an employee has
completed their agreed hours and is directed to work beyond those rostered hours
for more than 15 minutes.
Time of in lieu of payment may be granted if agreed with an employee. Time
off may be taken on either:
An “hour for hour” basis with a residual payment for the overtime
A “penalty hours” basis calculated by multiplying the hours payable by
the overtime rate.
What are your rights?
You can seek to renegotiate your hours or swap with someone else with
the agreement of your team leader or director.
You can advise of your preferred working hours, including preferred
lunch hours and any hours you cannot work due to hardship or any other
If you believe your scheduled roster is unfair or if your circumstances
have not been fully considered, a scheduling committee can be established.
This can be made up of your CPSU representatives and management
representatives. However the local director will make the final decision.
You have the right to be represented by CPSU in all personal leave
related matters. If you disagree with a decision made in relation to your
personal leave, please talk to your CPSU delegate or the Member Service
Centre on 1300 137 636 immediately. They can help you to use the Disputes
Avoidance and Settlement Procedures (DASP) in your Agreement or to lodge a
review of employment action. It is important that you keep written
documentation of any relevant correspondence.
CPSU exists to make a positive difference to members’ lives. Collective
strength gives us the power to defend your rights at work. To join CPSU see your
workplace delegate for an application form, join securely online at
https://web.cpsu.org.au/join or call 1300 137 636.