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Understanding the latest modern award changes

Stay up to date with the latest modern award changes from the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission (FWC). 

Latest updates

General Retail Industry Award 2020: junior rates amendment

The Fair Work Commission recently handed down their decision on junior rates in the General Retail Award 2020 as part of the 4-yearly review of modern awards. Click here for more information from Australian Business Lawyer's & Advisors.

Overtime entitlements for casuals

On 30 October 2020 the Fair Work Commission varied 97 modern awards to clarify the calculation of overtime entitlements for casuals. This is after consideration of submissions from interested parties in relation to prior decisions on the matter issued on 8 October 2019 and 18 August 2020.

The effect of this decision is that the calculation of overtime rates for casuals will be varied. This determination comes into operation from the first full pay period on or after (ffppoa) 20 November 2020, except for the Aged Care Award for which it is the ffppoa 1 March 2021.

You can read more about the decision here.

Award wage review increase

On 19 June 2020, The Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission released its annual wage review decision. The decision included a minimum wage increase from the first full pay period as follows: 

  • From 1 November 2020 minimum wages will be increased by 1.75% for all Group 2 Awards. Click here for a list of Group 2 Awards.
  • From 1 February 2021 minimum wages will be increased by 1.75% for all Group 3 Awards. Click here for a list of Group 3 Awards.
  • From 1 July 2020 minimum wages will be increased by 1.75% for all Group 1 Awards. Click here for a list of Group 1 Awards.

You can read the full determination here

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Previous updates

Understanding the latest modern award updates is crucial to ensure your business meets the necessary employment and work health and safety standards.

There have been several determinations issued by the FWC to address substantive issues in specific awards. They are: 

What happened? On 19 May 2020, the FWC varied this award to assist employers and employees and preserve jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are the changes? Schedule H now includes provisions enabling employers and employees who do not qualify for JobKeeper payments to agree on flexible part-time employment terms. Employers can also request that their full-time and part-time employees take annual leave with a minimum of three days (72 hours) notice.

When do they come into effect? These changes will start on the first full pay period of 19 May 2020 and last until 31 July 2020

You can read the decision here

What happened? The new Vehicle Repair, Services and Retail Award 2020 (previously Vehicle Manufacturing, Repair, Services and Retail Award 2010) came into effect from the start of the first full pay period of 29 May 2020.

What are the changes? All vehicle manufacturing employers and employees will now be covered by the Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2020 from this date.

When do they come into effect? These changes will start on the first full pay period of 29 May 2020.

You can read the decision here

What happened? A determination was issued by the FWC on 27 April 2020 to vary the award.

What are the changes? The award was varied to include golf industry related coverage and classifications, and an entitlement of 17.5% annual leave loading.

When do they come into effect? These changes will start on the first full pay period of 1 June 2020. 

You can read the decision here

What happened? A determination was issued by the FWC on 21 May 2020 to resolve issues in this award.

What are the changes? Issues relating to the plain language re-drafting of the redundancy clause were addressed. The determination clarifies where redundancy pay and notice of determination entitlements apply for apprentices or fixed-term employees in sugar mills.

When do they come into effect? These changes will start on the first full pay period of 1 June 2020.

You can read the decision here

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There were also final determinations made for the individual awards listed below. They came into effect from the first pay period on or after 29 May 2020.

The awards that have changed will now have the year ‘2020’ in their title. The awards are:

  • Clerks—Private Sector Award (see determination for further information)
  • Contract Call Centres Award
  • Educational Services (Schools) General Staff Award
  • Hospitality Industry (General) Award (see determination for further information)
  • Local Government Industry Award
  • Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award
  • Rail Industry Award
  • Restaurant Industry Award (see determination for further information).

Visit the Fair Work Commission's website for more details.