23 September 2023

Changes to the Professional Employees Award 2020

Watkins Tapsell


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Significant changes to the Professional Employees Award 2020 came into effect on 16 September 2023.
Australia Employment and HR
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Employers should be advised that significant changes to the Professional Employees Award 2020 (Award) came into effect on 16 September 2023.

These changes apply to any Employer that has employees covered under the Award, which includes employees performing professional engineering and scientific duties, the information technology industry, the quality auditing industry, the telecommunications services industry and professional medical research employees.

From the first full pay period after 16 September 2023, the following applies:

1. Ordinary hours of work must be 38 hours per week, averaged over a period of up to 13 weeks;
2. Employees are entitled to penalty rates and overtime (or time in lieu) where their hours exceed 38 hours per week or where hours worked are outside ordinary hours – such as on a Public Holiday, on Sundays or at night (subject to the above averaging arrangements). Notably, this includes work undertaken remotely or where an employee has undertaken work without being expressly directed to do so; and
3. Employers must now keep records of all hours worked to ensure they meet the above obligations.

The changes are significant as this Award did not previously require the payment of overtime or penalty rates or place record keeping requirements for employers.

There is an exception to the requirements where employees are paid at least 25% more than the minimum wages for their classification in accordance with the Award.

If you are an employer impacted by these changes, and require assistance ensuring your compliance, please contact our Workplace Law Team on 02 9521 6000 or visit our website.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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