Legal Services Award Summary

In this article, we detail some of the key provisions in the Legal Services Award including what sorts of businesses it covers, the different levels of employee classification under the Award, and guidance on employee entitlements.

Employment Innovations advises a large number of organisations in this sector and has produced this Legal Services Award summary to help employers cut through the complexities of the award.

If you require any assistance in understanding your rights or obligations under the Award, please contact us.

 

Table of Contents

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COVERAGE
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CLASSIFICATION LEVELS
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TYPE OF EMPLOYMENT AND CLASSIFICATIONS
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HOURS OF WORK
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OVERTIME
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TIME OFF IN LIEU
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SHIFTWORK PENALTY RATES
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ALLOWANCES
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PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
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ANNUALISED WAGE ARRANGEMENT
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HIGHER DUTIES
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BREAKS
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LEAVE
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CLOSE DOWNS
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NOTICE
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DEDUCTIONS FROM WAGES
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SUPERANNUATION
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REDUNDANCY
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RATES OF PAY
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COVERAGE
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CLASSIFICATION LEVELS
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TYPES OF EMPLOYMENT AND CLASSIFICATIONS
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HOURS OF WORK
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OVERTIME
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TIME OFF IN LIEU
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SHIFTWORK PENALTY RATES
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ALLOWANCES
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PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
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ANNUALISED WAGE ARRANGEMENT
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HIGHER DUTIES
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BREAKS
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LEAVE
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CLOSE DOWNS
=
NOTICE
=
DEDUCTIONS FROM WAGES
=
SUPERANNUATION
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REDUNDANCY
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RATES OF PAY

Coverage

The Legal Services Award 2020 covers employers in the “legal services industry”. This is defined as businesses who are engaged in providing legal and legal support services. This award does not cover employers who operate in the following industries:

  • Community legal centres
  • Aboriginal legal services or
  • An employer whose primary activity is not within the legal services industry.

 

The award mainly covers support staff in law firms. It also covers “law graduates” meaning someone who has completed a qualification in law and is undertaking a period of training within a law firm. The award does not include someone who has already been admitted to practice as a lawyer in Australia or overseas. Admitted lawyers are exempt from coverage by this or any other award due to the fact they are deemed to be “professional employees” who traditionally sit outside of the award system and are considered “award-free”.

 

Classification Levels

The Legal Services Award applies to the classifications of employees listed below. The award requires employers to inform employees in writing of their classification and of any changes to their classification.

 
Level 1 – Legal, clerical, and administrative employee

Characteristics

Employees at this level typically work under direct supervision and are subject to regular checking by their manager. However, if the employee is required to work in a team-setting, they may be provided with less direct guidance and an element of autonomy. A level 1 worker will undertake a limited range of tasks and will work within established routines, methods and procedures. An indicative training and vocational educational level for a level 1 employee is Year 10 standard.

Indicative Generic Skills
Indicative Core Skills
  • Problem solving – identify problems, assess options available and implement solutions.
  • Literacy – read and write routine texts.
  • Numeracy – calculate, interpret, and present numerical and related information to complete routine tasks.
  • Information handling – receive/distribute/dispatch mail, collate and dispatch documents for mailing in bulk. Filing, identifying, and retrieving documents.
  • Communication – receive/relay both oral and written messages.
  • Enterprise/Industry – complete routine administrative tasks by identifying key functions, personnel, and departments.
  • Technology – selecting, locating, and operating office equipment to complete routine tasks. Opening files, retrieving data, closing files, and shutting down equipment.
  • Organisational – plan and organise personal daily work routines.
  • Team – completing allocated tasks in a team environment.
  • Business/financial – record and prepare financial documents for cash flow/accounting records.
 
 
Level 2 – Legal, clerical, and administrative employee

Characteristics

A level 2 employee may be required to work under routine supervision and may be subject to intermittent checking (which takes the form of general guidance). Employees will often be required to coordinate responsibilities when working in a team.

Level 2 workers will apply their knowledge and skills to a range of tasks within their role but will work within established routines, methods and procedures – utilising some discretion/judgement. An indicative training and vocational educational level for a level 2 employee is Year 11 standard.

