2018 Updates to Architects Award
As the year draws to a close, we summarise the changes made to the Architects Award and other relevant awards in 2018.
The ACA encourages all members to ensure they understand the changes, and to make sure they have incorporated them into the business and are meeting their obligations as employers.
Wage and allowance increases
The 3.5% minimum wage increase handed down by the Fair Work Commission was applied to all minimum award wages. These are applicable from the first full pay period from 1 July 2018.
Award allowances, including mileage, meals and other allowances, also increased in all awards as of 1 July 2018.
- Award pay rates for the four awards relevant to architectural practice
Family and domestic violence leave
Family and domestic violence leave has been introduced into all Modern Awards. This provides all employees (including casuals) with access to 5 days of unpaid leave per year to deal with family and domestic violence. The leave entitlement is applicable from the first full pay period after 1 August 2018.
The entitlement to unpaid family and domestic violence leave is now also part of the National Employment Standards (NES). This applies to employees (including part-time and casual employees), including those not covered by an award, and applies from 12 December 2018.
- Family and Domestic Violence Leave provides an overview of the new leave
- Notice announcing the Fair Work decision provides more context and outlines the Fair Work Commission’s finding on Family and domestic violence and the necessity for the leave.
Casual conversion clause
The Architects Award, Clerical Award and Miscellaneous Award (Interior Design) now all include a new casual conversion clause. This gives casual employees the right to request to become permanent full-time or part-time employees if they have worked regular and systematic hours for the previous 12 months. Casual service was defined to be a minimum of 2 hours.
The clause was inserted on 1 October 2018, and existing casual employees must be provided with a copy of the conversion clause by 1 January 2019.
- Converting Casual Employees to Permanent provides an overview of the new clause, including eligibility, and outlines employers’ responsibilities.
Termination of employment
Employers must pay employees wages and entitlements within 7 days of the termination of employment. The awards affected are the Architects Award, Clerks Award and Miscellaneous Award, and the change was applicable after the first full pay period from 1 November 2018.
- Termination of Employment Clause outlines the new clause and relevant additional information about termination
The Fair Work Commission’s consideration of family-friendly working arrangements saw a new clause regarding the right to request flexible work inserted into all Modern Awards. This extends the right to request flexible work that was already in place as one of the 10 minimum employment entitlements of the National Employment Standards. The new clause was effective from the first full pay period after 1 December 2018.
- Right to Request Flexible Work outlines the details of the new clause, employers obligations, and links to useful resourcese elsewhere.
- Articles on Flexible Work offer advice about how to manage flexible workplaces and the benefits of doing so.
The Fair Work Commission is redrafting redundancy clauses as part of its plain language re-drafting of standard clauses. The new wording will be issued after February 2019. There is not expected to be any change to content. The ACA will provide updated awards once this is available.