Current at: 01 September 2010
Modern award rates of pay (NAT)
The transition to a national modern award system has been far from simple.
While the modern awards came into effect from 1 January 2010, employers have not been required to pay modern award rates of pay until 1 July 2010.
In most cases, the rates of pay have increased as a consequence of award modernisation.
However, a further point of confusion arises from the fact that the rates specified in the modern award are not the actual minimum rates but are subject to complex transitional arrangements that enable employers to phase in any increases or decreases over the next 5 years in 20% instalments. As the awards in the building industry are comprised of multiple allowances, the way in which the difference between the modern award rate and the pre-modern award rate of pay is to be calculated has also raised some complex interpretational issues.
Casual and part-time loadings; penalty rates for Saturday, Sunday, public holiday and evenings and shift allowances for shift workers are also being phased in.
Take Home Pay Orders
In some instances it may appear that certain allowances and other entitlements have been reduced. However you should take care in cutting wages, as employees are entitled to Fair Work Australia for Take Home Pay Orders if they suffer a reduction of their rates as a result of award modernisation.
There is no equivalent right for employers to apply to Fair Work Australia.
However any increases in your monetary obligations as a result of the implementation of modern award rates can be absorbed with any existing over-award payments. This means that if you are already paying above the modern award rates, you would be meeting you minimum pay obligation without needing to increase the wage rate.
To assist members, HIA have prepared modern award wage rate sheets for the following awards:
• Building and Construction General On-site Award 2010;
• Joinery and Building Trades Award 2010
• Clerks Private Sector Award 2010
and can also assist in calculating rates for other awards that are relevant to your employees.
For more information, call the InfoCentre on 1300 650 620.
DISCLAIMER – the above is intended to provide general information in summary form. The contents do not constitute specific advice and should not be relied upon as such. Formal specific advice should be sought by members with respect to particular matters before taking action.