Indicative Generic Skills
Indicative Core Skills
Same skills as level 1

Same skills as level 1 plus the following:

  • Information handling – update and modify existing records plus removing inactive files.
  • Communication – respond to incoming calls, make outbound calls and draft simple correspondence.
  • Enterprise/Industry – provide information from their own function area, re-direct enquiries where applicable and follow up actions when required. Employees may also greet visitors and attend to their needs.
  • Technology – using office equipment to perform non-routine tasks as well as identifying/fixing minor faults. Producing simple documents.
  • Organisational – able to establish their own schedule to achieve their assigned goals.
  • Team – participate in identifying tasks for the team, complete their own assignments and assist others to complete their duties.
  • Business/financial – process financial documentation for cash flow and accounting records. Reconciling invoices, prepare debtor statements, enter payment summaries and post journals to ledgers
 
 
Level 3 – Legal, clerical, and administrative employee

Characteristics

Employees at this level will work under limited supervision and may receive some checking/broad guidance in relation to the overall progress of their work. When working in a team, the employee will be largely autonomous and may have the responsibility to coordinate the team and the team’s tasks.

Level 3 employees will often have an in-depth knowledge of certain areas and will be able to demonstrate a broad range of skills whilst completing a variety of tasks. Employees will exercise some discretion and judgement when working within methods, routines and procedures. An indicative training and educational level for a level 3 employee is either a Trade Certificate or equivalent TAFE/Year 12 standard.

Indicative Generic Skills
Indicative Core Skills

Same skills as level 1 and 2 plus the following:

  • Problem solving – identify, clarify, investigate, and implement solutions for non-routine problems. Employees will also evaluate and report on the effectiveness of the resolution as well as help others with their issues.
  • Literacy – read and write non-routine texts
  • Numeracy – calculate, interpret, and present numerical and related information to complete non-routine tasks.

Same skills as level 1 and 2 plus the following:

  • Information handling – maintain records system by assembling new files, recording documentation movements and identifying/processing inactive files.
  • Communication – respond to phone, oral and written questions with the relevant information. Drafting routine correspondence to a need or a request. Write up notes/dictations.
  • Enterprise/Industry – clarify the needs of a client, provide them with advice or information and follow up if required. Process client complaints, identify options to fix the problem and resolve the issue.
  • Technology – operate and maintain equipment to complete complex tasks. Organise, copy, collate and bind documents. Produce complicated documents.
  • Organisational – coordinate their own work routine with others, make/record appointments on other people’s behalf and make travel or accommodation bookings.
  • Team – clarify responsibilities, negotiate the allocation of work and monitor the completion of tasks.
  • Business/financial – reconcile accounts, prepare bank reconciliations, document/lodge bank takings, receive and document payments, follow up outstanding accounts, dispatch payments and dispatch debtor statements. Stock monitoring and stock control recording.
  • Legal – understanding of the basic State/Territory legal system structure. Operate within the local legal institution’s procedures/channels. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the areas of law for referral and informational law purposes.
 
 
Level 4 – Legal, clerical, and administrative employee

Characteristics

A level 4 employee may be required to work with or without supervision, and may have limited responsibility for delegating the work of others. The required competency at this level involves the application of in-depth knowledge in some areas with a broad range of skills required for completing a wide range of tasks and roles in a variety of contexts. An indicative training and vocational educational level for this level is TAFE Advanced Certificate.

Indicative Generic Skills
Indicative Core Skills
  • Problem solving – identify problems and their nature, determine and implement solutions, assist others to clarify and resolve problems
  • Literacy – compose, read and analyse routine and non-routine texts
  • Numeracy – calculate, interpret and present numerical information to establish procedures
  • Information handling – Establish a records management system and library collection (including determining needs of the organisation, implementation and training of systems, update and circulate publications)
  • Communication – Initiate research and facilitation of communication by identifying needs, obtaining data and reporting)
  • Enterprise/Industry – Provide advice to achieve organisational goals, analyse changes and suggest strategies
  • Technology – Manage the design and development of documents, reports and worksheets and establish, maintain and supervise a small network
  • Organisational – Manage diaries and conduct appointments on behalf of management, plan conferences
  • Team – Recruit for and manage a team including monitoring performance, organise training, delegate work
  • Business/financial – Manage and administer payroll records
  • Legal – Acquire and apply knowledge of State/Territory legal systems, participate in processes of major legal institutions, initiate legal procedures and documentation
 
 
Level 5 – Legal, clerical, and administrative employee

Characteristics

A level 5 employee works under broad guidance and may have responsibility for the judgement, planning and management of the work of others and themselves. These employees hold a substantial knowledge base in some specific areas with a range of technical skills, tasks, roles and functions in other varied contexts. An indicative vocational education level for this level is part achievement of Associate Diploma at TAFE or tertiary level (or equivalent).

