August 3, 2020   |   Fair Work

Recent Fair Work and modern award updates

There have been a significant number of changes to modern awards as well as other updates by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) during these past few months.

Many of the changes have been in response to COVID to manage the impact it has on businesses, employees and the workplace.

In this blog, we cover some of the more recent updates, your organisation may need to be aware of.

Annual Wage Review

In June, the FWC announced the national minimum wage increase for FY 2020/21. Normally, the minimum wage increases by 1.75% from the first full pay period on or after 1 July of each year. However, with the impact of COVID-19, the Fair Work Commission decided to stagger the release of the increase.

Modern awards will be updated (in groups) over three dates;

  • Group 1: 1 July 2020
  • Group 2: 1 November 2020
  • Group 3: 1 February 2021

If you have employees covered by modern awards, find out which group(s) these awards fall into on the Fair Work website.

Schedule X Extension

Back in April 2020, the FWC announced its temporary Schedule X that was added to 99 modern awards.

Schedule X covers both the unpaid pandemic leave measures and the increased flexibility over annual leave at half pay.

Originally, Schedule X was scheduled to finish up on 30 June 2020. It has now been extended to 30 September 2020 for many of the modern awards with this schedule. Some awards have not received this extension and these awards can be found here.

Furthermore, for some awards, the schedule will be in effect until an even later date or until further notice.

Temporary flexibility Extension

Earlier this year, the FWC introduced temporary measures to the following awards;

  • Hospitality Industry (General) Award (Hospitality Award)
  • Clerks-Private Sector Award (Clerks Award)
  • Restaurant Industry Award (Restaurant Award)

These measures which sit under Schedule L (Hospitality Award) and Schedule I (Clerks Award and Restaurant Award) were due to finish up on 30 June 2020.

For more information on the temporary measures introduced back in March, read our blog here.

These temporary schedules have now been extended until 27 September for the Hospitality Industry Award and the Restaurant Industry Award; and 30 September for the Clerks Award.

However, it is important to note that the extended schedules have been varied, so please refer to the updated schedules for more information. Furthermore, the Vehicle Repair, Services and Retail Award (Vehicle Award) which also had a similar temporary schedule added in May has also been extended until 31 August 2020.

Accessing information on these awards;

Other Award Updates

The FWC, as part of their modern award review, has introduced updates to the following awards;

Building and Construction General On-Site Award

Some of the updates to this award include;

  • Updates to allowances
  • Introduction of time off instead of overtime
  • Inclusion of early morning shift
  • Update to annual leave loading
  • Update to rates for forepersons and supervisors

Find out about all the updates to this award on the FWC website here.

Joinery and Building Trades Award

  • Introduction of time off instead of overtime
  • Updates to working away from home arrangements

Find out about all the updates to this award on the FWC website here.

Mobile Crane Hiring Award

  • Updates to the accommodation and overnight allowance

Find out about all the updates to this award on the FWC website here.

Aged Care Award

  • Updates to rates paid to casuals on weekends and public holidays

Find out about all the updates to this award on the FWC website here.

Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Award

  • Updates to rates paid to casuals on weekends

Find out about all the updates to this award on the FWC website here.

Miscellaneous Award

  • Update on the coverage of the award

Find out about all the updates to this award on the FWC website here.

As usual, these updated awards will come into effect from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2020.