Will an award always apply?

27 December 2019 

A modern award will not always apply to a stated industry or occupation for example, for high income earners.

What is an award?

An award sets out the minimum employment terms and conditions that apply on top of the national employment standards. 

Awards typically cover: 

  • pay 
  • allowances
  • penalty rates 
  • overtime 
  • hours of work 
  • rosters
  • breaks

Award coverage 

Awards cover employees. They are industry or occupation based and apply to employees and employers who perform work covered by them. 

In many cases, an award will not apply to high income earning employee, even if the award applies to their industry.

Registered enterprise agreement 

An award won’t apply if there is a registered enterprise agreement that applies. 

However, if the pay rate in the enterprise agreement is less than an award, the pay rate in the applicable award will apply. 

Award and registered agreement free employees 

If an employee is not covered by either an award or enterprise agreement, they are covered by the national minimum wage and the national employment standards will form the minimum terms and conditions of employment. 

Do you have questions or comments about an award? Be sure to leave them below. 


Vivian Michael

Vivian Michael is a lawyer and founder of Michael Law Group. Vivian's mission is to deliver the best quality business legal services to entrepreneurs launching an Australian business, wherever they are in the globe.

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