Indicative Generic Skills
Indicative Core Skills
  • Problem solving – identify problems and their nature, determine and implement solutions, assist others to clarify and resolve problems
  • Literacy – compose, read and analyse routine and non-routine texts
  • Numeracy – calculate, interpret and present numerical information to establish procedures
  • Information handling – Establish a records management system and library collection (including determining needs of the organisation, implementation and training of systems, update and circulate publications)

  • Communication – Initiate research and facilitation of communication by identifying needs, obtaining data and reporting)

  • Enterprise/Industry – Provide advice to achieve organisational goals, analyse changes and suggest strategies

  • Technology – Manage the design and development of documents, reports and worksheets and establish, maintain and supervise a small network

  • Organisational – Manage diaries and conduct appointments on behalf of management, plan conferences

  • Team – Recruit for and manage a team including monitoring performance, organise training, delegate work

  • Business/financial – Manage and administer payroll records

  • Legal – Acquire and apply knowledge of State/Territory legal systems, participate in processes of major legal institutions, initiate legal procedures and documentation

 

 

Level 5 – Law Graduate

Under the award “Law Graduate” means an employee who has completed a qualification in law and is undertaking a period of training within a law firm in satisfaction of requirements prescribed under relevant legislation in order to be admitted to practice as an Australian Lawyer but shall not include a lawyer that is admitted to practice as an Australian Lawyer or in a foreign jurisdiction.

Characteristics

This position requires the completion of a course of study which is recognised as an academic qualification for admission and a formal offer by the employer to the law graduate, the acceptance of that offer and registration and approval of all documentation required by the relevant governing bodies.

 
 
Level 6 – Law Clerk

Under the Award “Law Clerk” means a clerk who is engaged for the major part of their time in interviewing clients, preparing documents and general work assisting a barrister or solicitor in their practice, but will not include account clerks, law graduates, titles office clerks, receptionists and employees principally engaged in word processing, computer use, filing, machine operation, switchboard, delivery of documents or duties of a routine nature.

Characteristics

Employees at this level work under limited guidance in line with a broad plan, budget or strategy. These employees have defined responsibility and accountability for the management of others with competency requiring substantial depth of knowledge across a number of areas and/or mastery of a specified area with a range of skills. Significant judgement is required in planning, design, technical or supervisory functions related to products, services, operations or processes of the firm.

Specific clerical and administrative competencies do not automatically apply at this level or above. Legal competencies continue to apply at least in conjunction with the clerical and administrative competencies. Employees will be graded at the level where the principal functions of their employment, as determined by the employer, require the exercise of skills at the level set out in the respective grade. An indicative training and vocational educational level for this level is Associate Diploma at TAFE or tertiary level (or equivalent).

The employee will be able to display a practical understanding and application of the structures, methods and procedures of the relevant State or Territory legal system.

 

 

Minimum Rates of Pay

The minimum rates of pay for each classification level is set out in clause 15 of the award. These generally change each July.

Employees are also entitled to higher rates of pay for working overtime, on weekends or at other unsociable hours, as well as entitlements to various other allowances.

 
Payment of wages

Employees must be paid fortnightly unless the employer and employee agree otherwise.

Where an employee’s employment terminates, all relevant entitlements must be paid within 7 days.

 
National Employment Standards (NES) and the Award

The award requires an employer to ensure that copies of the award and the NES are available to all employees to whom they apply, either on a notice board which is conveniently located at or near the workplace or through accessible electronic means.

 

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Types of Employment and Classifications

Employees are classified in one of the following categories:

  • Full-time;
  • Part-time; or
  • Casual

At the time an employee is first engaged, the employer must inform the employee of the terms of their engagement and, in particular, whether they are to be full-time, part-time or casual

 

Full-time;

Full-time employees are engaged to work 38 ordinary hours per week. If an employee is not specifically employed as a part-time or casual employee for purposes of this award, will be classified as a full-time employee.

 

Part-time;

Part-time employees are required to work less than 38 hours per week, on a reasonably predictable basis. They must be engaged for a minimum of three (3) consecutive hours per shift. Prior to commencement, the employer and employee must agree in writing to the following:

  • The number of hours they must work each day;
  • The number of days of the week they must work; and
  • The times at which the employee must start and finish work each day they are rostered

Any changes to this pattern must be agreed in writing. Any hours in excess of the agreed ordinary hours implemented between employer and employee, must be paid overtime.

