Modern award annualised salary changes
Recent changes made by the Fair Work Commission mean that you need to review employment agreements to ensure they are compliant with the award requirements.
The Fair Work Commission (FWC) late last year has varied a number of modern awards that include annualised salary provisions. The decision has also introduced the provision for annualised salaries into some other awards for the first time.
Whilst the actual specifics of the annualised salary provisions vary per award, there are some significant changes that affect all award terms in relation to annualised salaries. - We can help with the red tape.
What is an Annualised Salary?
Some awards permit employees to be paid an annual salary that covers all payments such as allowances, penalty rates and overtime. For many employers and employees, this has been a flexible and practical solution to avoid the need for timesheets and extra payroll administration.
The important changes
The changes may affect the ease and efficiency of your current payroll administration, as there are now extra records required for all employees paid an annual salary under an award provision. Note: this does not affect employees with a common law employment contract.
- The agreement or arrangement must document the specific provisions of the award that are addressed.
- The agreement must include reference to overtime or other penalty rates the employee would otherwise be paid, specified as an ‘outer limit’, or maximum number of such hours to be worked in each pay period. Outer limits must be specified separately for overtime and hours that would be subject to a penalty or loading.
- Records of hours worked (and unpaid breaks) must be kept for each pay period and signed by the employee.
- The employee must be paid for any extra hours that exceed the ‘outer limits’ as defined in the annual salary agreement.
- Check the relevant award to see if an employment agreement is required. In some awards the employer can implement an annual salary arrangement without an employee agreement.
- Document the calculation of the annual salary according to the requirements of the award. It is vital that the calculation shows that the employee is receiving at least as much as if they were paid according to the award hourly rates, including all wages, allowances, penalties, overtime and loadings. This will require breaking down the salary into its separate components.
- Employer and employee must complete an annual salary review on the anniversary of the agreement or arrangement.
What you need to do now
- Make sure you are aware of the applicable modern award and check the annualised salary provisions.
- Check that the current annualised salary arrangements meet the new requirements of the award.
- Document the calculation as per the award conditions.
- Update existing agreements or implement new ones as needed.
The new provisions came into effect on 1 March 2020. Employers need to review all existing agreements for annualised salaries as soon as possible.
You will also need to consider the impact of the new requirements on your payroll administration and software.
There are many payroll software add-ons that can help to make administration easier if your current software does not have the required record-keeping tools built in.