Wine Industry Award 2020 Summary: Simple Guide

The Wine Industry Award covers a wide range of roles in the wine-making industry, including employees working directly on making wine and those working in a cellar-door. 

HR Connect advises a large number of organisations in this sector and has produced this Wine Industry Award 2020 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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TYPES OF EMPLOYMENT
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CLASSIFICATIONS
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ORDINARY HOURS OF WORK AND ROSTERING
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BREAKS
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MINIMUM RATES
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PIECEWORKERS
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PAYMENT OF WAGES
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ALLOWANCES - WAGE RELATED
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ALLOWANCES - EXPENSE-RELATED
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ACCIDENT PAY
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SUPERANNUATION
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OVERTIME
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PENALTY RATES
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LEAVE
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PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
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CONSULTATION AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION
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TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT
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REDUNDANCY
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COVERAGE
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TYPES OF EMPLOYMENT
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CLASSIFICATIONS
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ORDINARY HOURS OF WORK AND ROSTERING
=
BREAKS
=
MINIMUM RATES
=
PIECEWORKERS
=
PAYMENT OF WAGES
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ALLOWANCES - WAGE RELATED
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ALLOWANCES - EXPENSE-RELATED
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ACCIDENT PAY
=
SUPERANNUATION
=
OVERTIME
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PENALTY RATES
=
LEAVE
=
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
=
CONSULTATION AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION
=
TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT
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REDUNDANCY

Coverage

The Wine Industry Award 2020 is an industry award, meaning it covers employers and employees who are working in “the wine industry”.

The wine industry is defined as:  “the industry of growing and processing wine grapes and includes:

(a)     the preparation of land for the planting of wine grape vines, the planting of wine grape vines, the pruning of wine grape vines, the care, growing, treating, picking, harvesting and forwarding of wine grapes and other activities associated with a wine grape vineyard; and/or

(b)     processing wine grapes, producing wine juice or grape spirit, the bottling, packaging, storage or dispatch of wine, brandy or other potable spirit, liqueurs, vinegar or grape juice and other activities associated with a winery or wine distillery including but not limited to cellar door sales, laboratory activities and making or repairing barrels, vats, casks and like articles; and/or

(c)     packaging, storing and dispatching of wine or grape spirit from a warehouse facility or other place of storage associated with a winery or wine distillery.”

Guidance from the Fair Work Ombudsman states that the Award will not cover: 

  • wine retail stores not linked with a winery
  • employees who work at a restaurant located at a winery
  • bus/van drivers and tour guides employed by wine tour businesses.

Types of Employment

Employees covered by the Wine Industry Award can be employed in one of the categories listed below. It is also possible for an employee in any category to be engaged as a pieceworker and/or a shiftworker (as explained later in this guide). 

Full-time
  • Meaning the employee will be engaged to work an average of 38 ordinary hours per week.

 

Part-time
  • Meaning the employee will work an average of less than 38 ordinary hours per week and receive pay and conditions equivalent to those of full-time employees on a pro-rata basis.
  • When employing a part-time employee, the employer and employee must agree to a work pattern in writing. Any variations are to be mutually agreed upon and recorded in writing.
 
CasuaL
  • Casual employees generally do not have regular or guaranteed hours of work
  • Excluding pieceworkers, casual employees are paid a 25% loading on top of the minimum hourly rate for each ordinary hour worked
  • Employers must pay casual employees for at least 4 hours of work on each occasion they are required to attend work, even if the actual time worked is shorter than this. However, if a casual employee is hired for pruning and harvesting and inclement weather limits work to less than 4 hours, then employees must be paid for a minimum of 2 hours work instead.
  • All casual employees have a right to be offered or to request conversion to permanent employment after 12 months employment – see our separate guidance here.

When engaging an employee, an employer must inform the employee of the terms of their engagement including whether they are to be employed as a full-time, part-time or casual employee.

Classifications

All employees must be classified under one of the levels set out in the Award which will in turn dictate the relevant minimum wage that they can be paid. Employees under the Award work in one of the following classification streams: bottling, cellar, cellar door sales, laboratory, vineyard, warehouse, and supply and coopers.

The classification levels are as follows:

 

Bottling stream
Grade 1

This grade is for a trainee undertaking a 3 month induction training program, followed by training in the modules essential to the Grade 2 classification.

Training will be completed and assessed within 12 months of the start of employment. The employee will automatically be appointed to Grade 2 on passing an accredited assessment for grade progression.

Grade 2

This level is for employees who have passed an accredited assessment for progression from Grade 1 to Grade 2 by completing training, assessments, and repetition in all the following modules:

  • attending packaging equipment
  • binning/debinning unlabelled wines
  • application of capsules
  • hand labelling
  • carton making
  • packing wines
  • depalletising/ palletising
  • bottling hygiene/housekeeping

Alternatively the employer may consider that an employee has the necessary skills and competence to satisfactorily perform duties at this level.

Duties are associated with the above modules performed safely and responsibly with little supervision.

It is expected that training for Grade 3 will be completed and assessed within 24 months of appointment to Grade 2. 

Appointment to the Grade 3 classification will be automatic upon passing the accredited assessment.

Grade 3

This level is for an employee who has passed the applicable accredited assessment, or whom the employer believes has the necessary skills and competence to satisfactorily perform duties at this level

To pass the accredited assessment to progress from Grade 2 to Grade 3, an employee must have successfully completed training and assessment in 2 or more of the following modules:

  • forklift driving (certificate required)
  • Set up one or machines for production
  • Set up one or more machines for adjustments required during production
  • Set up one or more machines for close down and clean at the end of production
  • change over of one or more machine
  • operation of service equipment related to packaging line
  • boiler attendant (certificate required)

Duties of a Grade 3 employee are associated with the modules above and assisting with the training of new employees. 

The Award says the employee may be required to lead a packaging line based on relief or seasonal workload, although this is limited to Grade 3 employees who have received or are taking training in modules essential to the “Supervisor level” (the Award does not specify whether Grade 4 or Grade 5 is the Supervisor level).

To be promoted from Grade 3 to Grade 4 an employee needs to be trained and assessed in the Grade 4 modules, even if they are only performing these duties for temporary relief/leave purposes. 

Grade 4

Promotion to this level is when a Grade 3 employee has successfully completed training and assessment in:

  • operation and adjustment of equipment that requires a higher level of skill (as specified by the employer)
  • preparation of filling equipment in sterilisation and sanitation of filling machines
  • preparation of filling equipment in sterile wine filtration
  • preparation of filling equipment in wine transfer

Alternatively classification at this level is where the employer believes they have the necessary skills and competence to satisfactorily perform duties at this level.

Duties of a Grade 4 employee are associated with the modules above and assisting with the training of new employees. They may also take on the responsibility of leading a section or department within the winery in which the employee is employed.

To be promoted from Grade 4 to 5, a Grade 4 employee must have been trained in all of the Grade 5 modules.

Grade 5

This level is when a Grade 4 employee has successfully completed training and assessment in the modules listed below or someone who is deemed by the employer to have the necessary skills and competence for this level:

  • supervision in the workplace (relevant recognised qualification completed)
  • bottling course (relevant recognised qualification completed)
  • maintaining production records
  • report writing

Duties of Grade 5 employees include coordinating the work of employees within a department or a packaging line and maintaining company standards relating to safety, quality and production volume. The duties include instructing employees in the modules that are essential to operations in the winery and improving those employees’ skills.

