By Charles Power
Having legally watertight workplace documents is essential – they’re the basis of your business. If they’re not completely up-to-speed, any employee could challenge them, take you to court and win.
That’s why it’s imperative that you know what awards your employees are covered by.
For instance, are they covered by one of the many modern awards (there are 122 of them! – listed at www.fairwork.gov.au).
A modern award is an instrument that records the minimum conditions of employment for employees it covers. These conditions are enforceable under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act).
A modern award will apply to your employees if you are a national system employer and:
- you employ a person within the coverage clause of the award; and
- the employee falls within the award classifications.
However, if you are a private sector employer in Western Australia and not a constitutional corporation, the only awards that apply to you will be State awards (the coverage of which depends on their scope)
Modern awards are generally national, rather than confined to State or Territory boundaries.
But how do you know if your employees are covered by the Miscellaneous Award?
See the following points to determine whether an employee is covered by the Miscellaneous Award. If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these statements, the Award will apply:
- No other modern award covers the employee.
- The employee is not a professional, e.g. is not an accountant, human resources manager, architect or executive.
- The employee is not in a class of employees who, because of the nature or seniority of their role, has not traditionally been covered by awards, e.g. managers and professional employees, such as specialists in accounts and finance, marketing, law, human resources, public relations and information technology.
- The employee has a trade qualification or equivalent, or an advanced trade qualification, and they are carrying out duties requiring such a qualification.