ADM start times rolled back for Christmas peak as volumes increase and hot weather sets in

We are pleased to advise members that management have agreed to roll back ADM shift commencement times over the peak period.

The CEPU has, for some time, been arguing for earlier start times, particularly over the hottest and most busiest time of the year. This argument has only become stronger as volumes have increased leading into peak – and where they have been forecasted to continue through until the end of the year.

For those in the Sydney metropolitan region, the following shift commencement times will apply:

Letters PDOs – 6am

Parcels PDOs – 7am

For those in the ACT, Wollongong, Central Coast and Newcastle ADM facilities, the following will apply:

Letters PDOs – 6:30am

Parcels PDOs – 7am

At this stage, these changes will apply from Monday 30 November and run through until Thursday, 31 December.

Members who prefer to remain on their current start times for personal reasons may elect to do so by advising their managers.

Whilst this common-sense decision, which comes off the back of a major push by your Union leaders, will allow members with getting on the road earlier in the day, beat traffic and beat the heat – members should remain vigilant in monitoring the effects of extreme weather, as we approach the Summer.

Management have also agreed to our calls to further review start times for any area facing extreme heat days, where decisions can be made on these days to start our members a little earlier. 

Last year, much of the country had experienced heatwave-like conditions, and we’re already starting to see some of those extremely hot days reappear, this year.

Under relevant health and safety legislation, employers have a duty of care to “ensure the health and safety of their workers and others at the workplace.” Equally, workers have rights to take reasonable steps to remove themselves from unsafe work environments. This includes ensuring that workers are not exposed to hazardous temperatures.

Hot temperatures cause discomfort and hazards such as:

  • reduced concentration (and increased likelihood of accidents)
  • increased discomfort in use of protective clothing and equipment
  • aggravation of effects of other hazards, e.g. noise
  • aggravation of pre-existing illnesses
  • heat stress, exhaustion and fainting.


As we enter into Summer, members should familiarise themselves with their rights whilst working in the heat, particularly extreme heat.

When working in the heat, indoors and outdoors, take additional breaks to re-hydrate and to recover in cool, shaded areas.

If discomfort continues whilst working indoors, notify your manager, complete an incident report identifying the extreme heat as the safety hazard and go home.

If discomfort continues when working outdoors:

  • Return to your workplace;
  • Notify your manager and complete an incident report identifying the extreme heat as the safety hazard;
  • Make yourself available for alternative duties that do not expose you to the extreme heat. Alternative duties should be reasonable – this does not mean mopping the floors or cleaning toilets.

    If no such reasonable alternative duties are made available to you, go home.


It is unlawful for an employer to withhold wages from workers exercising their rights to remove themselves from unsafe work environments. Members who follow the above advice and act reasonably will not have their pay withheld – your Union will ensure this.

Any member who is threatened in relation to their pay, discouraged from completing an incident report or coerced to continue working in unsafe environments should contact their Branch Official, immediately.

If you require any further assistance in relation to these matters, please contact Branch Assistant Secretary Peter Chaloner or Branch Officials Cade Anderson, Elly Huttly, Phil Kessey, Liam Murphy, TK Ly, Peter O’Connell, Dharmpal Singh or Dennis Williams on (02) 9893 7822.

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