The Labour Governments simplification of awards.
Simplification of awards will continue under the workplace system to be established by the new Labour government. A two-year simplification process is expected to commence 1 January 2008. The Australian Industrial Relations Commission will oversee the process.
Simplified awards will be confined to the following ten conditions:
- Minimum wages
- Fair Work Australia will set minimum wage rates to take effect from the first full pay period on or after 1 July of each year.
- Type of work performed, for example, permanent or casual, facilitation of flexible work arrangements
- Work arrangements for example, hours, rostering.
- Overtime rates
- Penalty rates
- Minimum annualised wage or salary
- Allowances for example, work related and expense related allowance
- Annual leave including leave loading
- Dispute Resolution processes
Flexibility in the Workplace
Awards will also provide for the promotion of efficient work performance and encouragement of work-family balance. Model flexibility clauses will be mandatory.
Key Awards for simplification
Certain federal awards will be nominated as key awards. These key awards will be given priority for simplification in 2008. The balance will be simplified in 2009, so that the process is complete by 1 January 2010. The Australian Industrial Relations Commission will hear submissions from interested parties and will consider which industries and occupations require separate awards. Enterprise specific awards will be reviewed by the Commission only on request from the parties to the award. The Commission will also consider how to deal with preserved State awards and preserved State agreements.
Which positions are not covered by the new awards?
Simplified awards will not regulate positions which have been historically award free, such as most managerial positions. Further, awards will only cover employees earning less than $100,000 per annum. Employees who are currently covered by awards and who earn above this threshold will be able to negotiate with the employers to either continue under existing terms and conditions or move to the new system.
Please note: The laws have not changed yet. Detailed draft legislation has not been released and so the outcomes may differ from those described here.
Article supplied by Australian Business Lawyers - specialists in employment law and related areas.