Major changes for Modern Award-free employees from 1 July 2020

From 1 July 2020, employers will need to ensure whether any award-free employees are actually covered by the Miscellaneous Award 2020.

This is because the Miscellaneous Award has now been expanded to include coverage of all low-paid workers who did not specifically fit a classification in a modern industry award or occupational award (eg the Clerks Award).

Managerial and professional employees will continue to be award-free. These include accountants, finance, marketing, legal, human resources, public relations and IT professionals unless they are covered by a particular industry award (eg Banking, Finance and Insurance Industry Award 2010.)

For those employees who will now be covered by the Miscellaneous Award, employers will need to notify any affected employee of their new Award coverage and what their classification will be.

This is a significant step away from the National Employment Standards (NES) as the Miscellaneous Award contains provisions regarding overtime, penalty rates, allowances, meal breaks and minimum and maximum shifts.

After consulting with employees about their new award coverage, we recommend issuing new contracts of employment confirming the employee's status as full-time, part-time or casual and (if full-time or part-time) what their ordinary hours of work will be.

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