Modern Award Review Update

Modern Award Review Update

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has been varying existing awards both as a result of the 4-yearly review of modern awards and in response to the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Schedule X – Additional measures during the COVID-19 pandemic

CCER previously advised members of the FWC’s 8 April 2020 decision to vary 99 modern awards to insert a new schedule: Schedule X – Additional measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schedule X provides an entitlement to unpaid ‘pandemic leave’ and the flexibility to take twice as much annual leave at half pay. The FWC extended the operation of Schedule X in a number of awards.

On 24 September 2020, the FWC issued a Decision extending the operation of Schedule X in 74 awards until 29 March 2021. These awards include:

  • Banking, Finance and Insurance Award 2020
  • Cemetery Industry Award 2020
  • Children’s Services Award 2010
  • Educational Services (Post-Secondary Education) Award 2020
  • General Retail Industry Award 2010
  • Higher Education Industry-General Staff-Award 2020
  • Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2020
  • Journalists Published Media Award 2020
  • Labour Market Assistance Industry Award 2020
  • Miscellaneous Award 2020
  • Professional Employees Award 2020

On 30 September 2020, the FWC issued a Decision extending the operation of Schedule X in the Clerks – Private Sector Award 2020 to 30 November 2020.

Members should also note that the FWC confirmed in a 16 September 2020 Statement that it did not intend to extend Schedule X in the 9 Health Sector Awards. These include:

  • Aged Care Award 2010,
  • Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2020
  • Nurses Award 2010
  • Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010
  • Supported Employment Services Award 2020

Paid Pandemic Leave 

The FWC has noted that the entitlement to paid pandemic leave in the following awards is due to cease operation on 29 October 2020:

  • Aged Care Award 2010
  • Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2020
  • Nurses Award 2010

General Retail Industry Award 2020

The Fair Work Commission has undertaken a review of the General Retail Industry Award as part of its 4-yearly review of Modern awards. A new General Retail Industry Award 2020 (the 2020 award) came into effect on 1 October 2020.

The changes in the 2020 award are largely not substantive and involve re-drafting to address structural issues and to apply plain-English principles.

In addition, members should be aware that amendments have been made to reflect the transitional arrangements in the penalty rates matters. The final variation determination came into operation on 1 October 2020 as follows:

  • the table in clause 22.1(b) has been amended to delete two rows of penalty rates for Monday to Friday evening work which no longer apply (before 1 October 2020) and Sunday work which no longer apply (before 1 July 2020);
  • clause 25.1(c) has been amended to remove the shiftwork rates for Sunday that applied from 1 July 2019 until 30 June 2020; and
  • updated pay tables to reflect the transitional changes in penalty rates.

You can access your modern award here

For any members who would like further information or have any questions, please contact us on 9390 5255 or ccerenquiry@ccer.catholic.org.au.

CCER does not give legal advice and this should not be taken as such. 

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