Following the unprecedented National Wage Case Decision that has the effect of staggering the start date of wage rate increases, the Group 2 Awards are due to have their rates increase from next week. In the fuel industry this will impact the wages payable to admin staff engaged under the Clerks Private Sector Award and fuel distribution staff engaged under the Road Transport Distribution Award.

STAGGERED WAGE RATE INCREASES

2020 has been a year of ‘unprecedented’ and ‘unique’ and this impacted the decision by the Fair Work Commission too. As explored in detail here; https://acapmag.com.au/2020/06/national-wage-case-exploring-the-staggered-pay-increases/, the outcome was that rather than the pay rates applying from 1st July, they have been staggered, depending on the Group that the Award is placed into.

As per paragraph 466 of the National Wage Case Decision (https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/decisionssigned/html/pdf/2020fwcfb3500.pdf#page=116) the pay rates for the fuel industry Awards will be impacted as follows;

  • Award:  Clerks – Private Sector Award 2010
    • Applies to:  Administrative Staff
    • Pay Period 1:  From 1/7/2020-the last full pay period before 1/11/2020 the current 2019/2020 pay rates will apply
    • Pay Period 2:  From the first full pay period on or after 1/11/2020, the pay rate will increase and will apply until 30/6/2021
  • Award:  Road Transport and Distribution Award 2010
    • Applies to:  Fuel wholesale and transport Staff
    • Pay Period 1:  From 1/7/2020-the last full pay period before 1/11/2020 the current 2019/2020 pay rates will apply
    • Pay Period 2:  From the first full pay period on or after 1/11/2020, the pay rate will increase and will apply until 30/6/2021
  • Award:  Vehicle Repair Service and Retail Award 2010
    • Applies to:  Fuel Retail Staff – console operator, roadhouse attendant, driveway attendant
    • Pay Period 1:  From 1/7/2020-the last full pay period before 1/2/2021 the current 2019/2020 pay rates will apply
    • Pay Period 2:  From the first full pay period on or after 1/2/2021, the pay rate will increase and will apply until 30/6/2021

ACAPMA WAGE RATE QUICK REFERENCE GUIDES

On 3 July 2020 ACAPMA circulated the ACAPMA Quick Reference Guides outlining the Wage Rates for each of the three industry Awards and the date Period that they will apply to. These Guides were noted as Version 1 and incomplete, as the Expense Related Allowances Determination had yet to be published by the Fair Work Commission, so some of the Allowances were unknown.

As at 23/10/2020 the Expense Determinations have still not been published.

ACAPMA will circulate the Expense Related Allowance Determinations as soon as they are available, however, it is important for Members to understand that from 1/11/2020 the wage rates applicable for Period 2 for employees engaged under the Clerks – Private Sector Award or the Road Transport and Distribution Award, will apply.

Members can request another copy of the Guides by emailing employment@acapma.com.au

APPLYING AND COMMUNICATING THE INCREASE

It is important to note that the increases will have a flow on effect to other employment instruments.  If the business uses an Individual Flexibility Agreement (IFA) or Collective/Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (CA/EBA), then it is a requirement that the rates within those Agreements “keep pace” with the Award, this means that when the Award increases the rates in those Agreements will (almost always) increase as well.

It is also important to communicate this unprecedented staggered pay increase to the employees.  It is best practice to issue staff with a Confirmation of Employment each year to ensure that staff understand their employment, their status, the employment instrument that applies to them and their classification under that instrument – as well as other vital information like guaranteed hours, entitlement to paid leave and termination and notice requirements.

Undertaking this process is even more important in the light of the staggered increases.  Members are reminded to add something to the effect of:  Please note that as per the National Wage Case Decision the pay increase for this Award will not come into effect until the first full pay period on or after XX/XX/XXXX to their Confirmation of Employment letters. 

ACAPMA has produced a Confirmation of Employment Guide that includes template letters for permanent and casual staff for members to use.  For those members who have a large number of staff to send letters to a Mail Merge Letter and Excel Source document has been developed.  Members are reminded that they can reach out to employment@acapma.com.au for assistance with these items.

IMPORTANT LINKS

ACAPMA Releases Quick Reference Guides – https://acapmag.com.au/2020/07/wage-rate-resource-coming-today-acapma-quick-reference-guides-released-in-version-1/

ACAPMA