Under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), Modern Awards undergo a full formal review every four years and a technical review every two years.  As explored in earlier an HR Highlight most of the technical review changes were made announced late August. However additional changes to the Road Transport and Distribution Award were also announced more recently, this week’s HR Highlight explores the changes and what they mean to transport operators in the downstream petroleum industry.

The Review

Under the Fair Work Act the technical review is of a narrower scope than the four year full review. The technical review focuses on correcting drafting errors and clarifying interpretive confusion. Changes can be made to the Awards that will apply retrospectively or prospectively. The retrospective changes are made as such because they are to correct drafting errors and clarify intentions that were there from the beginning of the Award.

The Changes

Changes to the Road Transport and Distribution Award 2010, the Award that governs or underpins the employment of fuel transport workers, have been made in the area of annual leave loading.

The review determined that there was an inconsistency in the way that annual leave loading was handled on termination.  Under the Road Transport and Distribution Award 2010 there was no requirement to pay leave loading on unused leave on termination of employment.

The changes (extracted below) have remedied this situation so that now ALL UNUSED LEAVE IS TO INCLUDE LEAVE LOADING WHEN PAID OUT ON TERMINATION.

Road Transport and Distribution Award 2010

Clause 29.2
During a period of annual leave an employee will receive a loading calculated on the minimum wage rate in clause 15 of this award. Annual leave loading payment is payable on annual leave accrued and taken and on annual leave paid out on termination.

The loading is as follows:
(a) Day work
Employees who would have worked on day work only had they not been on annual leave17.5% or the relevant weekend penalty rates, whichever is the greater but not both.

(b) Shift work
Employees who would have worked on shift work had they not been on annual leavea loading of 17.5% or the shift loading (including relevant weekend penalty rates) whichever is the greater but not both.’

What you need to do

It is important for all businesses to clearly articulate to staff the employment instrument that they are engaged under. For many job roles in the downstream petroleum industry this means that under individual contracts, enterprise agreements or collective agreements sits the Awards. All staff should be made aware of the primary instrument of employment and the underlying Award and classification. Staff should also be made aware of where they can locate a copy of their employment instrument and underlying Award.

Many businesses keep a copy of the Award onsite to satisfy this requirement. ACAPMA advises members to update their copy of the Road Transport and Distribution Award using the following link: http://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/modern_awards/pdf/MA000038.pdf

Here to Help

ACAPMA members are reminded that the ACAPMAlliance Workplace Relations Professionals are available to assist with all employment matters. For more information just call 1300 160 270.

HR Highlights are things to consider, implement and watch out for in your business. They are provided as general advice and you should seek further advice on your situation by calling 1300 160 270 and speaking to one of the ACAPMA Workplace Relations Professionals it’s free for members.

ACAPMA membership is affordable at only $700 per year for a single site and valuable with sites gaining HR advice support and representation as well as a raft of other benefits and discounts. Click here to learn more about ACAPMA membership.

Elisha Radwanowski BCom (HRM & IR)
ACAPMA Workplace Services Manager