Quirks in modern awards #1: One month’s notice of termination under the Professional Employees Award
The majority of employees in Australia are covered by an industry / occupation specific modern award. Whilst many of the awards contain similar provisions, in this series of occasional articles we examine unusual award clauses which are sometimes missed by employers.
Most modern awards contain wording in relation to notice along the following lines: “Notice of termination is provided for in the National Employment Standards”. This is a reference to the sliding scale of minimum notice periods stated in section 117 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).
The Professional Employees Award 2010 covers employees performing “professional engineering and professional scientific duties” (as defined) and employers in the “information technology industry, the quality auditing industry or the telecommunications services industry” (as defined).
Unlike most other modern awards, clause 12.2 of the Award states “Instead of s.117(3)(a) of the Act, in order to terminate the employment of an employee the employer must give the employee one month’s notice.”
This means that an employee is entitled to one month’s notice from their first day of employment.