Critical HR Law Update

Critical HR Law Update

This critical update is an important notification which requires you to take urgent action!  There are two major changes to the law which are highly likely to impact your business.


As part of the four yearly modern award review, the Fair Work Commission has made changes to a number of modern awards.  The first lot of changes regarding technical and drafting matters were implemented across 30 modern awards on 4 February 2020.  The Fair Work Commission is in the final stages of drafting changes to the remaining modern awards and it is anticipated that they will come into effect over the coming months.  It is important that you take the time now to review any modern awards applicable to your organisation to ensure that you are complying with any changes that may have already been implemented and are prepared for any future changes that may be implemented.


Annualised salary provisions are also being implemented into a significant number of modern awards which put onerous obligations on employers, including the requirement to keep time and wage records for salaried employees. It is important that you review the list of modern awards that may be impacted by the new annualised salary provisions carefully as a number of modern awards are changing including the existing annualised salary provisions in the Clerks Private Sector Award 2010 and Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2010 . These changes are likely to affect most employers. The annualised salary provisions are set to commence on 1 March 2020, but the changes may impact existing annualised salary arrangements currently in place as well as future annualised salaries to be implemented.  It is essential that you undertake the following steps in order to start preparing:

1. review the modern award/s applicable to your employees to determine if they are captured by the new annualised salary provisions;

2. review your current employment arrangements to determine if your employees are being paid a salary which compensates for overtime, penalty rates, annual leave loading and any other additional benefits or allowances the employee may be entitled to;

3. perform calculations to determine whether an employee’s salary has been set at an appropriate level to compensate for penalty rates, annual leave loading and any other additional benefits or allowances; and

4. determine if you will place employees on annual salary arrangements under the applicable modern awards, and if so, how they will be implemented in your business.

It is imperative that you start reviewing your employment practices now to ensure that they are compliant with the new changes.  There is no grace period if you are not prepared for these changes!  For assistance reviewing your employment contracts and salary arrangements, or for advice regarding changes to the modern awards and how they may impact your business, please get in touch with our office.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter.  Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

1 Comment
  • David Wurth
    Posted at 05:58h, 05 March Reply

    Great article and thanks for sharing your knowledge. I’m finding a distinct lack of sense of urgency on the part of employers around this matter. I’m a bit concerned that despite all the information being put out there people are simply shrugging their shoulders and hoping it won’t affect them. The reality is, as you point out, that most employers will have employees affected by these recent changes to annualised salary provisions.

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