An employee at this level may be required to undertake further training for the purpose of updating their skills and knowledge. They may also be required to undertake further management training for promotion to salaried positions.

 

Cellar stream
Grade 1

This level is for an employee at this level is a trainee undertaking a 3-month induction training program, followed by training in the modules essential to Grade 2.

Training will be completed and assessed within 12 months of the start of employment. The employee will automatically be appointed to Grade 2 on passing an accredited assessment.

Grade 2

A Grade 2 employee is a Grade 1 employee who has passed an accredited assessment for progression from Grade 1 to Grade 2 by completing training and assessments in these modules:

  • cellar hygiene
  • transferring of a product including road tankers and racking if required
  • additions
  • wine blending 
  • safety regulations including confined space procedure and chemical handling

Alternatively the employee may have passed accredited training in more than one stream and has had successful assessment in the following modules: 

  • cellar hygiene
  • transferring of product
  • safety regulations including confined space procedure and chemical handling; and

has been successfully assessed for 2 modules essential to one or 2 other streams such as:

  • palletising (bottling hall)
  • carton making (bottling hall)
  • forklift driving (warehouse/bottling hall)
  • heavy vehicle driving (warehouse)

Grade 2 is also appropriate where a person is deemed by the employer to have the necessary skills and competency to perform this role.

Duties at this level include demonstrating a safe and responsible approach and requiring little supervision in the performance of those tasks. Duties include:

  • tank waxing
  • vintage operations such as – rushing, press house work, tank cleaning 
  • barrel washing
  • forklift driving (certificate required)
  • wood stacking and transferring product to/from wood

Training for Grade 3 will be completed and assessed within 24 months of appointment to Grade 2. Appointment to the Grade 3 classification will be automatic upon passing.

Grade 3

A Grade 3 employee is a Grade 2 employee who has passed an accredited assessment for progression from Grade 2 to Grade 3 with successful completion of the following modules:

  • forklift driving (certificate required)
  • filtration (pad/cartridge/membrane, or earth or lees)
  • Centrifugation
  • Fortification
  • Ion exchange
  • De-sulphurising 
  • Juice concentration
  • Heat exchange 
  • Spirit bond
  • Boiler attendant (certificate required)
  • distiller (limited to equipment operation, including boiler)
  • sparkling wine production

Alternatively a Grade 3 employee is one deemed by the employer to have the necessary skills and competence to satisfactorily perform duties at this level.

A Grade 3 employee is expected, under limited supervision, to perform the duties required of a Grade 2 employee plus the duties appropriate to the 3 modules forming the basis of the qualifications for Grade 3. A Grade 3 employee may also be required to perform the duties appropriate to the operation of all other equipment following a period of training.

To prepare for a position as a Grade 4, a Grade 3 employee will be trained and assessed in the operation of all equipment within the winery in which the employee is employed, with the exception of distillery and boilers.

Grade 4

A Grade 4 employee is a Grade 3 employee who has successfully completed training and assessment in the duties appropriate to the operation of all the equipment within the winery in which the employee is employed (except distillery and boiler equipment) and in the following:

  • cellar procedures course (external)
  • health, safety, and welfare course (external or internal – ongoing)

Alternatively this level is for a person deemed by the employer to have the necessary skills and competence to satisfactorily perform duties at this level.

An employee at this level is expected to perform tasks without any supervision in the winery.

For promotion to Grade 5, a Grade 4 employee will be trained to take on the responsibilities of leading a section or department within the winery.

Grade 5

A Grade 5 employee is a Grade 4 employee who has successfully completed training and assessment in:

  • supervision and methods of instruction
  • report writing
  • such additional modules as required by the employer

Alternatively a Grade 5 employee is a person deemed by the employer to have the necessary skills and competence to perform duties at this level.

A Grade 5 employee coordinates the work of employees within a department and maintains company standards relating to safety, quality and production volume. The employees required to carry out these duties are those responsible for, but not limited to, departments such as output filtration, distillery and sparkling wines. The duties include instructing employees in the modules which are essential to operations in the winery in which the employees are employed, with a conscious effort to continuously improve employee skills.

An employee at this level may be required to undertake further training for the purpose of updating their skills and knowledge. An employee at this level may also be required to undertake further management training for further promotion to salaried positions.

 

Cellar door sales stream
Grade 1

This level is for an employee at this level is a trainee undertaking a 3-month induction training program, followed by training in the grade 2 modules.

Such training will be completed and assessed within 12 months of the start of employment. The employee will automatically be appointed to Grade 2 on passing the assessment.

Grade 2

A Grade 2 employee is a Grade 1 employee who has passed an accredited assessment for progression from Grade 1 to Grade 2 with success in all of the following modules:

  • wine appreciation and tasting
  • sales/service
  • tour guide
  • office procedures

Alternatively a Grade 2 employee is one  deemed by the employer to have the necessary skills and competence to perform duties at this level.

A Grade 2 employee performs the tasks associated with the modules essential to Grade 2 while demonstrating a safe and responsible approach and requiring little supervision.

It is expected that training for Grade 3 will be completed and assessed within 24 months of appointment to Grade 2. 

Appointment to the Grade 3 classification will be automatic upon passing the applicable assessment.

Grade 3

A Grade 3 employee is a Grade 2 employee who has passed an accredited assessment for progression from Grade 2 to Grade 3 with successful completion in the following modules:

  • wine appreciation (external course)
  • competency in the use of a visual display unit or PC and keyboard
  • stock control/ordering
  • invoicing—licensed, private and sample accounts
  • banking procedures

Alternatively a Grade 3 employee is one deemed by the employer to have the necessary skills and competence to perform duties at this level.

A Grade 3 employee is expected to perform the duties required of a Grade 2 employee plus the duties appropriate to the modules forming the basis of the qualifications for Grade 3. 

A Grade 3 employee may also be required to perform the duties appropriate to the operation of other duties following a period of training. 

To prepare for a position as a Grade 4, a Grade 3 employee will be trained and assessed in modules essential to Grade 4, even if only on a relief basis.

Grade 4 

A Grade 4 employee is a Grade 3 employee who has successfully completed training and assessment in the following disciplines:

  • resource management and work planning
  • point of sale
  • accident prevention and investigation
  • state and national regulations appertaining to public places
  • public relations—hospitality industry (external course)

Alternatively a Grade 4 employee is one deemed by the employer to have the necessary skills and competence to perform duties at this level.

A Grade 4 employee plans and co-ordinates the activities within the cellar door sales department in which the employee is employed while upholding company standards. Other duties include the responsibility for security in the manager’s absence.

An employee at this level may undertake further training for the purpose of updating their skills and knowledge. 

Confusingly the Award states that for promotion to Grade 5, the employee will be trained in the disciplines necessary to take on those responsibilities (even if only on temporary relief basis), however there is no Grade 5 classification described in the Award under the Cellar Door Sales Stream.

A note to Schedule B to the Award confirms that there is no Grade 5 for Cellar Door employees.