 

Casual;

A casual employee does not have guaranteed hours of work and generally works an irregular pattern. Casual employees work by the hour and must be paid for each ordinary hour worked. They are entitled to 25% loading on top of the minimum hourly rate as set out in the Legal Services Award. The 25% casual loading is paid to compensate for entitlements that permanent employees receive such as annual leave, personal/carer’s leave, notice of termination and redundancy rights as set out under the National Employment Standards. The minimum engagement for a casual employee is four (4) consecutive hours. Casual employees are entitled to convert to permanent employment in certain circumstances, see our guidance here.

 

Hours of work

Ordinary hours of work – day workers

“Day workers” are workers other than “shiftworkers” (see definition of shiftworker, further below). The award sets out rules for “ordinary hours”. Work performed outside or in excess of this is paid as overtime. The ordinary hours of work for day workers:

  • Average up to 38 hours per week but not more than 152 hours in 28 days
  • Ordinary hours of work may be worked between Monday to Friday.

 

MAKE-UP TIME

An employee may elect, with the consent of the employer, to work make-up time under which the employee takes time off during ordinary hours, and works those hours at a later time, during the spread of ordinary hours provided in the award.

 

SPAN OF HOURS

The ordinary hours of work are between 7:00am and 6:30pm, Monday to Friday. The spread of hours may be modified by up to one (1) hour at either end of the spread made by agreement between the employer and majority of employees affected. Any work performed prior to the spread of hours, i.e. start work at 6:00am for the purpose of setting up the workplace, ready for employees to start work is considered to be within the 38 ordinary hours of work.

 

ROSTERED DAYS OFF

The award allows for a “rostered day off” / RDO system, whereby employees (for example) work a 40 hour week, but are only paid for 38 hour at the time, and accumulate 2 hours to take as a rostered day off at a later date. Arrangements for rostered days off can be reached between an individual employee and their employer. . Such arrangements must outline:

  • the method of accruing time towards a rostered day off; and
  • an agreed method of accumulating and taking rostered days off.

 

 

Ordinary hours of work – shiftworkers

The award has different rules for ordinary hours of work depending on whether someone is deemed to be a “continuous” or “non-continuous” shifworker. An employee is a shiftworker whenever they are rostered to work any of the shifts described as “shiftwork” in clause 21 of the award (as explained further below)

Continuous shiftworker

Continuous shiftwork means work carried on with consecutive shifts of employees throughout the 24 hours of each of at least 6 consecutive days without interruption except for breakdowns or meal breaks or due to unavoidable causes beyond the control of an employer. The ordinary hours of continuous shiftworkers are, at the discretion of the employer, to average 38 hours per week inclusive of meal breaks and must not exceed 152 hours in 28 consecutive days. Continuous shiftworkers are entitled to a 12 minute meal break on each shift which will be counted as time worked.  

 

Non-continuous shiftworkers

The ordinary hours of work for non-continuous shiftworkers are to be an average of 38 hours per week and must not exceed 152 hours in 28 consecutive days. The ordinary hours of work are to be worked continuously, except for meal breaks, at the discretion of the employer. For both types of shiftworkers:

  • By agreement between an employer and the majority of employees concerned, a roster system may operate on the basis that the weekly average of 38 ordinary hours is achieved over a period which exceeds 28 consecutive days but does not exceed 12 months.
  • Except at the regular changeover of shifts, an employee must not be required to work more than one shift in each 24 hours.

 

Rosters

Where applicable, rosters are to be set for each fortnightly period. The roster may modify the times an employee may work their ordinary hours. Employers must provide employees with 14 days’ notice of each fortnightly roster. In some instances, due to specific operational requirements, an employer can change rosters after discussion with the employee(s) involved and by providing reasonable notice.

 

Overtime

When overtime applies

Overtime is any time worked:

  • outside ordinary hours on any day or shift
  • in excess of an average of 38 hours per week.

Payment for Overtime

For a day worker and non-continuous shiftworker (see definition in “shiftwork” section below) the following rules apply:

Time overtime is worked

Full-time and Part-time employees (% of minimum hourly rate)

Casual Employees (% of minimum hourly rate)

Minimum Payment of overtime
Monday to Saturday until 12.00 pm—first 3 hours 150% 175%

Monday to Saturday until 12.00 pm—after 3 hours 200% 225%

Saturday after 12.00 pm and Sunday 200% 225%

3 hours

Public holiday(all hours) 250% 275%

3 hours

 

For a continuous shiftworker:

Full-time and Part-time employees

Casual Employees

200% of the minimum hourly rate for all overtime hours performed. 225% of the minimum hourly rate for all overtime hours performed.*

 

*The casual overtime rate includes the casual 25% loading.  

