There have recently been a number of determinations made by the Fair Work Commission which has led to changes to the Modern Award. These changes are set out in this article and are inclusive of the following:
  1. annual wage increases; and
  2. changes and amendments to the modern awards.

Wage Increase

In each financial year the Fair Work Commission, led by an expert panel, is required to conduct a review of the modern award minimum wages. On 18 June 2020, the Fair Work Commission made a determination, for the 2020-2021 financial year, as to when the wage increase will come into effect and the percentage of that increase.

It was found that due to the economic effects of COVID-19 that the following would occur:

  1. all modern award rates of pay will be increased by 1.75%;
  2. and the wage increase would have 3 different start dates.
The Awards that cover most of our members are as follows:
  1. Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award 2010 (Electrical Award); and
  2. Clerks – Private Sector Award 2020 (Clerks Award).
The above Electrical Award and Clerks Award fall into the second tranche of increases and will come into effect on 1 November 2020.  For a copy of the updated Wage Rate Bulletin to summarise the wage increase for both the Electrical Award and Clerks Award, please contact us.

Changes to Awards in 2020

As part of its 4 yearly reviews, the Fair Work Commission has been reviewing all modern awards to clarify how some clauses work and changing other clauses. The main changes are the layout, language and inclusion of rates tables to assist in finding the right pay.

The Clerks – Private Sector Award 2010 has now been completely replaced with the new Clerks-Private Sector Award (2020). The differences between the Clerks Award, in addition to the minor changes set out above, are the following clauses:

  1. a clause identifying provisions allowing agreement between an employer and an individual employee or the majority of employees, on how specific Award provisions will apply in the workplace; and
  2. annualised salaries will now only apply to full-time employees and as a result, any part-time employees under the Clerks Award who are on an annualised salary must revert to an hourly rate of pay.
Further, the Miscellaneous Award 2010 has now been completely replaced with the new Miscellaneous Award 2020. As a result of a number of Awards including the Electrical Award and Clerks Award, have been amended to reference the new name for the Miscellaneous Award.

The start date for the Electrical Award has yet to be confirmed. Note, however, NECA is currently making submissions with respect to some of the changes that are being considered.

Disclaimer: This summary is a guide only and is not legal advice. For more information on legislative or contractual obligations, call CTI Lawyers on 1300 361 099 or email [email protected]

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