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$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

Modern Award changes –Fact Sheet 8 –Away from home allowance

The Fair Work Commission (Commission) has confirmed changes to the Building and Construction General Onsite Award 2010 (Onsite Award) will commence from 1 July 2020. HIA recommends you consider the changes as some will have an immediate effect on your employee’s terms and conditions.

Living away from home allowance

Living away from home allowances are payable under the Onsite Award where an employee is employed on construction work at such a distance from their usual place of residence or any separately maintained residence that they cannot reasonably return to that place each night.

These provisions have been substantially re-written. 

Frequently asked questions regarding the living away from home allowance

Has the circumstances in which living away from home allowance is payable changed?

No. Your employees continue to be entitled to living away from home allowances where an employee is employed on construction work at such a distance from the employee’s usual place of residence or any separately maintained residence that the employee cannot reasonably return to that place each night, provided that:

  • the employee is not in receipt of relocation benefits
  • the employee is maintaining a separate place of residence to which it is not reasonable to expect the employee to return each night, and 
  • the employee has provided the correct details of their usual place of residence, or any separately maintained address, to the employer.

What has changed?

It is recommended that you view the entitlements under Clause 24 each time a scenario arises where an employee has an entitlement to the living away from home allowance. The entitlements under this Clause have been rewritten to align with contemporary practices.

Generally, Clause 24 has been reviewed to clarify:

  • the need to obtain and verify the employees address from engagement – this will effect entitlement under the clause
  • the entitlement of accommodation and meals when living away from home. Meals are to be provided or reimbursed by the employer and accommodation is to be of a contemporary standard 
  • where living in a camp situation, there is no longer a need for an employer to employ a cook or camp attendant – meals are to be of a reasonable standard
  • the circumstances in which an employee is engaged on a job away from home for more than eight weeks – that the employee is entitled to rest and recreation leave time off is exclusive of travel time.

This information is part of a series of updates on the Modern Award changes aimed at assisting members understand the requirements. More information can be found in the articles in the ‘What to read next’ section. 

To find out more, contact HIA's Workplace Services team

HIA Workplace Services

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