Changes to Awards in 2020

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The Fair Work Commission have been reviewing all modern awards since 2014, as part of the 4-yearly review of modern awards. They have clarified how some award clauses work and changed other clauses. On 2 September 2019, the Commission issued a decision that they’re finalising the review and will release the new versions of 18 modern awards in 3 groups (‘tranches’).

The first tranche of awards apply from the first full pay period on or after 4 February 2020. So, if your pay week is from Monday to Sunday, the new awards take effect from Monday 10 February 2020.

What do you need to do?

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You can find copies of the tranche 1 awards on the Commission’s Modern award list if you’d like to see what the changes are.

If you’re an employer or manager, every award requires that you make a copy of the award available to your staff on a noticeboard or through accessible electronic means. The new provisions in awards also require an employer to set the outer limits of overtime / penalty rate hours an employee can be required to work without the need for additional payment. Employers must keep records of:

– Start and finish times of the employee
– Start and finish times of each unpaid break

We recommend using software such as HR Central or Tanda to keep up-to-date, accurate records of employee hours.

TIP: Award rates increase each year in July; you might consider including contingency for this!

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What’s changing?

For most awards, the biggest change is to the layout and the language. This will mean that your award should be simpler and easier to understand.

Four additional awards will be amended at a later date, they are –

  • Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010
  • Restaurant Industry Award 2010
  • Marine Towage Award 2010
  • Health Professionals & Support Services Award 2010

How can software help?

HR and payroll software can streamline the time-recording and reconciliation requirements. HR Software such as Employment Hero allows employees to clock in / clock out via an app on their phone. Employment Hero can then integrate this data into payroll systems to make the
process of calculating wages and performing reconciliations simple.

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Common awards are built into payroll systems meaning the system can automatically calculate payments due to employees based on the hours they work. This documentation can then be delivered to employees via the app.

Where can I find out more?

If you’re not already signed up to receive Fair Work email updates, you can subscribe now and they will let you know when your award is changing.

Further resources are also available here. 

If you need assistance with payroll, get in touch with us via the form below and we will be more than happy to assist you!