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Introduction to the Pharmacy Industry Award 2010

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Employers in the community pharmacy industry must now look to the Pharmacy Industry Award 2010 (“PIA”) for the terms and conditions that cover their workforce.

In Victoria, the PIA replaces the Community Pharmacy Award 1998 and the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association – Victorian Pharmacy Assistants Award 2000. The PIA applies across Australia and replaces various Federal and state-based awards.

Transitional provisions in the PIA apply until 1 July 2014 which mean that minimum wage rates, casual and part time loadings, and penalty rates will be transitioned by installment from the rates in the pre-1 January 2010 awards.  See MST’s article on the transitional provisions here.

Summary of key terms of PIA

  • Coverage: The PIA covers both Pharmacists and Pharmacy Assistants.
  • IFAs: Like all modern awards, the PIA contains a new provision for Individual Flexibility Arrangements, by which employers and individual employees can modify some award terms, given certain conditions.
  • Averaged ordinary hours for full time employers may be averaged cross two consecutive weeks.
  • Casual loading: A loading of 25% of the ordinary hourly rate is payable to casual employees.  For pharmacists, this must be transitioned from 20% across the next five years.  For Pharmacy assistants, this is consistent with the loading in the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association – Victorian Pharmacy Assistants Award 2000.
  • Overtime rates are:-
    • 150% for first two hours worked;
    • 200% for time thereafter;
    • 200% for all overtime on a Sunday; and
    • 250% for public holidays;
    • Casuals receive the same overtime rates, but the casual loading is not payable for overtime.
  • Meal allowance: An employee required to work for an hour past their scheduled finishing time, without at least 24 hours notice, is entitled to a meal allowance of $14.30 and an additional $12.80 if required to work more than four additional hours.
  • Transport allowance: $0.74/kilometer must be paid where an employee is required to use their own car to complete their duties.
  • Uniform/Laundry allowances: Employees expected to launder a uniform must be paid $6.10 per week.
  • Superannuation: If superannuation is not paid into a fund of the employee’s choice, it must be paid into either:-
    • Retail Employees Superannuation Trust (REST);
    • Guildsuper; or
    • any superannuation fund used by the employer before 12 September 2008.

Ancillary employees

Other modern awards will apply where community pharmacies employ other classes of employees, as follows:-

  • Baby Nurses: Nurses Award 2010
  • Clerical/administration staff: Clerks – Private Sector Award 2010
  • IT staff: Professional Employees Award 2010
  • Naturopaths: Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2010
  • Store workers: Storage Services and Wholesale Award 2010

For assistance in determining how these awards and the transitional provisions may affect your community pharmacy business, please contact one of our Pharmacy lawyers.

Author: Richard Scougall