Modern Awards – Phasing in announcement made on 02/09/09
Many will know that the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (‘AIRC’) is presently conducting an award modernisation process to develop new modern awards to apply to Australian employers from 1 January 2010.
These modern awards will:
- Remove current award differences that exist between States and Territories, including minimum wage rates, casual and part time loadings, penalty rates and allowances
- Be industry and occupation based
- Replace current federal and state awards – that number in the thousands
- Form the benchmark for Enterprise Agreement bargaining from 1 January 2010.
The award modernisation process must be completed by the AIRC by 31 December 2009.
Many employers have expressed concern over modern awards applying from 1 January 2010, particularly as in some cases minimum wage rates, casual and part time loadings, penalty rates and allowances will inevitably increase as a consequence, leading to staff cost increases.
For that reason, the AIRC has announced, on 2 September 2009, transitional arrangements that will apply to the introduction of modern awards. These transitional arrangements will phase in changes to new modern award minimum conditions on the following basis:
- No changes in minimum wage rates, casual and part time loadings, penalty rates and allowances will apply until 1 July 2010
- From 1 July 2010 to 1 July 2014, changes to minimum wage rates, casual and part time loadings, penalty rates and allowances will be phased in by 5 equal instalments.
These transitional arrangements will apply to:
- Minimum wages and piecework rates of pay (including allowances)
- Casual and part time loadings
- Saturday, Sunday, public holiday, evening and other penalties
- Shift allowances and penalties.
Implementing an Enterprise Agreement can displace modern award coverage and allow employers to tailor make terms and conditions of employment for their staff suited to their individual needs.
We invite you to speak to a member of our Workplace Relations team and visit our website to learn more about new modern awards and enterprise agreement making.
Author: Herbert Fischbacher