1 July 2020 Changes, covid-19 modern awards updates And construction modern awards CHANGES

Over the past two weeks, the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission ('Commission') has issued multiple decisions and determinations affecting several changes including the variation of numerous modern awards, this circular outlines the significant changes.

1 JULY 2020 CHANGES

The Commission handed down its annual wage review decision for 2020 and further to our circular dated 19 June 2020,  this has resulted in the following changes.

National Training Wage

Since our circular date 19 June 2020, further clarification was required about the operative dates of the wage increases for employees undertaking a traineeship under the National Training Wage.

This increase is to be in accordance with the operative dates set in relation to modern award minimum wages for the Group 1, Group 2 and Group 3 Awards. To be clear, this includes modern awards that refer to and incorporate the terms under Schedule E of the Miscellaneous Award 2020, which has an operative date of 1 November 2020.

The increase in rates in the National Training Wage will take effect from:

  • 1 July 2020 for Group 1 Awards
  •  1 November 2020 for Group 2 Awards
  •  1 February 2021 for Group 3 Awards.

To view the determinations for the awards click here.

Supported Wage System

Since our circular dated 19 June 2020, the Commission issued a determination varying the Supported Wage System schedule in some modern awards. This increased the minimum amount payable to $89 wherever appearing in the Supported Wage System schedules of the awards. The variation takes effect from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2020.

To view the determination click here (see Appendix A for the full award list).

Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award 2010 – Adult apprentice wages

As the Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award 2010 is a Group 2 Award, the Commission issued a determination so that the increase to the ‘federal minimum wage’ for the purposes of clauses 20.3(a)(iii) and 20.3(b)(iii) does not take effect until 1 November 2020.

To view the determination click here.

High income threshold

Separate to the Commission’s annual wage review decision for 2020, effective from 1 July 2020 the high-income threshold in unfair dismissal cases will be $153,600 and the compensation limit will be $76,800 for dismissals.

For further information click here

 

4 YEARLY REVIEW OF MODERN AWARDS - CONSTRUCTION AWARDS

Further to our circular dated 25 March 2020, the Commission issued decisions on 26 September 2018 [[2018] FWCFB 6019], 31 October 2019 [[2019] FWCFB 6860] and 18 December 2019 [[2019] FWCFB 8564], concerning the Building and Construction General On-site Award 2010, Joinery and Building Trades Award 2010, and the Mobile Crane Hiring Award 2010 and Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award 2010. Since then, the Commission has issued further determinations to address several substantive matters effecting the following changes.

Building and Construction General On-site Award 2010

What are main the changes?

Ordinary Hours of Work and Rostered Days Off

  • Clarification that the ordinary hours of work for casual and part-time employees shall not exceed 8 hours per day
  • More flexibility for employers and employees to agree on when RDOs can be taken
  • Ability for employers to roster employee RDOs if a roster is issued in writing 7 days in advance of the 20-day RDO work cycle
  • In circumstances where there are unforeseen delays to a project or part of the project or for other reasons relating to unforeseen or emergency circumstances, employers can require employees to work an RDO that is otherwise fixed by agreement with an employee. Otherwise, an employer can make the direction by providing at least 48 hours’ notice. Either would result in the employee being entitled to the Saturday penalty rates and retainment of the RDO.

Fares and Travel Patterns Allowance

  • Clarification that employees are entitled to the fares and travel pattern allowances where an employee starts and finishes work on a construction site or is required to perform prefabricated work in an open yard and then erect or fix on site.
  • Where the employer provides or offers to provide free transport from the employee’s home to the place of work and return or provides a fully maintained vehicle free of charge, an employee will not be entitled to the allowance.
  • Employees who are required to transfer from one site to another will be entitled to travel time payment and, if no transport is provided by the employer, where applicable, reasonable cost of fares for public transport or $0.78 per kilometer travelled in the employee’s own vehicle.
  • Unless the employer directs an employee to pick up and return other employees to their homes, any time spent traveling from an employee’s home to their job and return outside ordinary hours is unpaid.
  • When an employee is required to travel to a construction site that is located outside the metropolitan radial area in which their usual place of residence is located and is more than 50km by road from their usual place of residence, they will be entitled to a distant work payment. This will be in addition to the Fares and Travel Patterns allowance.

