Changes to Clerks - Private Sector Award

The Fair Work Commission has recently changed several modern Awards in relation to annualised wages, including the Clerks – Private Sector Award 2010.

As from 1 March 2020, an annualised wage must be no less than the amount the employee would have received under the Award for the work performed over the year for which the wage is paid.  Where an annualised wage is paid, the employer must advise the employee in writing, and keep a record of:

  • The annualised wage that is payable;
  • Which of the provisions of the Award will be satisfied by payment of the annualised wage;
  • The method by which the annualised wage has been calculated, including specification of each separate component of the annualised wage and any overtime or penalty assumptions used in the calculation; and
  • The outer limit number of ordinary hours which would attract the payment of a penalty rate under the Award and the outer limit number of overtime hours which the employee may be required to work in a pay period or roster cycle, without being entitled to an amount in excess of the annualised wage.

If in a pay period or roster cycle an employee works any hours in excess of either of the outer limit amounts these hours will not be covered by the annualised wage and must separately be paid for in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Award.

Further, the employer must each 12 months from the commencement of the annualised wage arrangement or upon the termination of employment of the employee, calculate the amount of remuneration that would have been payable to the employee under the provisions of the Award over the relevant period and compare it to the amount of the annualised wage actually paid to the employee. Where the latter amount is less than the former amount, the employer shall pay the employee the amount of the shortfall within 14 days.

The employer must also keep a record of the starting and finishing times of work, and any unpaid breaks taken, of each employee subject to an annualised wage arrangement for the purpose of undertaking the comparison, and this record must be signed by the employee (or acknowledged as correct in writing, including by electronic means) by the employee, each pay period or roster cycle.

Disclaimer: This summary is a guide only and is not legal advice. For more information on employers’ obligations, call NECA Legal (WA) Pty Ltd on (08) 6241 6129 or email necalegalwa@necawa.asn.au.