Award Modernisation

Simon Hanger , 5 December 2013

Simon Hanger outlines the ACA’s role in the Award Modernisation Process, which resulted in the current Architects Award.

The Rudd government’s Award Modernisation program sought to simplify the industrial relations arena by reducing the number of industrial awards. The ACA Industrial Committee was actively involved in this process. In particular, the ACA argued that a separate award should be maintained for architecture and that it was not appropriate to include the Technical Services – Architects – Award 2000 as part of the Modern Manufacturing Award.

The ACA also took the opportunity to seek clarification of aspects of the Award with which members had expressed uncertainly in interpretation. These included the following:

  • Rates of pay for students under 21 years of age
  • Entitlement of students to study leave
  • The definition of Graduate of Architecture under new tertiary education systems.

ACA was delighted when, on 22 May 2009, the Industrial Relations Commission brought down a stand-alone Exposure Draft Award entitled ‘Architectural Award 2010’, which included the abovementioned clarifications.

Notwithstanding subsequent discussions between ACA and the union, two items that were contained in the Commission’s Exposure Draft were still opposed by the union. The Union made the following arguments:

  • the provision for student study leave should remain as set out in the current Award
  • the notice period for termination be greater than that currently provided for in the NES (National Employment Standards).

The Fair Work Commission published the final Architects Award 2010 on 4 September 2009 and the award took effect from 1 January 2010.

I would like to thank Graham Hobbs and Mark Roberts, from ACA – Qld and ACA – NSW respectively, for their continued involvement and assistance in the process; and Michael Corrigan, of Platinum Employee Relations, who represented the ACA in the preparation of submissions to the Commission, in discussions with the union and in representation at the Industrial Relations Commission Hearings.


Simon Hanger is ACA – Vic/Tas President and chair of the ACA Industrial Committee. He is a partner at Demaine Parternship in Melbourne.