Modern Awards, EAs, individual contracts, collective bargaining and casualisation of the workforce – are all acronyms and phrases relating to the workplace and to agreements between employees and employers.
With the changing details of the Federal Government’s industrial relations laws we have put together a list of definitions for the most common terms to help you find your way through the maze of the terminology relating to the proposed changes.
Following are the definitions of these main types of workplace arrangements.
Modern awards are industry or occupation-based minimum employment standards which apply in addition to the National Employment Standards. They were created to establish one set of minimum conditions for employers and employees across Australia who work in the same industries and occupations.
On 1 January 2010 modern awards replaced thousands of federal and state-based awards (pre-modern awards). They cover most workplaces. The commencement of modern awards means that there have been changes to minimum terms and conditions for many employees. The changes vary by state, industry and employer.
A modern award covers all employers and employees who perform work in an industry or occupation covered by that particular modern award. However, modern awards may not apply to some managers. They may also not apply to high income employees (who have an appropriate written guarantee of annual earnings of more than $118,100 p.a. (during the year ended 30 June 2012 - indexed annually). Even if a modern award covers the industry they work in.
Modern awards do not apply to an employer who is bound by an enterprise award. An enterprise award regulates the terms and conditions of employment only in the single business specified in that award.
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