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The Fair Work System and Modern Awards. Why? Complicated system of pre-reform federal awards, Notional Agreements Preserving State Awards (NAPSAs), pay.

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Presentation on theme: "The Fair Work System and Modern Awards. Why? Complicated system of pre-reform federal awards, Notional Agreements Preserving State Awards (NAPSAs), pay."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Fair Work System and Modern Awards

2 Why? Complicated system of pre-reform federal awards, Notional Agreements Preserving State Awards (NAPSAs), pay scales and other industrial instruments – 3715 separate instruments. Compliance with multiple instruments could be difficult for employers. Movement to national workplace relations system. Award modernisation


4 How it started… Award modernisation commenced in March 2008. Commencement of Transition Act Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, issued the award modernisation request to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC). AIRC to create modern awards to replace the existing complicated system of pre-reform awards, NAPSAs and pay scales. Modernisation to be complete by 31 December 2009. Award modernisation

5 What was achieved… 3715 instruments condensed to 122 modern awards. Process completed within timeframe set by the Minister. Modernisation benefited from extensive AIRC consultation: Published exposure drafts of each modern award for comment Conducted hearings where stakeholders could present submissions Considered written submissions from all interested stakeholders. Award modernisation

6 Where to from here? Pay/classification provisions will commence on 1 July One-off review of awards at the beginning of 2012. Achieving modern awards objective. No technical problems or anomalies.. Recurrent substantive review – Fair Work Act 2009 4-yearly review of modern awards – first in 2014. Modern awards

7 Modern awards provide a fair and relevant safety net of standards, taking into account: Living standards and needs of the low paid Promote social inclusion through workforce participation Equal remuneration for work of equal or comparable value Easy to understand, stable and sustainable award system Modern awards objective

8 The Act is the legislative basis of the Fair Work system. The Act includes the 10 National Employment Standards (NES) that apply to all employees in the national workplace relations system. The NES: Maximum weekly hours Flexible work requests Parental leave Annual leave Personal/carer’s leave Fair Work Act 2009 Community service leave Long service leave Public holidays Termination and redundancy Fair Work Information Statement


10 The Act and modern awards The Act is also the legislative basis for the ongoing creation and variation of modern awards. It sets out the modern awards objective, as well as: Fair Work Australia can make, vary and revoke modern awards Terms that can and cannot be included in awards 4 yearly review of awards … Fair Work Act

11 Modern awards can be varied FWA has the power to vary modern awards in certain situations. Awards can be varied upon application by parties, or by FWA at its own initiative. Reasons for variations: To resolve uncertainty or ambiguity To achieve the modern awards objective In accordance with human rights and anti-discrimination principles. Award variations

12 Applying to vary An individual or organisation can apply to FWA to have a modern award varied. Complete application  lodge with FWA  provide to relevant parties. Submissions in support of or opposition to the application  FWA may conduct a hearing before determining the matter. Modern Award variations

13 When setting, varying or revoking award minimum wages & the national minimum wage FWA must establish a maintain a safety net of fair minimum wages, taking into account: Needs of the low paid Principle of equal remuneration Performance/competitiveness of the national economy Social inclusion through workforce participation Minimum wage objective

14 Award wages can be varied in accordance with the minimum wage decision FWA can make a determination varying award wages: Must take into account the national minimum wage Take effect 1 July Flow on from national minimum wage determination Award wages variations

15 State or national system? Many businesses were in the federal system prior to the commencement of the Fair Work system – new national system. Some businesses have moved from state workplace relations systems to the national system. Transitional provisions assist with the changes. Non-trading corporations, unincorporated entities, partnerships or sole traders in Western Australia continue unaffected in the state system. Australian Disability Enterprises


17 Supported Employment Services Award 2010 (SES Award) Commenced 1 January 2010 Covers employers operating supported employment services. Classification grades 1 – 7. Incorporates the use of listed approved wage assessment tools. Includes overtime and penalty rates, superannuation, hours of work, leave and public holidays. Includes transitional provisions to enable smooth transition to the modern award.

18 SES Award continued Variation The award was varied on 15 March 2010. Minor variations: Adding work descriptors to classification grades Including transitional provisions in the award. Where to access Employers can get a copy of the award at ‘Awards and award modernisation’  ‘Find an award’

19 FWA is the new independent tribunal Commenced on 1 July 2009. Has replaced the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. FWA is a modern, responsive and streamlined institution. Conduct hearings Function in an inquisitorial manner Hold informal conferences Determine matters on written submissions Fair Work Australia (FWA)


21 What FWA does Fair Work Australia is the national workplace relations tribunal. It is an independent body with power to carry out a range of functions relating to: the safety net of minimum wages and employment conditions enterprise bargaining industrial action dispute resolution termination of employment other workplace matters. … Fair Work Australia …

22 FWA replaced: Australian Industrial Relations Commission Australian Industrial Registry Australian Fair Pay Commission Workplace Authority (Agreement assessment) … Fair Work Australia

23 The role of the Fair Work Ombudsman is to work with employees, employers, contractors and the community to promote harmonious, productive and cooperative workplaces. Providing education, assistance and advice on relevant Commonwealth workplace laws Promoting and monitoring compliance with relevant Commonwealth workplace laws Inquiring into and investigating any act or practice that may be contrary to workplace laws. Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO)


25 The Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman replaced: Workplace Ombudsman Workplace Authority (Advisory elements, including Infoline) … Fair Work Ombudsman

26 Fair Work Online – or Infoline 13 13 Fair Work Ombudsman – or 13 13 Fair Work Australia – or call 1300 799 Useful contacts


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