 

Laboratory stream
Grade 1 

This level is for an employee at this level is a trainee undertaking a 3-month induction training program, followed by training in the modules essential to the Grade 2 level.

Such training will be completed and assessed within 12 months of the start date of employment. The employee will automatically be appointed to Grade 2 on successful completion.

Grade 2

A Grade 2 employee is a Grade 1 employee who has passed an accredited assessment for progression from Grade 1 to Grade 2 with successful completion of training and assessment in 3 of the following:

  • routine chemical analysis
  • basic light microscopy and identification of micro-organisms
  • sterility testing of bottled wine
  • basic analytical or packaging instrumentation skills
  • routine trial work
  • on-line packaging quality monitoring
  • incoming packaging materials assessment
  • media or reagent preparation

Alternatively a Grade 2 employee is a person deemed by the employer to have the necessary skills and competence to perform duties at this level.

A Grade 2 employee performs the tasks associated with the modules essential to Grade 2 and, subject to training, other duties as required while demonstrating a safe and responsible approach and requiring little supervision.

It is expected that training for Grade 3 will be completed and assessed within 24 months of appointment to Grade 2. Appointment to the Grade 3 classification will be automatic on passing such assessments. 

Grade 3

A Grade 3 employee is a Grade 2 employee who has passed an accredited assessment for progression from Grade 2 to Grade 3 with successful completion of training and assessment in 2 of the following modules:

  • propagation of micro-organisms
  • non-routine trials
  • 2 Grade 2 modules in which the employee has not yet been assessed
  • advanced analytical, packaging or microbiological instrumentation
  • reconciliation of results with standards

Alternatively, a Grade 3 employee is one who is deemed by the employer to have the necessary skills and competence to satisfactorily perform duties at this level.

A Grade 3 employee is expected to perform the duties required of a Grade 2 employee plus the duties appropriate to the 2 modules forming the basis of the qualifications for Grade 3. 

A Grade 3 employee may also be required to perform other duties following a period of training.

To prepare for a position as a Grade 4, a Grade 3 employee will be trained and assessed in modules essential to Grade 4.

Grade 4

A Grade 4 employee is a Grade 3 employee who has successfully completed training and assessment in:

  • health, safety, and welfare (external or internal course—ongoing)
  • plant monitoring and troubleshooting
  • working without direct supervision
  • training personnel in Grade 1 and Grade 2 modules
  • collating and recording information to supervisors within the department; and

Is fully competent in all modules pertaining to one of the following areas:

  • analytical chemistry
  • microbiology
  • packaging quality control; and

Has commenced the chemistry or microbiology certificate or equivalent and understands all principles and practices which apply to the candidate’s chosen field.

Alternatively a Grade 4 employee is one deemed by the employer to have the necessary skills and competence to satisfactorily perform duties at this level.

A Grade 4 employee performs any task associated with the modules in which the employee has been assessed while undertaking to learn those modules.

For promotion to Grade 5, a Grade 4 employee will be trained to take on the responsibilities of supervising a section or department within the winery in which the employee is employed.

Grade 5 (Supervisory)

A Grade 5 (Supervisory) employee is a Grade 4 employee who has successfully completed training and assessment in the following disciplines:

  • supervision
  • report writing
  • communication with other departments
  • certificate or diploma applicable to the field of speciality

Alternatively a Grade 5 (Supervisory) employee is one deemed by the employer to have the necessary skills and competency

A Grade 5 (Supervisory) employee co-ordinates the work of employees within a department and maintains company standards relating to safety, quality and production volume.

The employees required to carry out these duties are those responsible for but not limited to departments such as quality control, analytical quality control, vintage laboratory and microbiology laboratory.

The duties include instructing employees in the modules which are essential to operations in the laboratory in which the employees are employed, with a conscious effort to continuously improve employee skills. Other duties include non-routine trial work and designing new tests/trials as required, investigating analytical exceptions and special projects.

An employee at this level may be required to undertake further training for the purpose of updating their skills and knowledge. An employee at this level may also be required to undertake further management training for promotion to salaried positions.

Grade 5 (Technical)

A Grade 5 (Technical) employee is a Grade 4 employee who has successfully completed training and assessment in the following disciplines:

  • advanced chemical, microbiological or packaging skills certification
  • appropriate qualification to the field of speciality
  • advanced and detailed knowledge of areas of research and product development

Alternatively a Grade 5 (Technical) employee is one deemed by the employer to have the necessary skills and competence to satisfactorily perform duties at this level.

Duties include:

  • carries out advanced analytical, microbiological or packaging activities, and/or
  • works without supervision on projects or product development, and/or
  • reports on aspects of work in the area of speciality to management and other departments, and/or
  • carries out complex network development or evaluation; and/or
  • carries out complex processing trials.

An employee at this level may be required to undertake further training for the purpose of updating their skills and knowledge. An employee at this level may also be required to undertake further management training for promotion to salaried positions.

 

Vineyard stream

Grade 1 

This level is for an employee at this level is a trainee undertaking a 3 month induction training program, followed by training in the modules essential to the Grade 2.

Such training will be completed and assessed within 12 months of the start date of employment. The employee will automatically be appointed to Grade 2 on passing the relevant assessments.

Grade 2

A Grade 2 employee is a Grade 1 employee who has passed an accredited assessment for progression from Grade 1 to Grade 2 with successful completion of training and assessment modules:

  • pruning
  • vine training
  • basic machinery training
  • irrigation
  • harvesting
  • safety and safety regulations (on-going)
  • chemicals handling
  • grafting

Alternatively a Grade 2 employee is one who has passed an accredited assessment for progression from Grade 1 to Grade 2 with training in more than one stream and successful training and assessment in general viticulture (internal or external) and 2 modules essential to one or 2 other streams such as:

  • forklift driving (certificate required)
  • heavy vehicle driving
  • basic machinery maintenance

Alternatively a Grade 2 employee is one deemed by the employer to have the necessary skills and competence to perform duties at this level.

A Grade 2 employee performs the tasks associated with the modules essential to Grade 2 while demonstrating a safe and responsible approach and requiring little supervision in the performance of those tasks and, subject to training, performs other duties as required, such as mechanical harvester operations and general vineyard machinery repair and maintenance.

Training for Grade 3 will be completed and assessed within 24 months of appointment to Grade 2. Appointment to the Grade 3 classification will be automatic upon passing the relevant assessments.

Grade 3

A Grade 3 employee is a Grade 2 employee who has passed an accredited assessment for progression from Grade 2 to Grade 3 with successful completion of training and assessment modules:

  • mechanical harvesting operations
  • routine repairs and maintenance
  • pruning
  • vine training
  • planting
  • trellising
  • irrigation
  • chemicals handling
  • grafting

Alternatively a Grade 3 employee is one deemed by the employer to have the necessary skills and competence to satisfactorily perform duties at this level.

A Grade 3 employee is expected to perform the duties required of a Grade 2 employee plus the duties appropriate to the 3 modules forming the basis of the qualifications for Grade 3. 

A Grade 3 employee may also be required to perform other duties following training.

To prepare for a position as a Grade 4, a Grade 3 employee will be trained and assessed in the handling of all equipment and duties within the vineyard in which the employee is employed.

