During the last industrial changes associated with bargaining the award was updated with the following text, which applies to all staff who do on-call, but specifically those who do single branch station work with on-call at night:
(i) Where an employee is rostered on call, the employee must have a period of 9 hours, without receiving a recall or disturbance, between shifts on consecutive days.
(ii) The 9 hour period can accumulate across the period of on call and is not required to be continuous.
(iii) If an employee is recalled to work for more than 6 hours of the on call period, the employee must receive a 9 hour break from the end of the last recall or disturbance without loss of pay for ordinary working time occurring during the break.
This means that for less than 6 hours of total work (in effect more than 3.5 hrs work) during the on-call period you’re entitled to a minimum of 9 hours break during the entire on-call period. If you don’t get this total time off, your start time for the next rostered duty must be moved. So if you did 2 x 2 hrs work, your next start time would move by 30 minutes - but remember, only count the actual time worked.
For more than 6 hours of total work during the on-call period,after completing the job that took you over 6 hours of total work during the on-call period you’re entitled to an uninterrupted 9 hour break, and yes this new break could be a ‘sleep period’ totally contained within the normal rostered duty time!
As always, fatigue management applies when doing any work so, if you are tired, talk to your Regional DM and conduct a fatigue safety assessment.