The Architects Award

1 November 2020

All architectural businesses must understand their obligations under the Architects Award. The following is a short overview of the award, the ACA’s role in negotiating it, and the assistance we provide to members regarding the Award.

The ACA is the designated employer organisation for architects under Fair Work Australia. In this capacity we represent architectural employers in negotiating all changes to the Architects Award, and in representing members on related industrial matters. We encourage all architectural employers to familiarise themselves with the award and their obligations under it. 

Note: New rates of pay are applicable from 1 November 2020 as part of the staged roll-out of the 1.75% increase in the minimum wage. 

Note: The Architects Award and other Awards relevant to architectural practice all currently include Schedule X – Additional Measures During the COVID-19 Pandemic. These measures are applicable until 29 March 2021.

Note: A variation to the payment of wages on termination clause in the Graphic Arts Award and Manufacturing Award (Draftspeople) is effective from the first full pay period on or after 9 September 2020. Employers now need to pay an employee’s final wages by the end of the next business day after the employment ends and NES entitlements (such as annual leave) within 7 days of the employment ending. 

What is the Architects Award?

The Architects Award is part of the Modern Awards system, which took effect from January 2010. The Award should be read in conjunction with the National Employment Standards (NES). Together the Award and the NES contain the minimum conditions of employment for employees covered by the Architects Award. 

The Architects Award is organised into the following sections:

  • Application and Operation (Part 1)
  • Consultation and Dispute Resolution (Part 2)
  • Types of Employment and Termination of Employment (Part 3)
  • Minimum Wages and Related Matters (Part 4)
  • Hours of Work and Related Matters (Part 5)
  • Leave and Public Holidays (Part 6)

(effective from 1 November 2020)

See here for an overview of the changes included in the Architects Award 2020

The Award includes a detailed description of whom it covers (section 1.4). Employers should note that the Architects Award includes minimum wages for students of architecture and graduates, as well as registered architects.

The Award states that employers must ensure that copies of this award and the NES are available to all employees to whom they apply, either on a noticeboard that is conveniently located at or near the workplace or through electronic means, whichever makes them more accessible.

What other awards are relevant to architectural businesses?

Remember that non-architect employees within an architectural practice come under a range of other awards. These include the following:

How does the ACA help?

The ACA provides regular updates on changes to the minimum wage and the impact of these on the Architects Award and other relevant awards. 

The Know Your Award section of this website provides information and advice on a range of matters relating to the Architects Award. If there is a specific topic you would like discussed please email us

The ACA represents the interests of employer architects via the ACA Industrial Committee.