With the commencement of Modern Awards under the Fair Work Act from 1 January 2010, it is essential that employers are aware of which Awards may potentially set the terms and conditions of employment for their employees. Whilst the majority of Modern Awards are industry specific, there is also now operative a general Miscellaneous Award to cover those industries that fall outside of the scope of the industry specific Modern Awards.
The scope of the Miscellaneous Award is widely stated to cover employees who are not covered by any other Modern Award but who perform work of a similar nature to that which has traditionally been covered by an award. The Award itself does however include some limitations, and specifically excludes:
Thus, if employees have traditionally been covered by an award, it is most likely that they are still covered by a Modern Award. It is then a question of whether it is an industry specific award or the more general Miscellaneous Award.
The Miscellaneous Award is a minimum conditions award which includes a number of conditions that have traditionally been found in awards but are not included in the 10 National Employment Standards set out in the Fair Work Act. These extra conditions in the Miscellaneous Award include:
If you are unsure which Modern Award applies to your workplace, or you would like further information about the Miscellaneous Award or any other Modern Award, please contact Ian Curlewis, Partner, on 9288 6756 / mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or Michael Jensen, Senior Associate, 9288 6944 / email@example.com.