Pub­li­ca­tions

Quirks in mod­ern awards No’s 5 to 8

As part of our occa­sion­al series on odd and unusu­al terms in mod­ern awards, we high­light a fur­ther four more quirky claus­es in mod­ern awards that employ­ers some­times miss. 

Quirks in mod­erns awards No. 5: Require­ment to pay over­time rates where employ­ees are kept wait­ing for their wages in the Build­ing and Con­struc­tion Gen­er­al Onsite Award 2010

Employ­ers in the build­ing and con­struc­tion indus­try are well advised to remem­ber their cheque book on pay day. Clause 31.5 of the Build­ing and Con­struc­tion Gen­er­al Onsite Award 2010 pro­vides as follows:

If an employ­ee is paid wages by cash or cheque and is kept wait­ing for their wages more than a quar­ter of an hour after the usu­al time of fin­ish­ing work on pay day (for rea­sons oth­er than cir­cum­stances beyond the con­trol of the employ­er), the employ­ee is to be paid at over­time rates after that quar­ter of an hour for the peri­od they are kept wait­ing, with a min­i­mum pay­ment of a quar­ter of an hour.

Quirks in mod­erns awards No. 6: Part time employ­ees paid more than full time employ­ees in the Clean­ing Ser­vices Award 2010

Although the min­i­mum hourly rate to be paid to full-time and part-time employ­ees is iden­ti­cal in most mod­ern awards, the Clean­ing Ser­vices Award 2010 unusu­al­ly pro­vides for an allowance of 15% for part-time employ­ees which full-time employ­ees do not receive (see clause 12.4(b)(iii) of the Award).

Quirks in mod­ern awards No. 7: Junior employ­ees to be paid adult wages when serv­ing liquor

Many mod­ern awards pro­vide that junior employ­ees” (those under 21 years) can be paid a less­er wage than their old­er adult” coun­ter­parts. It is usu­al for such awards to include a slid­ing scale of wages depen­dent on the employee’s age (eg 50% of the adult wage for an employ­ee 16 years of age or under, 60% for an employ­ee 17 years and under, etc).

How­ev­er, the Restau­rant Indus­try Award 2010 (at clause 15.1), the Reg­is­tered and Licensed Clubs Award 2010 (at clause 12.1); the Rac­ing Clubs Events Award 2010 (at clause 19.1) and the Hos­pi­tal­i­ty Award 2010 (at clause 15.1) all have pro­vi­sions that state that where juniors are required to serve alco­hol they should be paid the full appro­pri­ate adult wage (where­as oth­er junior employ­ees can be paid reduced rates).

Quirks in mod­erns awards No. 8: Pay rate of Lev­el 5 employ­ee high­er than a Lev­el 6 employ­ee in the Fit­ness Indus­try Award 2010

A perusal of the pay rates at clause 17.1 of the Fit­ness Indus­try Award 2010 reveals that for pay rates effec­tive from 1 July 2017, the min­i­mum rate for an adult Lev­el 5 employ­ee is $24.48. The min­i­mum rate for a Lev­el 6 employ­ee is less at $24.27.

Accord­ing to the Fair Work Ombudsman’s web­site, this appar­ent anom­aly is delib­er­ate https://​www​.fair​work​.gov​.au/​l​i​b​r​a​r​y​/​k​600230​_​l​e​v​e​l​-​5​-​p​a​y​-​r​a​t​e​-​i​n​-​t​h​e​-​f​i​t​n​e​s​s​-​award, and is as a result of a deci­sion of the Fair Work Com­mis­sion in the 2012 Mod­ern Awards Review: https://​www​.fwc​.gov​.au/​d​o​c​u​m​e​n​t​s​/​d​e​c​i​s​i​o​n​s​s​i​g​n​e​d​/​h​t​m​l​/​2012​f​w​a​9142.htm