Further to the announcement of the Decision of the Fair Work Commission in the National Wage Case released last week (see; https://acapmag.com.au/2020/06/national-wage-case-decision-2020-and-its-implications/) the DRAFT Determinations that, once passed, will give effect to the variations to the pay rates in the Awards have been published and commenting has closed. The FINAL Determinations are expected to be released imminently so now is the time for businesses to understand and communicate the implications of these Decisions to their staff. ACAPMA will, once the Determinations are released in their final form, release the Quick Reference Guides to members along with guidance on communicating these changes to staff.
National Wage Case – Staggered Pay Increases
The National Wage Case decision that was handed down last week resulted in the minimum wage increasing 1.75%, a week to $19.84 per hour.
For the first time the increase will not be universally applied. Rather, the new increase will commence on three different dates and apply to different groups of workers for each of these commencement dates. The rationale behind the changing dates was that for those workers who have continued to work throughout the pandemic, the businesses have suffered less of an impact and can bear the increase commencing on 1/7/2020, whereas other more effected businesses, like construction should commence on 1/11/2020 and the most effected businesses, like tourism should commence on 1/2/2021.
In the fuel industry the implication of this staggered implementation will be;
- As per Decision, Paragraph 466.2 the Clerks – Private Sector Award (https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/wage-reviews/2019-20/draft-determinations/ma000002-wages-draft.pdf) and the Road Transport and Distribution Award (https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/wage-reviews/2019-20/draft-determinations/ma000038-wages-draft.pdf), pay increase comes into effect from 1/11/2020. This means that Award pay rates will remain unchanged in these Awards until this date. So the rates that applied in June 2020 will continue to apply until the first full pay period on or after 1/11/2020.
- As per Decision, Paragraph 466.3 the Vehicle Repair, Service and Retail Award (https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/wage-reviews/2019-20/draft-determinations/ma000089-wages-draft.pdf), pay increase comes into effect from 1/2/2021. This means that the Award pay rates will remain unchanged in this Award until this date. So the rates that applied in June 2020 will continue to apply until the first full pay period on or after 1/2/2021.
ACAPMA Members are reminded that there is an extensive list of Awards for which the pay rates will increase on 1/7/2020, and those businesses that are engaging staff under Awards other than the three listed above should take caution to review when those Awards are to be increased and seek appropriate advice if required. The list of Awards to increase on 1/7/2020 – the Group 1 Awards, can be found at Paragraph 466.1 of the Decision. The list of Awards to increase on 1/11/2020 – the Group 2 Awards, can be found at Paragraph 466.2 of the Decision. The list of Awards to increase on 1/2/2021 – the Group 3 Awards, can be found at Paragraph 466.3 of the Decision. To view the Decision see; https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/decisionssigned/html/pdf/2020fwcfb3500.pdf#page=116
ACAPMA Employment Quick Reference Guides
It is important for business operators to remember that the National Wage Case sets the Minimum Wage, but that the rates that must be provided to those working in the downstream petroleum industry will be changed by the FWC making formal amendments to the Awards, and that these changes are not always a simple increase by the standard percentage, especially for casuals in the retail sector. So while we know today the new National Minimum Wage, we will have to wait for the final determinations to vary the Awards before we have the final rates that will apply for 2020/2021 financial year.
ACAPMA is eagerly anticipating the release of the FINAL Determinations from the FWC, which are anticipated imminently. These Determinations will translate this minimum wage decision into changes to the Modern Awards. ACAPMA is ready to prepare and circulate the ACAPMA Quick Reference Guides to ACAPMA Members.
ACAPMA’s employment department produces Quick Reference Guides each year, to summarise key Award requirements, including finalised rates for:
• The Road Transport and Distribution Award 2010 for fuel tanker drivers,
• The Vehicle Repair Services and Retail Award 2010 for console operators, roadhouse and driveway attendants, and
• The Clerks Private Sector Award 2010 for clerical staff.
All employment instruments effected
While the National Wage Case directly changes the wage rates in the Modern Awards there is also a flow on effect to all employment instruments.
Employers who use direct contracts, enterprise agreements, individual flexibility agreements or racked rates must take the time to review the wage rates contained within those instruments as the National Employment Standards, which apply to all employees, provide for the Modern Award rates to be the basis for all wage rates, regardless of instrument.
All employers need to review the base rates in their instruments to ensure they are equal to, or above the levels set in, the Modern Awards after the National Wage Case increase.
Register now so you don’t miss out
The ACAPMA Quick Reference Guides will be sent to the Principle members upon their release; however, all members are encouraged to have the responsible persons in their business, such as payroll or workplace relations managers, register to receive these Guides on their release, to ensure they receive the information in a timely fashion.
To register to receive the ACAPMA Quick Reference Guides and other key workplace relations information please email firstname.lastname@example.org to add key staff to the Employment distribution list.
Elisha Radwanowski BCom(HRM&IR)