ACA Provides Valuable Input to New Architects Award

16 July 2018

The ACA continues to advocate for its members as the Architects Award is reviewed by the Fair Work Commission.

Those new to the ACA may not be aware that the ACA was formed to represent the interests of architectural business owners during the arduous process of developing the first Architects Award. With fair employment conditions now largely bedded down, our primary purpose in this area is to ensure our members remain informed about their legal obligations as employers.

However, as a Registered Organisation under the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009, we maintain our role as the primary representative and advocate for business owners. This year, we have provided counsel to the Fair Work Commission in regards to the latest iteration of the Architects Award. We have expressed concern and sought a hearing over the following clauses in the Exposure Draft – Architects Award 2018:

  • Time-in-lieu (clause 13.1): In the latest iteration of the Award, and currently by law, employers are required to give 1.5 hours of time in lieu for every hour of overtime worked. Our position is that this is unacceptable, that time in lieu should be granted at an hour for hour basis, as per the 2010 version of the Award.
  • We have requested that a new employee classification be incorporated to clarify the position of employees who have completed a Bachelor’s Degree but not gone on to complete the Master of Architecture (clause 2). Currently, these employees are engaged under the Manufacturers Award, which feels unreasonable and outdated given the tasks they would be completing as part of their job. We have also requested that a chart of annual wages be included for these employees.
  • Equipment and special clothing (clause 15.4): We have requested clarification that clause 15.4a (related to reimbursement of the costs of purchasing technical equipment and special clothing) need not apply where the employer supplies such equipment and special clothing without cost to the employee.
  • Superannuation (clause 16.4): We recommend the inclusion of a statement that should the employee not provide details of their preferred superannuation fund, the employer must make superannuation contributions into one of a series of defined funds.
  • Termination of employment (clause 25): Finally, we have requested that the notice of termination during the qualifying period (that is, the period during which an employee is unable to make an unfair dismissal claim) be reduced from one month to one week.

More broadly, we have requested that the Commission modernises the language used in the Award to better reflect contemporary practice. At the time of writing, the Fair Work Commission is running considerably behind in the Award review process, but we will keep our members informed of any developments, as they become known.