Grade 4

A Grade 4 employee is a Grade 3 employee who has successfully completed training and assessment in the duties appropriate to the operation of all the equipment within the vineyard in which the employee is employed and in the following:

  • rural studies certificate or equivalent
  • health, safety and welfare course (external or internal—on-going

Alternatively a Grade 4 employee is one deemed by the employer to have the necessary skills and competence to satisfactorily perform duties at this level.

A Grade 4 employee performs any task without supervision in the vineyard in which the employee is employed.

For promotion to a Grade 5, a Grade 4 employee will be trained to take on the responsibilities of leading a section or department within the winery in which the employee is employed.

Grade 5

A Grade 5 employee is a Grade 4 employee who has successfully completed training and assessment in the following disciplines:

  • supervision and methods of instruction
  • report writing

Alternatively a Grade 4 employee is one deemed by the employer to have the necessary skills and competence to satisfactorily perform duties at this level.

A Grade 5 employee co-ordinates the work of employees within a section of the vineyard and maintains company standards relating to safety, quality and production volume. The duties include instructing employees in the modules which are essential to operations in the vineyard to continuously improve employee skills

An employee at this level may be required to undertake further training for the purpose of updating their skills and knowledge. An employee at this level may also be required to undertake further management training for promotion to a salaried position.

 

Warehouse and supply stream 

Grade 1

This level is for an employee at this level is a trainee undertaking a 3 month induction training program, followed by training in the modules essential to the Grade 2.

Such training will be completed and assessed within 12 months of the start date of employment. The employee will automatically be appointed to Grade 2 on passing.

Grade 2

A Grade 2 employee is a Grade 1 employee who has passed an accredited assessment for progression from Grade 1 to Grade 2 with successful completion of training and assessment in the following modules:

  • forklift operations (certificate required)
  • basic physical layout within locations
  • basic warehouse or supply procedures
  • basic warehouse or supply operations

Alternatively a Grade 2 employee is one deemed by the employer to have the necessary skills and competence to satisfactorily perform duties at this level.

A Grade 2 employee performs, under supervision, a minimum period of 6 months on each of any 2 of the following duties:

Supply

  • bottle yard operation
  • scrap yard operation
  • order receipt
  • material issue
  • stock checks/control
  • truck driver’s licence

Warehouse

  • production line forklift duties
  • loading bay operations
  • warehouse movements—as directed
  • truck driver’s licence

It is expected that training for Grade 3 will be completed and assessed within 24 months of appointment to Grade 2. Appointment to the Grade 3 classification will be automatic upon passing the relevant assessment.

Grade 3

A Grade 3 employee is a Grade 2 employee who has passed an accredited assessment for progression from Grade 2 to Grade 3 with successful completion of training and assessment in the following modules:

  • the Grade 2 modules
  • competent in the use of a computer
  • a health, safety and welfare course

Alternatively a Grade 3 employee is a Grade 2 employee who has passed an accredited assessment for progression from Grade 2 to Grade 3 with successful assessment in the following modules:

  • vintage cellar operations
  • bottling hall operation

Alternatively a Grade 3 employee is one deemed by the employer to have the necessary skills and competence to satisfactorily perform duties at this level.

A Grade 3 employee is expected to perform the duties required of a Grade 2 employee plus the duties appropriate to 2 of the modules forming the basis of the qualifications for Grade 3.

 A Grade 3 employee may also be required to perform the duties appropriate to the operation of all other equipment following a period of training.

To prepare for a position as a Grade 4, a Grade 3 employee will be trained and assessed in the operation of all equipment and operations within the warehouse area in which the employee is employed.

Grade 4

A Grade 4 employee is a Grade 3 employee who has completed an accredited assessment in the operation of all work performed in the warehouse or supply at Grades 2 and 3 level plus emergency procedures—in house and a health, safety and welfare course

Alternatively a Grade 4 employee is one deemed by the employer to have the necessary skills and competence to satisfactorily perform duties at this level.

A Grade 4 employee performs any task associated with the equipment within the warehouse area in which the employee is employed and is able to perform any task without supervision.

For promotion to Grade 5, a Grade 4 employee will be trained in the duties of supervising a section or area in which the employee is employed in the warehouse.

Grade 5

A Grade 5 employee is a Grade 4 employee who has completed an accredited assessment in the following disciplines:

  • supervision—approved course (internal/external)
  • forklift operators examiner’s course
  • report writing
  • warehouse—overall knowledge of despatch office procedures
  • supply—overall knowledge of supply office procedures

Alternatively a Grade 5 employee is one deemed by the employer to have the necessary skills and competence to satisfactorily perform duties at this level.

A Grade 5 employee co-ordinates the work of those within their area of responsibility in the warehouse including maintaining the employer’s standards relating to safety, quality and production volume, and instructing other employees in modules essential to the operations of the warehouse.

An employee at this level may be required to undertake further training for the purpose of updating their skills and knowledge. An employee at this level may also be required to undertake further management training for promotion to a salaried position.

 

Supply and coopers stream

Grade 1

This level is for an employee at this level is a trainee undertaking a 3 month induction training program, followed by training in the modules essential to the Grade 2.

Such training will be completed and assessed within 12 months of service from the date of employment. The employee will automatically be appointed to Grade 2 on passing.

Grade 2

A Grade 2 employee is a Grade 1 employee who has passed an accredited assessment for progression from Grade 1 to Grade 2 with successful completion of training and assessment in the following modules:

  • basic supply procedures
  • basic supply operations
  • basic wood storage/knowledge
  • forklift driver’s licence
  • basic machinery use
  • basic safety regulations and procedures

Alternatively a Grade 2 employee is one deemed by the employer to have the necessary skills and competence to satisfactorily perform duties at this level.

A Grade 2 employee performs tasks associated with the modules essential to Grade 2 while demonstrating a safe and responsible approach and requiring little supervision.

It is expected that training for Grade 3 will be completed and assessed within 24 months of appointment to Grade 2. Appointment to the Grade 3 classification will be automatic upon passing.

Grade 3

A Grade 3 employee is a Grade 2 employee who has passed an accredited assessment for progression from Grade 2 to Grade 3 with successful completion of training and assessment in 3 of the following modules:

  • setting up and efficient operation of one or more machines
  • safety regulations including confined space procedure
  • forklift driving
  • basic machine maintenance
  • product storage and transfer
  • health, safety and welfare course (internal or external)

Alternatively a Grade 3 employee is one deemed by the employer to have the necessary skills and competence to satisfactorily perform duties at this level.

A Grade 3 employee is expected to perform the duties required of a Grade 2 employee and also the operation and adjustment of equipment that requires a higher skill. A Grade 3 employee also performs duties appropriate to the modules.

To prepare for a position as a Grade 4, a Grade 3 employee will be trained and assessed in the operation of all equipment and operations within the area.

Grade 4

A Grade 4 employee is: 

  • a person who has completed a recognised apprenticeship as a Trades Cooper; or 
  • a Grade 3 employee who has successfully completed training and assessment in the following:
  • resource management and work planning
  • accident prevention and investigation
  • supervision and methods of instruction
  • report writing
  • such additional modules as required by the employer

Alternatively a Grade 4 employee is one deemed by the employer to be have the necessary skills and competence to satisfactorily perform duties at this level.

