Modern awards and enterprise agreements are documents that set out the minimum pay and conditions that apply in industries, occupations or workplaces.
They contain information about:
- your minimum rate of pay—your employer can pay you more than an applicable award or agreement rate but not less
- the penalty rates (additional pay) you may be entitled to if you work nights, weekends or public holidays
- the minimum number of hours per shift for which you can be rostered on and paid
- when you should be taking breaks during your shift
- how much notice you need to give your employer if you want to quit your job.
What you can do
If you think your employer is pressuring you to make an individual flexibility arrangement, or if you want to find out more about your hours of work or pay, contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or chat online with a Live help adviser for advice and assistance.
If you’re covered by the national workplace relations system, the National Employment Standards apply to you. You can find more information on the National Employment Standards.
Several modern awards or enterprise agreements might apply to different employees in your workplace, so check with your employer or the Fair Work Infoline that you have found the right one.
Modern awards are legal documents made by Fair Work Australia, setting out certain minimum conditions workers receive in a particular industry or when doing a certain job. The terms and conditions in the modern award that applies to your job make up the minimum terms and conditions of your employment, together with the National Employment Standards.
Modern awards may include additional employment conditions tailored to the needs of the particular industry or occupation. This may include minimum wages, overtime and penalty rates, salary arrangements, allowances, leave-related matters, superannuation and procedures for consultation, representation and dispute settlement.
A copy of the modern award that applies to you should be on display or available from your workplace.
You and your employer may discuss making an individual flexibility arrangement that changes some of the award conditions to better suit the needs of you and your employer. This arrangement must leave you better off overall than you would be under the modern award. Flexibility arrangement must be mutually agreed and put in writing. If you’re under 18, your parent or guardian must also agree.
Like modern awards, enterprise agreements are documents that set out pay and conditions. While modern awards cover certain industries and types of jobs, enterprise agreements usually cover one or more specific workplaces.
Unlike modern awards, employers and employees negotiate enterprise agreements together, often with the help of bargaining representatives such as unions. Enterprise agreements must leave employees better off overall than they would be if they were covered by the modern award.
All enterprise agreements must be approved by Fair Work Australia. As a general rule, enterprise agreements take effect seven days after this happens and the modern award no longer applies to employees covered by the agreement.