Calculating Overtime

When calculating the applicable overtime penalty rate, each day stands alone. In calculating overtime, any portion of one hour not exceeding 30 minutes will be reckoned as 30 minutes and any portion of one hour in excess of 30 minutes will be reckoned as one hour.  

Rest breaks during overtime

An employee working overtime must be allowed a paid rest break of 20 minutes without deduction of pay after each 4 hours of overtime worked if the employee is to continue work after the rest break. Where an employee is required to work overtime on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday or on a rostered day off, the first rest break will be paid at the employee’s ordinary rate of pay. Where overtime is to be worked immediately after the completion of ordinary work on a day or shift and the period of overtime is to be more than one and a half hours, an employee, before starting the overtime, is entitled to a rest break of 20 minutes to be paid at the employee’s ordinary rate of pay. An employer and employee may agree to any variation of the overtime break provisions to meet the circumstances of the work in hand provided that the employer is not required to make any payment in excess of or less than what would otherwise be required under the award.  

Rest period after overtime

When overtime is worked employees must have at least 10 consecutive hours off duty between work on successive days. Where an employee (other than a casual employee) works so much overtime that the employee has not had at least 10 consecutive hours off duty between the end of work on one day and the start of the employee’s ordinary hours of work on the next day, then the following rules apply:

  • the employee must be released from duty after that overtime is finished until the employee has had 10 consecutive hours off duty, and
  • there will be no loss of pay for ordinary hours of work time which occur during this absence.

The following conditions apply to an employee who, on the instructions of the employer, resumes or continues work without having had 10 consecutive hours off duty:

  • the employee must be paid at 200% of the minimum hourly rate until the employee is released from duty;
  • the employee is then entitled to be absent for 10 consecutive hours; and
  • there will be no loss of pay for ordinary hours of work time which occur during this absence.

By agreement between an employer and individual employee, the 10 hour break provided may be reduced to a period no less than 8 hours. The above provisions l apply in the case of shiftworkers as if 8 hours were substituted for 10 hours when overtime is worked:

  • for the purpose of changing shift rosters;
  • where a shiftworker does not report for duty and a day worker or a shiftworker is required to replace the shiftworker; or
  • where a shift is worked by arrangement between the employees themselves.

 

Time Off In Lieu (TOIL)

An employee and employer can mutually agree for the employee to take time off instead of getting paid for overtime that has been worked. When taking the time off, the employee is entitled to take an equal amount of time off to the overtime hours worked. For example, if the employee worked 2 hours of overtime, they would be entitled to take 2 hours of time off.

All such arrangements must be agreed in writing on each time overtime is worked. The award provides a template TOIL agreement in Schedule E to the award.

TOIL must be taken within 6 months or else be paid out to the employee. It is also to be paid out on termination of employment and at any time requested by the employee.

 

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Shiftwork Penalty Rates

An employee is a shiftworker (and entitled to shiftwork penalty rates), whenever they work any of the following rostered shifts:

  • Afternoon shift which means any shift finishing after 6.00 pm and at or before midnight
  • Night shift which means any shift finishing after midnight and at or before 8.00 am
  • Early morning shift which will apply to an employee whose ordinary hours on a regular shift start between 5.00 am and 6.00 am (except where this shift is part of a “shift system” and precedes an afternoon shift finishing at 11.00 pm)

 

A shiftworker can also fall into various categories of shiftwork, depending on their pattern of hours, this includes the following:

A seven day shiftworker

An employee that is regularly rostered to work on Sundays and public holidays.

A non-continuous afternoon or night shiftworker

This is an employee who does work on either an afternoon or night shift, and this does not continue:

  • For at least 5 successive afternoon or night shifts, or 6 successive afternoon or night shifts where the workplace operates on a 6 day roster (where no more than 8 ordinary hours are worked on each shift)
  • For at least 38 ordinary hours (where more than 8 ordinary hours are worked on each shift)

 

A permanent night shiftworker Is an employee that:

  • When engaged on shift work, only performs night shifts;
  • Remains on night shift for longer than 4 consecutive weeks; or
  • Works on a night shift which does not rotate or alternate with another shift or with day work for at least one third of the employees working time.

