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Bunnings worker's refusal sparks workplace attitude debate: 'How it should be'

Natalie Robinson admits she only wants to work the time she is paid for and doesn't go into the store early.

A Bunnings worker has sparked a debate about when the right time to rock up to work is after she confessed to not even arriving "two minutes early" since she doesn't get paid for it.

Natalie Robinson questioned online whether it was "just her" that refuses to go into work early in preparation for her shift but instead arrives exactly when the shift starts so she is "only working the time I get paid for".

"I will not go into my workplace until it's the time that I'm clocking on, I don't want to go in two minutes early, I will go in on my start time. Is that just me? Or am I just petty?"

Left, Bunnings worker Natalie Robinson wearing the Bunnings uniform making a grimace face. Right, Bunnings warehouse signage reads 'Lowest prices are just the begging'.
Bunnings worker Natalie Robinson doesn't go into work early before her shift as she only wants to work the time she's paid for. Source: TikTok and Getty

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She clarified that she gets "straight to work" when she arrives and doesn't take time out of the shift getting ready, promising she isn't "lazy" and does enjoy her job.

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Aussies divided over workplace etiquette

Robinson's short video sparked an outpouring of opinions from Aussies, with thousands sharing when they think is socially acceptable to arrive at their own workplace, with some saying it's dependent on the industry and what is required of the job.

Many agreed with her stance, believing workers should be encouraged to only work the hours they actually get paid for to promote a stronger work life balance.

"This is how it should be, work for what you get paid, nothing more," one Aussie wrote, while another praised the Bunnings worker for her "way of thinking".

"Work is hell and we gotta do it for life so don't let em take more time," another said.

Others explained they arrive at least five minutes early to "put their stuff away" before commencing their day of work, while others were strongly against Robinson's approach — sticking to the mentality of, "if you're on time then you're late".

"Biggest pet peeve is those who arrive dead on start time," one said, with others saying it "looks good" to arrive early for future promotions.

Workers must be paid from when they are required to be there

Workers are not legally required to arrive early to work but do need to be at their workplace and commence work-related tasks in line with the hours they are being paid. In Robinson's instance, this means she needs to be physically performing work-related tasks from 8am onwards, if her shift starts then.

Any company with mandates which require workers to arrived within a specified time before the start of a shift cannot be legally enforced. For example, if an employee is expected to arrive by 7.45 am to prepare for a store opening at 8 am, the employee should be paid from 7.45 am onwards, according to the Fair Work Commission.

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