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Sometimes an employee is paid for hours they haven’t worked.

Minimum payments for casuals

Many awards state that casual employees get a minimum payment for each shift. A casual must be paid the whole minimum payment even if they aren’t required to work for the whole time.


Harper is a casual employee under the Clerks Award. The minimum payment for casual employees in her award is 3 hours.

Harper was asked to come in to cover the reception for 2 hours.

She is still paid for 3 hours work because that’s the minimum payment for casuals in her award.

Employee sent home early

An employer might send an employee home early because they’re not needed anymore. The employee still gets paid:

  • for the hours they would normally have worked on that day if they are a full-time or part-time employee
  • their minimum payment for the shift as provided in their award if they are a casual employee.

Example: casual sent home early

Binh is a casual employee. He is covered by the Vehicle Award. The minimum payment for casual employees in his award is 2 hours.

Binh was rostered on for 5 hours. His employer sent him home after 1 hour due to a rostering error. Binh gets paid for 2 hours as that’s his minimum payment entitlement in his award.

In some cases, employees can be sent home early without pay. An employee can only be stood down if the business can’t operate because of a circumstance that’s outside of the employer’s control. See Stand downs for more information.

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