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AEU Member Resources

What is unreasonable workload?

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Full time School and College teachers are required on site for 70 hours per fortnight.

An unreasonable and excessive workload is one that cannot reasonably be done in your official hours of work. If you are consistently starting work early, finishing work late or working weekends then your workload is not reasonable.

It is the employer’s responsibility to make sure you are not overloaded.

The Teaching Award and Agreement includes provisions which protect you and require that your employer take steps to ensure your workload is not unreasonable.

Workload Management – Award Part VII clause 5. #

An employee who believes they may have been allocated duties that exceed those that can be reasonably performed in the time allocated for them to be undertaken should formally advise their principal/supervisor. Where practicable to do so, the employee should suggest how their allocated tasks can be prioritised.

A principal/supervisor who has been advised in accordance with subclause (a) should respond promptly to the employee’s concerns. Where the principal/supervisor acknowledges the workload is excessive the response should include a plan to reduce the workload to a manageable level. If the principal/supervisor does not accept that the workload is excessive the response should outline such reasons.

Agreement- Workloads – part 7 #

The employer will ensure that supervisors and managers are aware that the tasks allocated to employees must not exceed what can reasonably be performed in the hours for which they are employed.

The employer will ensure that supervisors and managers implement procedures to monitor the hours worked of the employees they supervise and where employees regularly work in excess of the hours for which they are employed to perform their jobs, changes (technology, responsibility, extra resources) will be implemented.

These provisions have been drafted to protect you, but they can’t operate on their own, YOU need to activate them.

What can I do if my workload is unreasonable? #

Start Keeping a diary of the actual hours you work in order to complete all the tasks expected of you.

Once you can demonstrate that you are allocated duties that exceed those that can reasonably be performed in the time allocated, you need to formally advise your principal/supervisor. The AEU have drafted a pro forma letter (see attached) which you will need to complete including all your relevant personal details and a description of your workload.

Provided you principal agrees your workload is excessive a plan must be implemented to reduce your workload to a manageable level.

Need a print version of this fact sheet?

Download it here (PDF)

If you have any further queries regarding workpload please contact the AEU on 6234 6500 or via email

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We are the voice of public education in Tasmania. We represent and advocate for all teachers, principals and support staff working in government schools, colleges and TAFE.

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