Awards or Modern Awards are legal documents that outline the minimum award rates (or pay rates), and conditions of employment for specific industries. Modern Awards apply to employers and employees and depend on the specific industry and the position that the employee fulfils. All Modern Awards contain a coverage and classification clause which assist employees in determining which Modern Award applies to them.

award pay rates

Every year on 1 July, the minimum award rate increases. These minimum award rates vary between the type of worker and age of the worker. For example, casual workers are paid a casual loading which compensates for the fact that they do not receive additional employment entitlements (such as annual and personal leave), and adult employees have a higher minimum award rate than juniors.

The minimum award rate that an employee is entitled to will depend on their classification. In some instances, the classification/job title that an employee is provided within their contract does not reflect the actual requirements of their role. If an employee has been wrongly classified and as a result, has been underpaid, the employee can claim underpayment of wages up to 6 years from the date the underpayment took place.

If you believe that you have been wrongly classified or underpaid, you should seek legal assistance.

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    I found Arthur Hambas & Katherine Boyles extremely professional & compassionate in my dealings with them. After telling Arthur that I felt the details surrounding my redundancy felt wrong he took on my case & secured me a better payout from my employer. I would not hesitate to recommend Mcdonald Murholme to anyone that has a feeling that something isn't quite right. I greatly appreciate everything you did.
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  • May 2020

    I found Arthur Hambas & Katherine Boyles extremely professional & compassionate in my dealings with them. After telling Arthur that I felt the details surrounding my redundancy felt wrong he took on my case & secured me a better payout from my employer. I would not hesitate to recommend Mcdonald Murholme to anyone that has a feeling that something isn't quite right. I greatly appreciate everything you did.
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    I would like to say that McDonald Murholme have treated me with nothing but professionalism and also great service. Trent, a principal in the firm is attentive to your needs and will ensure your case is handled with care and mindful consideration to all parameters involved.

Wrongfully classified or underpaid?

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Frequently asked award rates questions

How do I know if I am covered by a Modern Award?

All Modern Awards contain a coverage and classification clause which assist employees in determining which Modern Award applies (or does not apply) to them.

I do not know which classification I fall under. What should I do?

To assist in classifying your employment, you can list the duties that you are responsible for at work to assess which classification is the best fit. If you are still unable to ascertain a classification, you should seek legal assistance or further assistance from an expert within your industry.

My employer is not paying me the minimum award rate. What can I do?

If you think that your employer is underpaying you, you should discuss this with your employer. If you feel uncomfortable or the employer refuses to pay you the minimum award rate, you should seek legal assistance. An employee can claim underpayment of wages up to 6 years from the date the underpayment took place.

My employer pays more than the minimum award rate.

An employment contract or agreement may pay more than the minimum award rate, and it is only unlawful if the employer pays less than the minimum award rate.

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