Voluntary hours? At work? Kidding aside, it’s a good question.
While there’s peripheral factors to consider:
let’s get down to addressing your basic question: to pay or not pay overtime for voluntary hours?
For most employees, an award, enterprise agreement or other registered agreement sets out when overtime rates apply. I note you’re an employer within the Finance sector and those working in this industry would typically be covered under the Banking, Finance and Insurance Award 2010.
Clause 23.1 of this Modern Award states:
All time worked at the direction of the employer outside ordinary hours of work prescribed by this award, will be paid for at the rate of…
For the purpose of this clause, “…at the direction of the employer…” means that the employee was given an express instruction to perform work in excess of the hours prescribed under clause 23.
Where the employee works hours in excess of those prescribed under clause 23 at their own initiative (i.e. without any express instruction from the employer to do so) the employee will not be entitled to payment in accordance with this clause.
So…an employee covered by this Award wanting to put in more time – and I’d assume this is because they’d like the opportunity to earn more commission – is free to do so; they simply have to be informed additional time worked voluntarily (and not at the direction of the employer) is not considered overtime.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has a great summary of when overtime applies to various industries. Check this out here.
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