Limited number of revamped Modern Awards operative from February 2020

It is hard to believe, but the 4 Yearly Review of the Modern Awards which commenced way back in 2014, continues to trundle along before the Fair Work Commission (FWC). There are signs though, that the process is likely to reach a conclusion in 2020, with around 30 re-vamped Modern Awards released and scheduled to come into force from February.

Of the reviewed Modern Awards which will take effect from February 2020, those of primary interest to ES Subscribers include the Animal Care & Veterinary Services Award 2020; Banking, Finance & Insurance Industry Award 2020; Cement, Lime & Quarrying Award 2020 (replacing the previously separate Cement & Lime Award 2010 and the Quarrying Award 2010); Gardening & Landscaping Services Award 2020; Legal Services Award 2020; Nursery Award 2020; Premixed Concrete Award 2020; Real Estate Industry Award 2020; and, Surveying Award 2020.

These re-vamped Modern Awards represent merely the first tranche of reviewed awards resulting from the onerous 4 Yearly Review Process. When the process eventually concludes (presumably by late-2020), every Modern Award will have been replaced and will be presented in a completely new layout, reflecting terminology the Commission labels “plain language”, designed to make awards easier to read and understand.

In reference to the above-mentioned Modern Awards which will take effect from February 2020, the most significant changes generally relate to the presentation (reorganisation) of information only, with few major adjustments to content apparent. It is pleasing to report, some numbering errors of the 2010 versions have been corrected and a major benefit is the introduction of extensive wage and penalty rates tables (in schedules), reducing, if not eliminating, an employer’s need to guess at the formula for calculating particular rates. Whilst some benefits of these re-worked Modern Awards are evident, it would be an overstatement to suggest the review process will have successfully addressed every deficiency in the drafting of the 2010 awards by the time the process concludes.

Prior to Christmas, ES Subscribers to the above-mentioned awards will be emailed the proposed 2020 version of their Modern Award that is scheduled to take effect from February, giving employers opportunity to familiarise themselves with the new document before it comes into operation (hey, what else would you want to be doing over the Festive season?). ES will of course send reminders in January and the 2020 awards will be released to Subscribers in ES’ traditional loose-leaf format once they become operative from February.

Popular Modern Awards for ES Subscribers such as the Social, Community, Home Care & Disability Services Industry Award 2010; Children’s Services Award 2010; Educational Services (Teachers) Award 2010; Health Professionals & Support Services Award 2010 and Nurses Award 2010 are not likely to be released in their 2020 version until later in the year. Be sure to maintain your ES subscription throughout 2020 so you don’t miss an important update to your Modern Award/s.