Duties are performed in all these aspects of the manufacture and maintenance of casks, barrels and vats including:

  • making or repairing any cask or any article composed of staves and hoops
  • preparing and shaping timber with hand tools for casks or vats
  • putting together and/or finishing casks or vats with hand tools
  • heading casks
  • grading or classifying timber to be used for the purpose of building casks or vats
  • performing any other work relating to coopering as directed
  • being responsible for directing a trades assistant and/or an apprentice
  • co-ordinating the work of employees
  • maintaining appropriate standards relating to safety, quality and production volumes
  • co-ordination and instruction of Grade 1, 2 and 3 employees. 

For promotion to Grade 5, a Grade 4 employee will be trained to take on the responsibilities of supervision, co-ordination and instruction.

Grade 5

A Grade 5 employee is a Grade 4 employee who has successfully completed training and assessment in:

  • supervision and instruction
  • forklift drivers examiner’s course
  • report writing
  • restructuring
  • overall knowledge of supply and production procedures

Alternatively a Grade 5 employee is one deemed by the employer to have the necessary skills and competence to satisfactorily perform duties at this level.

A Grade 5 employee co-ordinates the work of those within any area of responsibility, including on safety standards, quality standards, production standards and/or works without supervision on projects and product development.

An employee at this level may be required to undertake further training for the purpose of updating their skills and knowledge. An employee at this level may also be required to undertake further management training for promotion to salaried positions.

 

Plumbing and Fire Sprinkler Award Summary

Ordinary Hours of Working and Rostering

The Wine Industry Award has rules about what hours are considered “ordinary hours”. Hours that are worked outside / in excess of ordinary hours are paid as overtime (see section on overtime later in this guide).

There are also different rules regarding hours of work for “day workers” and “shiftworkers”. A shiftworker is one who works their ordinary hours in one of the patterns set out on the section for shiftworkers below (eg they work afternoon or night shifts). Shiftworkers are entitled to higher rates of pay for working these shifts (see guidance later in this document).

Ordinary hours for both day workers and shiftworkers are:

  • an average of up to 38 per week (to be work continuously, except for breaks)
  • not to exceed 10 hours on any day (except where there is agreement between the employer and the majority of employees for a daily maximum up to 12 hours)

The method of working an average of 38 hours per week may be worked in one of the following arrangements (subject to agreement between the employer and the majority of employees to work such a pattern):

  • 19 days of 8 hours in each 4 week period, with either a fixed or rostered day off;
  • 9 days of 8 hours and one day of 4 hours in each fortnight with either a fixed half-day off or a rostered half-day off at the beginning or end of the working week;
  • 4 days of 8 hours and one day of 6 hours in each week, with the 6 hour day being at the beginning or end of the working week; or
  • any other arrangement agreed to by the employer and the majority of employees directly affected.
 
Ordinary span/spread of hours — day workers

Ordinary hours must be worked between 6.00 am and 6.00 pm, Monday to Friday, subject to the following exceptions:

  • ordinary hours for an employee rostered to perform work in the cellar door are to be worked between 6.00 am and 6.00 pm, Monday to Friday, but can also be worked between 8.00 am and 6.00 pm on Saturday and Sunday (for which higher rates apply); 
  • ordinary hours for an employee rostered to perform work in the vineyard are to be worked between 5.00 am and 6.00 pm, Monday to Saturday, during the period of the vintage (vintage means a period not exceeding 6 months between November and June, starting on the date the harvest of wine grapes begins and ending on the date the last wine grapes are harvested at that vineyard. An employer must make and retain records of vintage dates in conjunction with relevant time and wages records);
  • The spread of hours may be varied by agreement between an employer and the majority of employees.

Ordinary hours worked on the weekend are subject to higher “penalty rates” (see further below).

 

Make-up time

An employee and employer may agree for the employee to work make-up time (where the employee takes time off during ordinary hours and works those hours at a later time, during the spread of ordinary hours – subject to a resulting agreement being recorded in the time and wages records at the time when the agreement is made).

Breaks

Unpaid meal break – Day workers

A day worker must not be scheduled to work continuously for more than 5 hours without taking an unpaid meal break, which should last between 30 and 60 minutes.

 

Paid meal break – Shiftworkers

Shiftworkers are entitled to a paid meal break of 30 minutes if they work continuously for more than 4.5 hours.

In certain situations, with the agreement of the employee, shiftworkers can work up to 6 hours without a paid meal break. This exception applies to:

  • Casual employees or part-time employees working shifts of up to 6 hours.
  • Employees working their standard hours based on a short day each week.

 

Overtime meal break

If an employee works over 2 hours of overtime right after completing their regular shift, they are entitled to a 30-minute paid meal break in addition to their other entitled breaks.  This meal break should be given:

  • Before starting the overtime and paid at the employee’s regular hourly rate; and
  • After every subsequent 4 hours of overtime, paid at the corresponding overtime rate.
 
Working through a meal break

If an employee is not provided with a meal break as required, they should be compensated at a rate of 150% of their regular pay from the time the meal break was supposed to occur until they are given the meal break.

 
Rest break 

Employees are entitled to a paid 10-minute rest break during each workday or shift. These are separate to meal breaks.

Minimum rates

The minimum rates for employees under the Award are set out in clause 15 there is also a more detailed summary in Schedule B to the Award.These rates  do not apply to employees who have entered into pieceworker agreements (see further below).

 

Unapprenticed junior minimum rates

The rates of pay for junior employees (under 19 years of age) are expressed in terms of percentages of the appropriate adult employee rates – these figures are set out in clause 15.5 of the Award.

 

Higher duties

If an employee works for 2 or more hours in a day on duties of a classification higher than their own, they are to be paid at the higher rate for the entire day. If the higher duties work is less than 2 hours, they are entitled to be paid the higher rate only for the time spent on those duties.

 

National training wage

Employees who undertake traineeships are entitled to be paid in accordance with the rates set out in Schedule E of the Miscellaneous Award 2020.

 

Apprentice minimum rates

For school-based apprentices, see Schedule D of the Award.

The minimum rates for an apprentice cooper are to be calculated in accordance with the percentages set out below applied to the Grade 4 classification minimum weekly rate:

Apprentice

Stage of apprenticeship

% of Grade 4 rate

Commenced before 1 January 2014

1st year

42

2nd year

55

3rd year

75

4th year

88

Commenced on or after 1 January 2014 – have not completed year 12

1st year

50

2nd year

60

3rd year

75

4th year

88

Commenced on or after 1 January 2014 – have completed year 12

1st year

55

2nd year

65

3rd year

75

4th year

88

 

Stage of apprenticeship

Rate

Adult apprentice – Commenced on or after 1 January 2014

1 st year

80% of the Grade 4 rate, or the rate prescribed by clause 16.1(b) for the relevant year of the apprenticeship, whichever is the greater.

2 nd year and subsequent years

lowest adult classification in clause 15 — Minimum rates , or the rate prescribed by clause 16.1(b) for the relevant year of the apprenticeship, whichever is the greater.