Industry Allowance and Special Rates

  • Removal of several site and general wage related allowances (total of 52) substituted by new industry allowances that compensates for various disabilities and conditions categories of construction industries.
  • The new all-purpose industry allowances payable to employees in addition to their minimum weekly rate of pay are:
    • 6% of the weekly standard rate for the General building and construction industry, Civil construction industry and Metal and engineering construction industry.
    • 4.8% of the weekly standard rate for the Residential building and construction industry
  • Introduction of the new residential building and construction industry definition ‘the activities identified in clause 4.10(a) undertaken in relation to a single occupancy or dual occupancy residential building which is not a multistorey building as defined in clause 22.3(c).’
  • Special rates in clause 22.10 are now only applicable only to the general building and construction sector

Living Away from Home – Distant Work

  • For the purposes of qualification of the allowance, employees must not knowingly make a false statement about the details of their address and employers will need to take reasonable steps to verify the address details provided by the employee

Time Off Instead of Payment of Overtime (TOIL)

  • Introduction of clause 36.17 Time off instead of payment for overtime for full time and part time employees (not daily hire or casual employees)
  • Insertion of Schedule H—Agreement for Time Off Instead of Payment for Overtime

Other

  • Removal of tester coverage (clause 4.10(b)(v) deleted)
  • Introduction of early morning shift and applicable shift loading.
  • Introduction of rest breaks for hot and cold work

When do the changes come into effect?

These changes come into effect from the start of the first full pay period on or after (‘ffppooa’) 1 July 2020.

To view our updated pay summary click here.

To view the full determination click here.

To view the correction determination click here and here.

Joinery and Building Trades Award 2010

What are the changes?

  • Update of clause 24.5(a)(ii) Living away from home for a distant job removing the weekly allowance of $503.40 and keeping the allowance daily allowance of $72.02.
  • Where an employee is directed to proceed to a distant job and the employee complies with such direction, the employer will have the option to:

a)     pay the greater of $72.02 per day or an amount which fully reimburses the employee for all reasonable accommodation and meal expenses incurred; or

b)     provide accommodation and three adequate meals each day; or

c)     provide accommodation and reimburse the employee for all reasonable meal expenses; or

d)     where employees are required to live in camp, provide all board and accommodation free of charge.

  • Insertion of new clause 24.5(a)(iii) requiring accommodation provided under clause 24.5(a)(ii) must be in accordance with contemporary living standards
  • Insertion of new clause 24.5(x)(v) to include the definition of economy return fare ‘means the total cost of the most common method of public transport between the employee’s usual residence and the distant job and return.’
  • Introduction of clause 30.9 Time off instead of payment for permanent employees (not casual employees)
  • Insertion of Schedule I—Agreement for Time Off Instead of Payment for Overtime

 

When do the changes come into effect?

These changes come into effect from the start of the ffppooa 1 July 2020.

To view our updated pay summary click here.

To view the full determination click here.

Mobile Crane Hiring Award 2010

What are the changes?

  • Update of clause 14.3(e) Accommodation and overnight allowance to increase the allowance to $72.02 per day
  • Where an employee is required to be away from home overnight the employer will have the option to:

e)     pay the greater of $72.02 per day or an amount which fully reimburses the employee for all reasonable accommodation and meal expenses incurred; or

f)      provide accommodation and three adequate meals each day; or

g)     provide accommodation and reimburse the employee for all reasonable meal expenses; or

h)     where employees are required to live in camp, provide all board and accommodation free of charge.

When do the changes come into effect?

These changes come into effect from the start of the ffppooa 1 July 2020.

To view our updated pay summary click here.

To view the full determination click here.

