What is an RDO in Australia? Learn more about entitlements, how to calculate it and FAQs.

What is an RDO?

The RDO or Rostered Day Off is a paid day of leave in a roster period that is enabled by working additional time each working day to accrue the extra time needed for the day off.

Still common on unionised sites and throughout the Public Sector, an RDO typically forms part of an Award or Registered Agreement that sets out the number of hours required to work, when they can be used etc.

You can find specific information about RDOs by Award or Agreement on the Fair Work Australia website.

As RDOs are still quite common in many workplaces, including the contact centre industry in Australia, we’ve listed a number of FAQs related to RDOs below.

You may also be interested in our 2024 Australian Call Centre Salary Guide which contains specific salary benchmarking and award information for contact centre workers.

So how often do you get a Rostered Day Off?

For most businesses, an RDO is typically one day off every fortnight (two weeks) or month (four weeks).

How does a Rostered Day Off work?

A Rostered Day Off works on the premise that you are working a little bit of extra time every day so you can accrue enough time to have a full shift rostered off, and still get paid.

So whilst it might appear to be a ‘free’ day off where you are still getting paid, the reality is you have earned the day off by working the time already.

How is an RDO calculated?

Using the public sector as an example, a standard workday is often 7.6 hours (which is 7 hours, 36 minutes)

If employees still work 8 hours each day, they accrue an additional 0.4 hours (24 minutes) for each day they work.

Over a standard month, by working 19 days with an extra 24 minutes, they have accrued 7.6 hours.

This enables employees to have a fully rostered day off once a month.

What are the benefits of a Rostered Day Off?

The general premise is that it enables the employee to have a rostered day off every fortnight/month etc, so they can schedule activities outside of work and save their annual leave for a holiday.

There is also a belief that allowing employees an RDO each month makes them less likely to take unscheduled sick leave.

Am I entitled to an RDO if I work part time?

Yes, although it does depend on your Award/Agreement.

Part-time employees can accumulate RDOs on a pro rata basis or be paid for all hours they work instead of accumulating any RDOs.

Do casual employees get an RDO?

No. But they should be paid for any additional time they work.

When do I have to take my RDO?

Most RDOs are on an agreed day/date with your employer and a minimum notice period may apply. This can typically be:

  • On the same day each fortnight/month.
  • On request by the employee with an agreed minimum notice period.

Can I save up my RDOs to use all at once?

Depending on your Award or Agreement, it may be possible to accrue/bank some of your RDOs to use all at once, say for week’s holiday.  Limits may apply to the maximum number of days you can accrue.

Whilst we hope the FAQs helped answer your question, we always recommend speaking to your employer or contacting Fair Work Australia for more information.

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