 

An employee under this award who enters into a training agreement as an adult apprentice must not suffer a reduction in their minimum rate, provided:

  • the employee was employed by the employer and covered by this Award immediately prior to entering into a training agreement as an adult apprentice, and
  • the person has been an employee in that enterprise for at least 6 months as a full-time employee or 12 months as a part – time or regular casual employee immediately prior to commencing the apprenticeship.

Please refer to clause 16.3(b) of the Award for provisions around block release training.

Reimbursements of course fees and materials

Employers are required to reimburse apprentices for specific costs, including all training fees for prescribed courses charged by a Registered Training Organization (RTO) and prescribed textbooks (excluding those available in the employer’s technical library). Reimbursements must be made no later than 6 months after starting the apprenticeship or the relevant stage, or within 3 months of starting training provided by the RTO, whichever is later. Reimbursement is not applicable in cases of unsatisfactory progress. Employers can fulfill their obligations by directly paying the fees and/or textbook costs to the RTO.

Attending training

An apprentice is entitled to be released from work to attend any training and assessment related to the training contract. Attendance at such training must not result in a loss of employment continuity and should be paid at appropriate rates. The time spent in training is considered as time worked for wage calculations and employment conditions, subject to Schedule D of the Award (School-based Apprentices). Unless in emergencies, apprentices cannot be compelled to work overtime or shiftwork if it interferes with their training attendance as per the training contract.

Plumbing and Fire Sprinkler Award Summary

Pieceworkers

An employer and a full-time, part-time or casual employee may enter into an agreement for the employee to be paid a piecework rate. An employee on a piecework rate is known as a “pieceworker”.

A piecework rate is a fixed rate, and must enable an employee of average capacity to earn at least 20% more per hour than the minimum hourly rate for hours worked for their specific classification.

The Award does not set out the method for working out the average capacity earnings, but one method would be:

  • dividing the total output of the pieceworkers competent at the piecework task over a period
  • by the total of hours worked on the piecework task by the pieceworkers competent at the piecework task over that same period (where output is measured in the same unit used to specify the piece rate – for example, a punnet, bucket or kilogram).

The most appropriate period to use for working out the average productivity will depend on the circumstances at the winery. For example, a calculation of the average productivity made over a certain period may not be appropriate at a future time if the circumstances at the winery have changed, such as due to changes in conditions like crop density and extreme weather.

The piecework rate agreed is to be paid for all work performed in accordance with the piecework agreement instead of the minimum hourly rate set by the Award. Meal allowance, overtime and penalty rates do not apply for an employee on a piecework agreement.

An employer seeking to enter into a piecework agreement with an employee must provide the proposed written agreement to the employee. 

Where the employee’s understanding of written English is limited the employer must take measures, including translation into an appropriate language, to ensure the employee understands the proposed piecework agreement. 

An employee who is under 18 must have a parent or guardian sign the agreement. 

The Award sets out the following rules regarding the piecework agreement:

The piecework agreement between the employer and the individual employee must:

(a)          be in writing, name the parties to the agreement and be signed by the employer and the individual employee and, if the employee is under 18 years of age, the employee’s parent or guardian;

(b)         detail the piecework rate;

(c)          set out that the piecework rate will be paid instead of the minimum rates specified in clause 15—Minimum rates of the Wine Industry Award 2020;

(d)         set out that the following clauses of the Wine Industry Award 2020 do not apply to the employee as the employee is on a piecework rate:

(i)            clause 13—Ordinary hours of work and rostering;

(ii)           clause 19.3(c)—Meal allowance;

(iii)         clause 22—Overtime; and

(iv)         clause 23—Penalty rates.

(e)          state the date the agreement commences to operate.

Nothing in the Award guarantees an employee on a piecework rate will earn at least the minimum weekly or hourly rate in the Award, as the employee’s earnings are contingent on their productivity.

Full-time and part-time employees on piecework arrangements are still entitled to leave and other entitlements under the NES (annual leave, personal/carer’s leave, etc) and the base rate of pay in relation to entitlements under the NES for an employee on a piecework rate is taken to be the minimum rate in for the employee’s classification level.

Where the NES provides an entitlement to a “full rate of pay” (ie for payment in lieu of notice), a pieceworker’s full rate of pay is taken to be the minimum rate for their classification level rate plus a loading of 20%.

Payment of wages

Payment frequency

Wages are to be paid weekly or fortnightly, with alternative arrangements (eg monthly pay) possible upon written agreement with an individual employee.

 

Payment methods

Wages are to be paid in cash or through electronic funds transfer into the employee’s bank account.

 

Termination payments

Upon termination, the employer must pay the employee:

  • Wages for the period up to the termination day.
  • All other amounts owed under the award and National Employment Standards (NES).

 

Timing of termination payments

Wages are to be paid in cash on the termination day or via electronic funds transfer within 7 days.

Payments made in lieu of notice must be made on the termination date also.

Other amounts must be paid in cash on the termination day or via electronic funds transfer within 7 days.

Plumbing and Fire Sprinkler Award Summary

Accident Pay

The Wine Industry Award provides for more generous entitlements for employees in receipt of workers compensation payments that would otherwise apply.

In essence it provides than an employer must top up the payment an employee receives from workers compensation to an equivalent for what they would receive whilst on personal/carer’s leave (i.e. their normal wage). It is payable for a maximum of 26 weeks.

Superannuation

The Award contains standard rules regarding superannuation, except that the employer’s default fund (for when an employee does not have an existing fund) must be one of the following:

(a) HOSTPLUS; or

(b) CareSuper; or

(c) AustralianSuper; or

(d) AustSafe Super; or

(e) MTAA Superannuation fund; or

(f) 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 is an eligible choice fund and is a fund that offers a MySuper product or is an exempt public sector superannuation scheme

Overtime

Full-time, part-time and casual employees must be paid overtime for all time worked outside ordinary hours, eg: 

  • Outside the spread of ordinary hours; and/or
  • Over 38 ordinary hours per week; and/or
  • Over the daily limit of ordinary hours (10 or 12 hours); and/or
  • Outside of any of the other ordinary hours provided under clause 13 – Ordinary hours of work and rostering.

Casual loading is only payable on overtime worked on a Sunday or public holiday. Otherwise casual overtime rates are applied to the minimum hourly rate under clause 15 (and no casual loading is added to this).

 

Overtime rates – Monday to Saturday

For all employees, overtime work performed between Monday and Saturday must be paid at 150% of the minimum hourly rate for the first 2 hours, and 200% of the minimum hourly rate after 2 hours until the completion of the overtime work. 

Casual loading is not paid on overtime performed between Monday and Saturday by a casual employee.

 

Overtime rates – Sunday

For full-time and part-time employees, the Sunday overtime rate is 200% of the minimum hourly rate until the completion of the overtime.

For casual employees, the Sunday overtime rate is 225% of the minimum hourly rate.

 

Overtime rates – Public holiday

Any employee required to work overtime on a public holiday must be paid for a minimum of 4 hours work. Hours of work performed immediately before or after a part-day public holiday, that form part of one continuous shift are to be counted towards the minimum 4 hour payment/engagement period.

For full-time and part-time employees, the public holiday overtime rate is 250% of the minimum hourly rate.

For casual employees, the public holiday overtime rate is 275% of the minimum hourly rate.