 

Shift work penalty rates

Shift workers must be paid the following penalty rates for any ordinary hours performed on shift work between Monday – Friday:

Shift Work

Penalty Rate Casual Rate*
Afternoon or night

115%

140%

Early morning

110%

135%

Non-continuous afternoon or night – first 3 hours

150%

175%

Non-continuous afternoon or night – after 3 hours

200%

225%

Permanent night

130%

155%

* This rate includes the 25% casual loading

 

For any shift work outside of Monday-Friday, an employee is paid the following:

Shift Work

Penalty Rate
Saturday shift

150% of the minimum hourly rate

Sunday and public holiday shift

Continuous Shift workers: Where the majority of the rostered shift is performed on a Sunday or public holiday, 200% of the minimum hourly rate will apply. Shift workers other than continuous shift workers are paid for all time worked on:

  • Sundays—200% of the minimum hourly rate; and
  • public holidays—250% of the minimum hourly rate..

 

The award also contains specific rules on calculating which penalty rates apply when the shift spans more than one day, depending on the starting time of the shift, and the majority of when the shift was worked.  

 

Work on a rostered day off (“RDO”)

The following penalty rates will apply for all time an employee works on a rostered day off:

Shift Work

Penalty Rate Minimum Payment
Monday – Saturday

Paid at the relevant overtime rates. Please refer to the section “Overtime rate penalties”.

Sunday

200% of the minimum hourly rate

4 hours

Public Holiday

250% of the minimum hourly rate

4 hours

  • Where a relief shiftworker has provided the employer with not less than 7 hours and 36 minutes notice that they will be absent from work and unable to cover the shiftworker they were rostered to relieve, and this then results in this shiftworker continuing their shift, the unrelieved employee will be paid 200% of the minimum hourly rate.
  • A shiftworker whose rostered day off coincides with a public holiday must be paid a day’s pay additional to their weekly wage, or have a day added to their annual leave.

 

 

Allowances

The Award sets out a number of allowances employees are entitled to. Please note that allowances are regularly updated. Please refer to the Fair Work Ombudsman pay guide for the current rates and full details.

Overtime meal allowance

When is allowance paid?

Day worker required to work 1+ hours of overtime (Monday to Friday) and the overtime finishes either: 1.5 hours after the employee’s normal finishing time or 5 hours after the most recent meal break (whichever occurs first)

Day worker required to work more than 5 hours overtime on a Saturday or a Sunday, or more than 5 hours by a shiftworker on their rostered day off.

If a shiftworker performs overtime work on any shift that exceeds one hour

Where the overtime exceeds 4 hours Monday – Friday

Where overtime exceeds 9 hours Saturday or Sunday

The meal allowances will not apply where an employee could reasonably return home for a meal within the period allowed.

Where an employee is paid a meal allowance under clause 18.2, on request, the meal allowance must be paid on the same day as overtime is worked.

 
Uniform allowance

An employee must be paid the allowance where they are required to wear any special uniform, dress or clothing, unless the uniform, dress, or clothing is supplied and laundered by the employer.

 
Vehicle allowance

Where an employer requires an employee to use the employee’s own motor vehicle in the performance of their duties the employee must be paid the relevant allowance on any day when the employee is so required to use their vehicle:

Where an employee is required as a condition of employment to provide a motor vehicle, the employer must pay all expenses including registration, running and maintenance.

 
Transport of employees—overtime

When an employee is required to work overtime which finishes when reasonable means of transport to the employee’s home is not reasonably available, the employer must either provide suitable transport or reimburse the employee an amount equal to the cost of any transport the employee uses to get home.

 
Living away from home allowance

An employee required by the employer to work temporarily and sleep overnight away from the employee’s usual place of employment (at the direction of the employer), will be entitled to the following allowances unless fares, board and lodging are provided by the employer:

  • An allowance or reimbursement of all fares to and from the place at which the employer requires the employee to work; and
  • An allowance or reimbursement of all reasonable expenses incurred for board and lodging

Employees will also be entitled to payment at ordinary rates of pay for all time spent in travelling between the employee’s usual place of employment and the temporary location, with a maximum payment of 8 hours in 24 hours.

 
Protective clothing

The employer will reimburse employees engaged in work damaging to clothing an amount equal to the costs of uniforms and/or protective clothing, except where uniforms and/or protective clothing are provided free of charge by the employer.

 
Call-backs / Standing by

There are also entitlements for employees who are called back to work after leaving work, or required to “stand by” in case required to work. See clause 20.7 and 20.8 of the award.

 

Public Holidays

Public Holiday entitlements are provided for by the NES. Employees performing work on public holidays will be entitled to the relevant penalty rates set out above.

