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1 July 2010 Is An Important Date For Fair Work And Modern Awards Are You Ready

From 1 July 2010, the transition to modern awards commence, the new minimum wage becomes effective, modern award rates reflecting the latest Minimum Wage case come into play, the high income threshold relevant to unfair dismissal actions changes, the high income award exclusion figure changes and some particular award provisions commence.

These changes are noted below.

Transition to modern awards

The phasing-in provisions apply to these modern award entitlements from the first pay period commencing on or after 1 July:

minimum wages
casual and part-time loadings
Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday penalty rates
evening and other penalty rates
shift allowances.

For more information on Phasing-in wage rates, loadings and penalties, contact us.

New minimum wage

The adult minimum wage increases by $26.12 to $569.90 or $15.00 per hour from the first pay period commencing on or after 1 July.

See: 2010 annual wage review — analysis

Modern award rates

Minimum award rates in modern awards increase adult award rates by $26 from the first pay period commencing on or after 1 July.
Identifying the relevant modern award comparison rates for the purpose of the phasing-in provisions will be relatively straightforward because the classifications are essentially the same in pre-modern award instruments and modern awards, but this is not always the case.

In some cases, classification structures will have been altered, so it’s important that in calculating any phase-in of increased rates, employers are comparing the correct classifications. The classifications applicable under the old awards must be carefully matched to the relevant classification under the modern award.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has provided assistance in finding the correct rate of pay.

See also:
2010 annual wage review — analysis
Annual Wage Review 2010: key points

High income threshold relevant to unfair dismissal

For dismissals occurring from 1 July, the applicable threshold determining whether a non-award employee can bring an unfair dismissal action is $113,800.

See: High income threshold re unfair dismissal and award application — increase from 1 July 2010

High income award exclusion figure

From 1 July, employees, whose conditions of employment are not covered by an otherwise applicable modern award because they have received ‘a guarantee of annual earnings’ from their employer, must be receiving earnings in excess of $113,800 to continue to be exempt from the relevant modern award.

See: High income threshold re unfair dismissal and award application — increase from 1 July 2010

Some particular award provisions (eg clerks award)

Modern awards should be individually checked to see whether a particular provision comes into effect on 1 July.

For example, the exemption clause in the Clerks Private Sector Award 2010 no longer has effect from 1 July 2010.

Some state awards (eg NSW Clerical and Administrative Employees (State) Award) had an exemption clause that excluded higher paid clerks from certain award conditions.

From 1 July, in lieu of the exemption clause, employers are able to pay their employees who are covered by this award an annualised salary in satisfaction of any or all of the following entitlements:

minimum weekly wages


overtime and penalty rates,and

annual leave loading.

An employer is required to advise the employee in writing of the annual salary that is payable and which of the provisions of the award will be satisfied by payment of the annual salary.

The annual salary must not be less than the amount the employee would have received under the award entitlements, and must be reviewed annually to ensure the compensation is appropriate.

Article sourced from Workplaceinfo, A daily Bureau service for HR & IR professionals. For a free 14 day trial, contact us on "info@wrscentre.com.au" or call Craig on 0450 747337.
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