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.
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.