 

Annualised Wage Arrangements

This award provides for employers to engage full-time employees on an annualised wage arrangement. Where an employer engages a full-time employee on an annualised wage, this can be paid in satisfaction of any or all of the following conditions:

  • Minimum rates
  • Allowances
  • Overtime
  • Early morning, afternoon and night shift penalty rates
  • Annual leave loading

 

Where this arrangement is in place, an employer must place this agreement in writing. This agreement must state all of the following:

  • The annualised wage amount that is payable
  • Which of the provisions of this award (as mentioned in the list above) will be satisfied by payment of the annualised wage
  • The method by which the annualised wage has been calculated, including a breakdown of each separate component of the annualised wage, and any overtime or penalty assumptions used in the calculation by the employer.
  • The outer limit number of ordinary hours which would attract the payment of a penalty rate under the award, and the outer limit number of overtime hours which the employee may be required to work in a pay period or roster cycle without exceeding the amount the annualised wage has been calculated to cover.

 

The outer limit amounts within the arrangement agreement are crucial, as where an employee works hours in excess of either outer limit in a pay period or roster cycle, these must be paid separately to the employee.

Where an annualised wage arrangement has been reached this must not result in an employee being paid less over the year (or earlier if employment ceases prior to the 12 month period). An employer must perform an annual reconciliation every 12 months to ensure there is no shortfall in wages in comparing the annualised salary against the hours worked had the employee been paid in accordance with the provisions of the award. This calculation must be performed earlier should the employee cease employment prior to the end of the 12 months. Any shortfall in wages must be back paid within 14 days.

It is also an obligation that an employer must keep adequate time and attendance records to assist in being able to comply with the annual reconciliation calculations. This must include records of the employees start and finish times, and any unpaid breaks. This must be signed (either physically or electronically) by the employee each roster or pay period.

There are options to pay annual salaries otherwise than in reliance on the annualised wage arrangement clause, for example through the use of a contractual agreement or individual flexibility arrangement. See our guidance here.

 

Higher duties

The employer must pay an employee required to perform any of the duties of a higher classification (set out in Levels 2-5) for one day or more, at the rate of the higher classification as if such duties were performed on a permanent basis.

 

Breaks

Unpaid meal breaks

Employees must take a meal break after no more than 5 hours of working their shift. The time frame of a meal break is between 30 and 60 minutes.

Any employee who is directed to work more than 5 hours without a meal break must be;

  • paid at the rate of 150% of the minimum hourly rate for meal break
  • granted their normal meal break without deduction from their wage as soon as possible.
 
Paid Rest Breaks

All employees are entitled to 2 paid rest breaks on each day. Rest breaks are counted as part of time worked.

1st rest break 

Duration of 10mins, between the time of starting work and their standard meal break

2nd rest break 

Duration of 10mins, between their standard meal break and the time of finishing work.

Please note, any employee who works more than 4 hours on a Saturday before 12pm must be given a paid rest break of 10 mins between the start and finish of work.

Continuous shiftworkers are also entitled to a 12 minute meal break on each shift which will be counted as time worked.

Please also see our comments above regarding breaks during overtime.

 

Leave

Employees are entitled to leave in accordance with the National Employment Standards (NES) outlined in the Fair Work Act 2009. For full-time and part-time employees this includes four (4) weeks annual leave per year and ten (10) days personal/carer’s leave.

 
Annual leave

Annual leave loading is payable on accrued leave (either when taken or on termination of employment). Day worker employees will receive an additional loading of 17.5% on the minimum rate of pay.

For shift workers, this loading will be either an additional 17.5% on the minimum rate of pay, or the shift loading (including relevant weekend penalty rates) they would have received, whichever is greater, but not both.

Before taking a period of annual leave an employee must be paid an amount equal to the wages the employee would have received for the ordinary hours they would have worked if they had not been on leave.

 
Extra annual leave

Certain shiftworkers are entitled to an extra (5th) week of annual leave per year, namely a 7 day shiftworker who is rostered to work regularly on Sundays and public holidays.

 
Excessive annual leave

The award has detailed provisions about forcing an employee to take annual leave when they have excessive annual leave accrued (over 8 weeks). See clause 22.8 to 22.10.

Cashing out of leave is also allowed in accordance with clause 22.11.

 
Paid study leave for law graduates

Law graduate employees are entitled to receive paid study leave to attend a course and prepare for/attend examinations relating to the legal training necessary in order to be admitted as an Australian lawyer. Employees are eligible to take a period of study leave not exceeding 20 days in any 12-month period.

The study leave must be taken at times mutually agreed by the employee and employer, but an employer cannot unreasonably refuse the leave.

 

Close downs

Annual leave is to be taken at a time agreed between the employer and employee. However, an employer may require an employee to take annual leave as part of a close down of its operations, or part of its operations, where the request is reasonable, by giving at least 4 weeks ‘notice. There is no ability under the award for employers to require employees to take unpaid leave. This would have to be done by agreement.

