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I’m not sure which awards and classifications apply to my employees. How do I find out?

I’m not sure which awards and classifications apply to my employees. How do I find out?I’m not sure which awards and classifications apply to my employees. How do I find out?

There are 120 modern awards, introduced under the Fair Work Act in 2009 and updated in 2020. These awards cover the minimum wage and conditions for almost all workers in Australia. Understanding which award covers each of your employees, and which classification is relevant in each case, is a critical step in HR risk management. Get it wrong, and you could face significant individual and company fines.

Get awards and classifications right

Applying awards correctly can be challenging for a number of reasons, including:

  • It can be difficult to identify the right award to cover the employment terms and conditions for each of your employees
  • If there does not appear to be a specific industry award, or if it does not cover all workers, then you must apply occupation-related awards (if relevant)
  • If there is not an industry or occupation award that applies, the next step is to consider the Miscellaneous Award
  • In the case of no relevant awards, the National Minimum Wage, National Employment Standards and other legislation relevant to employment (eg. legislation governing superannuation and work health & safety) applies to these employees
  • Modern awards cover more than just minimum pay, they also address penalty rates, overtime, allowances and break arrangements
  • If an award applies to some, or all employees, the correct award classification must be applied to the role each worker is performing
  • An employee's modern award classification should be determined based on the work they perform in their role,
  • Paying an employee above the applicable minimum award rate of pay does not free the employer of meeting all the terms of the modern award
  • Modern awards change regularly and it is up to the employer to keep up to date

There are many complexities and variables around applying modern awards and classifications, and ensuring all the provisions of the award are correctly addressed.

 

We can help you:

  1. Make sure your business is fully compliant with awards and classifications
  2. Reduce HR risk by identifying and addressing non-compliance issues
  3. Keep up to date with changes to awards that affect your business

For practical, professional advice on recruitment call 1300 872 566 or email: info@hroncall.com.au and we’ll call you back.

Avoid the risks

Understanding modern awards and classifications, and applying them correctly will help you avoid the common HR mistakes employers make, including:

  • Assuming a private contract overrides or takes the place of an award
  • Addressing the minimum wage aspects of an award but not conditions such as penalty rates, overtime allowances and break arrangements
  • Not keeping up to date with changes and updates to awards

 

If you are not sure what to do, the best course of action is to get advice from a professional.

We can help

HR on Call is here to help. We work with small and medium-sized businesses that need simple, practical solutions and support.

Get in touch for a free, no-obligation chat.

For the right people for your business call 1300 872 566 or email: info@hroncall.com.au and we’ll call you back.
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