What is a Modern Award?

Modern awards are industry or occupation-based minimum employment standards which apply in addition to the National Employment Standards. They were created to establish one set of minimum conditions for employers and employees across Australia who work in the same industries and occupations.

 Prior to the modernisation process, there were thousands of federal and state-based awards but these have now been streamlined into a few hundred.

 It is important that you know if there are changes to your industry award under the modernisation process, particularly, the introduction of pay rates changes, as this is complex and can be confusing.

 Similar to previous Awards, a Modern Award covers all employers and employees who perform work in an industry or occupation covered by that particular Modern Award. However, modern awards may not apply to some managers. They may also not apply to high income employees (who have an appropriate written guarantee of annual earnings of more than $118 100 p.a. (during the year ended 30 June 2012 – indexed annually). Even if a modern award covers the industry they work in.

 If your business is covered by an Enterprise Agreement, the terms and conditions must pass the Better Off Overall Test (BOOT), meaning it must give employees better terms and conditions overall to the Modern Award.

 For help with your Modern Award, particularly, in relation to pay rates and Enterprise Agreements, don’t hesitate to contact us.

How do you know which Modern Award applies  to you?

If you are unsure, please feel free to contact us for assistance.