 

Notice

The following notice periods apply for full-time and part-time employees:

Employee’s period of continuous service with the employer at the end of the day the notice is given 

Minimum notice

Not more than 1 year

1 week
More than 1 year but not more than 3 years 2 weeks
More than 3 years but not more than 5 years 3 weeks
More than 5 years 4 weeks

 

An employee is entitled to an extra week of notice if they’re over 45 years old and have worked for the employer for at least 2 years.

 

Deductions from wages

Required notice not provided

If an adult employee does not give the minimum period of notice required under the award, and the employer does not agree to shorten the notice period, the employer may deduct no more than one week’s wages due to the employee. Wages excludes any leave entitlements accrued but not taken.

 
Deduction of annual leave taken in advance

This provision applies if an employer and employee make an agreement (in writing) for the employee to take a period of paid annual leave before the employee has accrued the leave and where on termination, the employee has not accrued the amount of annual leave that was taken in advance. If the employee has not worked sufficient time to accrue the balance of annual leave owing, the employer may deduct from any money due to the employee the exact amount equal to the paid annual leave in advance that has been taken but not accrued. If the employee does not have any money due, the employer and employee will need to come to a written agreement to pay the remaining amounts directly to the employer.

 

Superannuation

An employer must make such superannuation contributions in compliance with relevant superannuation legislation to a superannuation fund for the benefit of an employee. Individual employees generally have the opportunity to choose their own superannuation fund, however, if an employee does not choose a superannuation fund, any of the following may be selected:

(a) Legalsuper;
(b) AustralianSuper;
(c) Tasplan;
(d) CareSuper;
(e) Statewide Superannuation Trust;
(f) Law Employees Superannuation Fund;
(g) any superannuation fund to which the employer was making superannuation contributions for the benefit of its employees before 12 September 2008, provided the superannuation fund or its successor is an eligible choice fund and is a fund that offers a MySuper product or is an exempt public sector superannuation scheme; or
(h) a superannuation fund or scheme which the employee is a defined benefit member of.

 

Redundancy

Full-time and part-time employees are entitled to redundancy pay in accordance with the NES. There is an exception under the NES from having to pay redundancy pay where an employer is a “small business” (less than 15 employees, including in any associated entities of the employer).

 

Rates of Pay

Rates of Pay

As at 1 July 2023; please note the rates below are the minimum ordinary rates of pay as outlined within the Award. Please refer to the relevant Fair Work Ombudsman pay guide for other applicable rates such as overtime, penalty rates or allowances.

 

Adult

Full-time & part-time

Classification Weekly pay rate Hourly pay rate
Legal clerical and administrative employee, level 1 $902.10 $23.74
Legal clerical and administrative employee, level 2 $940.90 $24.76
Legal clerical and administrative employee, level 3 $993.80 $26.15
Legal clerical and administrative employee, level 4 $1,043.60 $27.46
Legal clerical and administrative employee, level 5 $1,086.00 $28.58
Law graduate, level 5 $1,086.00 $28.58
Law clerk, level 6 $1,151.10 $30.29

 

Casual

Classification Hourly pay rate
Legal clerical and administrative employee, level 1 $29.68
Legal clerical and administrative employee, level 2 $30.95
Legal clerical and administrative employee, level 3 $32.69
Legal clerical and administrative employee, level 4 $34.33
Legal clerical and administrative employee, level 5 $35.73
Law graduate, level 5 $35.73
Law clerk, level 6 $37.86

 

Hair & Beauty Industry Award Summary - A free downloadable resource From Employment Innovations

How HR Connect can help

If you require assistance with dealing with disciplinary issues concerning staff, HR Connect can help. Our HR Advisors will be able to guide you through each step of the disciplinary process and we have template documents (e.g. direction to attend a disciplinary meeting, written warning, letter of termination, etc) available as part of our subscription packages.

 

About HR Connect

HR Connect is one of Australia’s leading providers of HR & workplace safety advice services, designed to help small business owners make confident and compliant business decisions.  

Disclaimer

The information provided in these knowledge base articles is general in nature and is not intended to substitute for professional advice. If you are unsure about how this information applies to your specific situation we recommend you contact HR Connect for advice. The information in this summary is correct as of August 2021.   This knowledge base article will change over time, as Modern Award legislation relating to this Industry or Occupation is passed by the Fair Work Commission. Originally published on 21 September 2021 and last updated on 18 February 2022.

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