The Miscellaneous Award 2020 has historically had limited relevance for most businesses. The Award has not covered employees covered by an occupational award, or employees of employers covered by an industry award, even if those employees did not fall within one of the classifications in that industry award.

From 1 July 2020 however, the scope of the Award will change following a determination of the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission, please click here to read this in full.

The Miscellaneous Award will:

  • now cover employees who have up to an advanced trade qualification or sub-professional employees who are not covered by another modern award and who are not excluded from coverage by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) e.g. employees who have a high income guarantee; and
  • continue to exclude managerial employees and professional employees such as accountants and finance, marketing, legal, human resources, public relations and information technology specialists.

Implications for employers

Award coverage gives rise to rights and entitlements for employees, and obligations on employers e.g. consultation. We recommend you review three things:

  • Whether any employees in your business who are currently "award-free", will now be covered by the Miscellaneous Award.
  • Employee wages and benefits, to ensure they are being appropriately paid.
  • Employees' contracts of employment to ensure that if you are paying employees an annual salary, that you have an appropriately worded set-off clause. This is to ensure that you are able to use the person's salary to set-off all statutory and industrial instrument entitlements.

Many thanks to Lauren Trickey for her assistance in putting this article together.

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.