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Complying with awards

Do you find it overwhelming making sure you are complying with the terms of the Modern Awards?

Are your employees covered by a number of different awards, making payroll a nightmare?

Do you spend more time administering your payroll, calculating allowances, RDO’s and overtime than you do working in your business?

While the Modern Awards and the Fair Work Act aim to make it much easier by streamlining the number of Awards that cover employees, they still don’t work for all businesses, particularly when a number of awards apply within one business. For example, it may be that you manufacture and install office fit-outs. You may have employees who fall under the Manufacturing Award, the Building and Construction Onsite Award, and your office staff may also be classified under the Clerks Private Sector Award, depending on the types of employees within your business.

Even if you don’t need to refer to a number of awards, you may have many employees doing varied jobs that can make complying with awards time consuming, expensive and confusing, for both you and your employees.

There are some options to make things easier.

• Employers can enter into Enterprise Agreements with their workforce, to opt out of the conditions of the relevant Awards and streamline their employment arrangements, provided that they comply with certain obligations under the Fair Work Act including good faith bargaining obligations, and complying with the Better off over all requirements under the new Agreement.

• Another option is to enter into individual flexibility arrangements with your employees, which are contemplated under the awards and can vary certain award requirements such as allowances, overtime and hours, provided that the Award is complied with, the employee is in agreement and the agreement is in writing.

• It may be that entering into one of these arrangement with your employees could save you significant time and effort in managing the administration side of your business, and give you more time to do the parts of your business you do best.

Contact Watkins Tapsell’s Workplace Law Team to determine the most suitable arrangements for your business and to help you implement them.