 

Summary of overtime rates
Day   % of minimum hourly rate  
    Full-time & part-time employees Casual employees
Monday – Saturday First 2 hours 150 150
  After 2 hours 200 200
Sundays All overtime hours 200 225
Public holidays All overtime hours 250 275

 

Rest period after working overtime

If an employee works overtime without the required break, they must be given time off until they have had 10 consecutive hours off duty. Importantly, during this absence, there will be no loss of pay for ordinary hours of work that would have occurred.

e.g. An employee is rostered from 12pm-6pm on Monday, and 8am-3pm on Tuesday. On Monday, the employee is required to work overtime from 6pm-11pm on Monday (resulting in 9 hours until their next shift).

The employee must be allowed to commence work at 9am on Tuesday without loss of pay for the hour between 8am and 9am that they were supposed to work had they not worked overtime and had an appropriate rest period of at least 10 hours.

If an employee resumes or continues work without the mandatory 10 consecutive hours off duty due to the employer’s instructions, the following conditions apply:

  • The employee must be paid at an increased rate until the employee is released from duty, this is: 
    • 200% of the minimum hourly rate for full-time and part-time employee;
    • 200% of the minimum hourly rate for casual employees (Monday to Saturday); or
    • 225% of the minimum hourly rate for casual employees where the work is performed on a Sunday or public holiday rate
  • The employee is then entitled to be absent for 10 consecutive hours; and
  • There will be no loss of pay for ordinary hours that would have been worked during this absence.

 

Call back

When an employee is summoned to work overtime after departing from the employer’s premises, they should be paid for a minimum of 4 hours at the applicable overtime rate, unless:

  • It is a regular practice for the employee to come back to the employer’s premises to complete a specific task beyond their usual working hours, or
  • The overtime starts, subject to a meal break taken, immediately after the conclusion of, or immediately before the commencement of ordinary working hours.

 

Time off instead of payment for overtime

Employees and employers can agree in writing for employees to take time off instead of being paid for overtime worked.

For every pay period in which an agreement is made to take time off instead of payment for overtime, a separate written agreement must be made.

This agreement must specify the number of overtime hours, when they were worked, and the understanding that the employee can take time off instead of receiving payment. The agreement must also note that if the employee later decides to be paid for the overtime, the employer must pay this at the applicable overtime rate in the next pay period.

Time off for overtime must be taken within 6 months of the overtime being worked, at a time agreed upon by both the employee and employer.

If, upon termination of employment, the employee has not taken the time off for overtime, the employer must pay the employee for the overtime at the applicable overtime rate.

Employers must keep a copy of any agreement for time off instead of payment for overtime as an employee record.

The period of time off that an employee is entitled to take is the same as the number of overtime hours worked.

Plumbing and Fire Sprinkler Award Summary

Penalty rates

Day workers working on the weekend

The following rates must be paid to a day worker working ordinary hours on:

(a) Saturdays— 125% of the minimum hourly rate (150% for casuals);

(b) Sundays— 200% of the minimum hourly rate (225% for casuals); and

A day worker required to work on a public holiday must be paid for a minimum of 4 hours’ work at the rate of 250% of the minimum hourly rate (275% for casuals).

Hours of work performed immediately before or after a part-day public holiday, that form part of one continuous shift, are counted as part of the minimum payment/engagement period of 4 hours.

Please note that only certain types of day workers can perform ordinary hours on the weekends (eg cellar door sales employee, vineyard employees working on a vintage, etc. – see section on “ordinary hours and rostering above”). Other employees would have to be paid overtime rates if working on the weekend.

 

Shiftworkers

Employees who work their ordinary hours in the shifts set out below are known as “shiftworkers” and entitled to higher penalty rates for working ordinary hours in these shifts:

  • afternoon shift means any shift finishing after 6.00 pm and at or before midnight
  • night shift means any shift finishing after midnight and at or before 8.00 am.

Afternoon and night shift penalty rates

An employee who works on afternoon or night shift must be paid at 115% of the minimum hourly rate (140% for casuals).

Permanent night shift

An employee who:

  • during a period of engagement on shift, works night shift only; or
  • remains on night shift for a longer period than 4 consecutive weeks; or
  •  works on a night shift which does not rotate or alternate with another shift or with day work so as to give the employee at least one third of their working time off night shift in each shift cycle, must be paid at 130% of the minimum hourly rate for all time worked during ordinary working hours on such night shift (155% for casuals).

Weekend and public holiday rates for shiftworkers

The following rates must be paid to a shiftworker working on:

  • Saturdays— 150% of the minimum hourly rate (200% for casuals);
  • Sundays— 200% of the minimum hourly rate (225% for casuals); and
  • Public holidays— 250% of the minimum hourly rate (275% for casuals).

The extra rates for weekend and public holidays are in substitution for and not cumulative upon shift penalty rate for afternoon and night shift (ie the employee doesn’t get both!).

Leave

Annual Leave

Annual leave is an entitlement provided under the National Employment Standards (NES). Permanent employees are entitled to 4 weeks annual leave (pro rata for part-time employees).

Extra week of annual leave for certain shiftworkers 

The Wine Industry Award says that the following types of shiftworkers are entitled to an extra (5th) week of annual leave: “a 7 day shiftworker who is regularly rostered on Sundays and public holidays” (i.e. a shiftworker that performs their ordinary hours on any of the 7 days of the week and regularly works Sundays and public holidays).

Conversion to hourly entitlement

The Award says employers can agree with the majority of employees in a specific workplace or section to change the annual leave benefit in the NES (ie 4 weeks of leave) into an hourly one (like 152 hours) for simplicity and administrative ease..

Annual leave loading

During a period of annual leave, permanent employees must receive leave loading on top of the minimum rates in the Award. This extra pay depends on their regular work arrangement:

  • Day workers – a loading equal to 17.5% of their base rate of pay or payment of any relevant weekend penalty rates, whichever is greater, but not both.
  • Shiftworkers – for employees who usually work in shifts, they receive a loading equal to 17.5% of their base rate of pay plus the relevant shift / weekend penalty rates, whichever is greater, but not both.
  • Pieceworks – piecework employees receive a loading equal to 20% of their base rate of pay (see Piecework section above for further details of calculating their base rate of pay)..

Excessive annual leave accruals

An employee is deemed to have  an excessive leave accrual if the employee has accrued more than 8 weeks’ paid annual leave (or 10 weeks’ paid annual leave for a shiftworker entitled to the extra week of annual leave)).

In such a situation the employer or the employee may seek to confer with the other and genuinely try to reach an agreement on how to reduce or eliminate the excessive leave accrual.

Excessive leave accruals: direction by employer that leave be taken

If an employer has sought to confer with the employee to form an agreement to reduce an excess leave accrual (and no agreement has been reached), the employer may direct the employee in writing to take one or more periods of paid annual leave in accordance with the following rules.

An employer’s direction must meet all of the following:

  • is of no effect if it would result at any time in the employee’s remaining accrued entitlement to paid annual leave being less than 6 weeks when any other paid annual leave arrangements are taken into account;
  • must not require the employee to take any period of paid annual leave of less than one week;
  • must not require the employee to take a period of paid annual leave beginning less than 8 weeks, or more than 12 months, after the direction is given;
  • must not be inconsistent with any leave arrangement agreed by the employer and employee;
  • an employee to whom a direction has been given may request to take a period of paid annual leave as if the direction had not been given, likely resulting in this direction ceasing to have any effect.

