The new wage rates finalised by the Fair Work Commission recently come into effect on the first full pay period after July 1, 2019. ACAPMA has distributed the ACAPMA Employment Quick Reference Guides on the relevant industry Awards and encourages all members, even if they are utilising an Enterprise Agreement, to check these guides and ensure that they are ready for the new rates.
ACAPMA Employment Department has summarised the new rates, and key provisions, for each of the following Awards into Quick Reference Guides;
- Vehicle Manufacturing, Repair, Services and Retail Award 2010 : for console operators, driveway attendants and roadhouse cooks – http://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/modern_awards/award/ma000089/default.htm
- Road Transport and Distribution Award 2010 : for fuel tanker drivers – http://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/modern_awards/award/ma000038/default.htm
- Clerks Private Sector Award 2010 : for administrative staff – http://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/modern_awards/award/ma000002/default.htm
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What does ‘first full pay period on or after 1 July’ actually mean?
This means that the new rates apply only when all of the days in the pay period all fall in the new financial year. So if there are some of the days in the pay period that are in June and some that are in July, then the old rates will apply for that whole pay period. But once all of the days in the pay period are in July then the new rates will apply. The new rates will apply up until the end of June the next year.
I employ under an Individual Flexibility Agreement (IFA), do I have to do anything?
If your business is engaging staff under the Award but with the use of an IFA to create a common hourly (or Racked) rate to account for allowances and other penalties it is important that you review the IFA to ensure that the employees are still Better Off Overall, when the new pay rates and allowance calculations are taken into account.
I employ under an Enterprise or Collective Agreement, do I have to do anything?
If your business is engaging staff under an Enterprise or Collective Agreement it is important that you review the Agreement to ensure that the employees are still Better Off Overall, when the new pay rates and allowance calculations are taken into account.
Do I have to pass on the pay increase?
If your business is currently paying Award rates, then yes you will need to pass on the increase. However, if you are currently paying above Award rates you have the option of absorbing some or all of the increase, and thus not increasing rates paid to staff, or increasing by a lesser amount
What if I pay above Award rates now?
If your business is currently paying staff above the rates that are listed in the attached Quick Reference Guides, then you can choose to ‘absorb’ the pay rate increase into the above Award amounts, which would mean that you would not need to increase your pay rate. It is important to ensure that all amounts, including allowances are above those in the attached. It is up to the business if they choose to communicate to staff that the recent National Wage Case and Award Rate increases have been absorbed into the current above Award pay rates that the employee is receiving and as such their pay rate will not be changing at this time.
Do I have to tell my staff?
While you do not have to notify staff of this change to the pay rates, it is best practice to communicate to your staff at least once a year to confirm their employment conditions. A new financial year and the pay rate changes offers an excellent opportunity to do this. Ideally a Confirmation of Employment Letter, which is similar to a Letter Of Offer, should be sent to employees. Like the Letter Of Offer the Confirmation of Employment Letter would include; business name, job role, employment instrument, classification under that instrument, as well as other business specific employment conditions or benefits.
Can I get some help? ACAPMA Members can access employment advice and assistance by contacting ACAPMA on 1300 160 270 or email firstname.lastname@example.org