Keep those old State Awards handy! Whilst everyone has been busy working out which Modern Awards are relevant to their business and aligning their staff to classifications in these, don't forget that the previous State Awards are still relevant till 2014.
Whilst everyone has been busy in working out which Modern Awards are relevant to their business and aligning their staff to classifications in these, it must not be forgotten that the previous State Awards are still relevant till 2014.
For the great majority of businesses, minimum pay rates are not those stated in Modern Awards. Your employee’s minimum pay rates come from a combination of the previous State Award pay rates and the Modern Award rate – these are known as transitional rates. In many cases the transitional rates are higher than the new Modern Award rate and it’s the transitional rates that apply.
Most everyone is now aware of the redundancy pay entitlements set out in the National Employment Standards (NES) but did you know that some State Awards have redundancy entitlements that are greater than those in the NES and these are the entitlements that apply if your business makes an employee redundant. For example; in the previous NSW Award that covered Clerks (Clerical and Administrative Employees (State) Award) a 45 year old employee with 5 years’ service would receive redundancy pay of 17.5 weeks whereas under the NES this would be 10 weeks. It’s the 17.5 weeks that your employee would be entitled to.
This is not to say that Modern Awards are not relevant. Only parts of the Modern Award are transitional till 2014, the remaining parts were effective from July 2010.
Familiar comments we hear are “I pay my staff more than the award so I don’t need to worry” or “My employees are not covered by awards.” Most employees are now covered by Awards and attention is needed particularly when paying over award salaries to ensure the employee is still better off than if they received all of the Award’s entitlements.
If you are unsure about how to calculate transitional rates for your employees or whether your employees are actually ‘better off’ with over-award salaries, please contact us.