Excessive leave accruals: request by employee for leave

If an employee has sought to confer with the employer to form an agreement to reduce an excess leave accrual (and no agreement has been reached), the employee may give written notice to the employer requesting to take one or more periods of paid annual leave.

An employee may only give a notice to the employer if:

  • the employee has had an excessive leave accrual for more than 6 months at the time of giving the notice;
  • the employee has not been given a direction under clause 24.8 that, when any other paid annual leave arrangements are taken into account, would eliminate the employee’s excessive leave accrual.

Annual leave in advance

An employer and employee may agree in writing that an employee can take a period of annual leave before an employee has accrued the entitlement.

  • The agreement in writing must state the amount of leave that is being taken in advance and when the leave begins.
  • Both the employer and employee need to sign this, unless the employee is under 18, then a parent or guardian needs to sign on their behalf.
  • A copy of this agreement needs to be kept for the employee’s record.

If on termination of employment, the employee has not accrued an entitlement to all of a period of paid annual leave already taken in advance, the employer may deduct from any money due to the employee on termination an amount equal to the amount that was paid to the employee in respect of any part of the period of annual leave taken in advance to which an entitlement has not been accrued.

Direction to take annual leave during shutdown

If an employer intends to shut down all or part of its operations for an annual shutdown (eg at Christmas or New Year)  a process needs to be followed to be able to direct a permanent employee to take annual leave as follows:

  • The employer must give the affected employees 28 day’s written notice of a temporary shutdown period, or any shorter period agreed between the employer and the majority of relevant employees;
  • An employee engaged after the notice is given, must be provided with written notice of a temporary shutdown period who would be affected, as soon as reasonably practicable;

If an employee has accrued the annual leave entitlement the employer may direct the employee to take a period of annual leave during the temporary shutdown period.

If an employee does not have sufficient annual leave accrued, it may be agreed between the employer and employee in writing for the employee to take leave without pay during part of the shutdown period they do have accrued annual leave to cover the period. The employee cannot be directed to take leave without pay without their agreement.

Cashing out annual leave

Cashing out of annual leave (ie payment instead of taking the leave) is allowed, subject to the provisions of the Award. Each cashing out of a particular amount of paid annual leave must be the subject of a separate written agreement stating:

  • the amount of leave to be cashed out and the payment to be made to the employee for it;
  • the date on which the payment is to be made.

This must be signed by the employer and employee and, if the employee is under 18 years of age, by the employee’s parent or guardian.

The payment must not be less than what an employee would receive if they took the leave.

An agreement must not result in the employee’s remaining accrued entitlement to paid annual leave being less than 4 weeks.

The maximum amount of accrued paid annual leave that may be cashed out in any period of 12 months is 2 weeks.

The employer must keep a copy of any agreement as an employee record.

 

Other leave

Employees are entitled to other leave in accordance with the NES including:

  • 10 days paid personal/carer’s leave per year (not for casuals)
  • 2 days compassionate leave per occasion (unpaid for casuals)
  • 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave (for all employees, including casual)
  • Unpaid parental leave
  • Community service leave
  • Long service leave in accordance with state/territory legislation (also paid for casuals)

Public holidays

Public holiday entitlements are covered by the National Employment Standards (NES).

Substitution of public holidays

Employers and individual employees can mutually agree to substitute another day for a public holiday or part-day public holiday as specified in the NES.

 

Rostered day off falling on a public holiday

If a full-time employee’s rostered day off falls on a public holiday, the employer must provide the employee with one of the following:

  • 7.6 hours of pay at their ordinary hourly rate,
  • 7.6 hours of extra annual leave, or

  • a substitute (paid) day off on another weekday.

 
Part-day public holidays:

If a public holiday is a part-day public holiday, the entitlements above apply on a pro-rata basis for the number of ordinary hours on the part-day public holiday.

Plumbing and Fire Sprinkler Award Summary

Consultation and dispute resolution

The Wine Industry Award contains standard clauses about consulting employees about workplace changes that will affect them and resolving disputes (see Part 7 of the Award).

Termination of employment

Notice of termination

Employers must give permanent employees notice of termination in accordance with table below (except in the cases of serious misconduct):

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

Period of 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

Where an employee has at least two years continuous service and is at least 45 years old, an extra week of notice must be added to the periods above.

The notice of termination required to be given by an employee is the same as that required of an employer except that the employee does not have to give additional notice based on the age of the employee.

 

When employees give insufficient notice of termination

If an employee who is at least 18 years old does not give the period of notice required under the table above then the employer may deduct from wages due to the employee an amount that is no more than one week’s wages for the employee.

 

Job search entitlement

Where an employer has given notice of termination to an employee, the employee must be allowed time off without loss of pay of up to one day for the purpose of seeking other employment.

The time off is to be taken at times that are convenient to the employee after consultation with the employer.

Redundancy

General obligations

Entitlement to redundancy pay depends on the employee’s type of engagement, the size of the business (in terms of employee headcount) and their length of service. Businesses with less than 15 employees generally do not have to pay redundancy pay.

Where redundancy pay is payable the minimum amounts dictated by legislation range from 4 to 16 weeks’ pay. If an employment contract provides for a greater amount of redundancy pay, this must be honoured. Please contact us for further help in a redundancy situation.

 

Transfer to lower paid duties

Where, as a result of a redundancy, an employee is transferred to new duties with a lower ordinary rate of pay, the employer can either:

  • Give them the same amount of notice they would have been entitled to had their employment been terminated; or
  • Not give them any notice, but pay them out in lieu instead.

If the employer chooses the second option, the employee is entitled to be paid the difference between what they would have received in their old role (including any all-purpose allowances, shift rates and penalty rates) and what they will receive in the new role for the duration of the notice they would have been entitled to.

 

Employee leaving during redundancy notice period

If an employee is given notice of termination due to redundancy, they have the right to terminate their employment during the notice period. For any part of the notice period that they do not work, they are not entitled to be paid for that part.

Nothing about this entitlement affects their entitlement to redundancy pay – they are entitled to this pay in full, regardless of whether or not they work out their notice period.

 

Job search entitlement

Employees who receive a termination notice due to redundancy are entitled to take up to one day off each week, without loss of pay, during the notice period to look for alternative employment. 

If an employee takes more than one day off to look for alternative employment during the notice period, and the employer allows this, the employer may request proof of attendance at interviews (e.g., a statutory declaration). Failure to produce proof results in the employee not being entitled to payment for the time off. 

In the event of a redundancy, this entitlement supersedes the job search entitlement in clause 33.2 of the Award.

Plumbing and Fire Sprinkler Award Summary

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 22 February 2024. 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 22 February 2024.

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Free up your time to focus on more important stuff

 

Know you’re meeting your obligations as a small business owner and make confident and compliant business decisions with HR and workplace safety advice, and legal support for small businesses.
All for $250 a month.

Exclusive National Approved HR Products for ICB Members

#1 HR Provider for Employment Hero customers
AHRI Organisational Member


4.9 Google Rating. Based on 191 reviews.