 

MODERN AWARDS AMENDMENT UPDATES IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19

Schedule X – additional measures during the COVID-19 pandemic

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission issued a decision on 8 April 2020 which varied the modern awards to insert a new Schedule X – additional measures during the COVID-19 pandemic (see our circular dated 9 April 2020). It provides employees an entitlement to unpaid ‘pandemic leave’ and the flexibility to take twice as much annual leave at half pay. This was operatively effective from 8 April 2020 to 30 June 2020.

However, multiple applications to extend the operation of Schedule X were received by the Commission and the Commission issued determinations throughout the last week which effected the following changes.

What are the changes?

For the below health sector awards the operation of Schedule X is extended until further or other order of the Commission.

  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services Award 2010
  • Aged Care Award 2010
  • Ambulance and Patient Transport Industry Award 2020
  • Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2010
  • Medical Practitioners Award 2020
  • Nurses Award 2010
  • Pharmacy Industry Award 2010
  • Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010
  • Supported Employment Services Award 2010

To view the full determination click here.

For the below retail sector awards the operation of Schedule X is extended until 31 July 2020.

  • Fast Food Industry Award 2010
  • General Retail Industry Award 2010
  • Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010
  • Storage Services and Wholesale Award 2010

To view the full determination click here.

For the Live Performance Award 2010, the operation of Schedule X is extended until 30 June 2021.

To view the full determination click here.

For the Air Pilots Award 2020, the operation of Schedule X is extended until 31 December 2020.

To view the full determination click here.

For another 64 awards where Schedule X appears, the operation of Schedule X is extended until 30 September 2020.

To view the full determination click here (see Appendix A for the full award list).

To view the full decision click here.

To view the correction determinations click here and here

For the Electrical Power Industry Award 2020, the Commission’s provisional view is that Schedule X should be inserted and operate until 30 September 2020. The hearing took place 10:00am (AEST) on 3 July 2020 and the Commisison is yet to issue a determination.

To view the full decision click here.

Further award flexibility during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Commission also issued determinations between March to May for 5 awards to insert COVID-19 specific schedules to provide further flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic. This related to annual leave, agreed/directed temporary reduction in ordinary hours, ordinary hours working from home, classification and duties, close downs, and secondary jobs/training for the operative dates of the COVID-specific schedules inserted into the awards.

Like Schedule X, the Commission received applications to extend the operation of the COVID-19 specific schedules. The Workplace Advice Line is backed by Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors (ABLA) and ABLA represented the Australian Chamber of Commerce as well as the restaurant and catering industry and motor trades associations with respect to these matters. These efforts and the Commission’s readiness to respond to applications made during the COVID-19 crisis in a rapid, flexible yet procedurally fair manner, resulted in effecting the following changes.

For the Clerks – Private Sector Award 2010, the operation of Schedule I (28 March 2020 until 30 June 2020) is extended until 30 September 2020.

To view the full determination click here.

For the Hospitality (General) Industry Award 2010, the operation of Schedule J (24 March 2020 until 30 June 2020) is extended until 27 September 2020.

To view the full decision and determination click here.

For the Restaurant Industry Award 2020, the operation of Schedule I (31 March 2020 until 30 June 2020) is extended until 27 September 2020.

To view the full decision and determination click here.

For the Vehicle Repair, Services and Retail 2020, the operation of Schedule I (11 May 2020 until 30 June 2020) is extended until 31 July 2020.

To view the full decision and determination click here.

 

For the Educational Services (Schools) General Staff Award 2010, the operative dates of Schedule J remain as 24 April 2020 until 1 August 2020.

To view the full determination click here.

To view the decision determination click here.

We will continue to communicate modern award updates in response to COVID-19 as they are determined by the Commission.

Further information

The changes mentioned in this circular will be reflected in the copies of the modern awards that can be downloaded from our website. To view the full list of modern awards, click here.

For the updated NTW and SWS pay summaries, this can be provided upon request.

 

Please call the Workplace Advice Line on 13 29 59 or email advice@businessaustralia.com if you wish to discuss this circular or require further information.