Business Alert – Amendment of the Miscellaneous Award to Expand Coverage

By 19 August 2020Workplace

Recent changes to the Federal Miscellaneous Award 2020 have sought to expand the coverage of this award.

The amendments remove the previous exclusion on the grounds of industry coverage.

The award covers employers throughout Australia and their employees in the classifications listed.  This includes any employer which provides ‘on hire employees’ in the classifications set out and employers which provide group training services for apprentices and trainees under the award, and those apprentices and trainees engaged by a group training service hosted by a company to perform work at a location where the activities described are being performed.

The classifications are listed in clause 12. They are very broad and refer to an employee with a trade qualification or equivalent and carrying out duties requiring such qualifications, or an employee with advanced trade qualifications who is carrying out duties requiring such qualifications or is a sub-professional employee.

The term ‘sub-professional employee’ is not defined.

The term ‘on hire, means the on-hire of an employee by their employer to a client where such employee works under the general guidance and instruction of the client, or a representative of the client.

However, the Award does not cover managerial employees and professional employees such as accountants and finance, marketing, legal, human resources, public relations and information technology specialists. Nor does it cover employees:

  • excluded from award coverage by the Fair Work Act 2009
  • covered by a modern enterprise award or an enterprise instrument;
  • covered by a State Reference Public Sector Modern Award or State Reference Public Sector Transition Award.

Takeaways

Employees now covered by the Miscellaneous Award will be eligible for benefits like minimum award rates, overtime rates, weekend penalty rates and allowances.

As a result of this amendment, the Miscellaneous Award will now generally apply to most employees who perform work of a low skilled, low paid manual nature, who are not covered by any other modern award.

If you previously had an employee who was considered award free, you should reassess whether this employee remains award free given these amendments, or if the Miscellaneous Award may now apply.

If you require any advice about the impact of these amendments to the Miscellaneous Award, please contact Suzanne Wishart or Matt Bell on 1300 068 736.

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