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Important Things to Remember

National and State Government Awards.

*These awards primarily dictate the limit of hours that can be worked by an employee, and the rates of pay (including penalty rates imposed when an employee works over their regular hours, on weekends, public holidays or after midnight).
Award conditions effect workers in many industries and can vary widely amongst different employees working with the same company. Supervisors in charge of building the schedules must be aware of all of the Award conditions governing each of their employees. However, conditions that cover all full time employees include:

  • Minimum wage rates,
  • Maximum working hours in a given period of time,
  • 4 weeks annual paid leave,
  • Protection from unnecessary pressure or unlawful dismissal,
  • Parental leave and paid sick/carers leave.

Industry specific Award Conditions might include:

  • Protection for employees who should be guaranteed work for their entire scheduled shift; delaying start time, or finishing early in times of light trading, is not acceptable.
  • Employees must be given no less than 7 days’ notice in the event of changes to a schedule; unless previous agreement has been reached.
  • When an employee has worked 5 hours or more, they are entitled to a 30 minute, unpaid break. Award conditions also govern paid break entitlement, in some industries.
  • Employees retain the right to refuse to work on Public Holidays if they can prove ‘reasonable grounds’.
  • A pay slip must be issued within one day of wage payment. Payment date and period, hours worked, pay rates, superannuation (normally paid to employees earning over a specific amount each month), deductions and names of the employer and employee, must be included on the slip.
  • All hours worked (which include time spent at meetings, training or opening or closing the business) must be paid at the correct rate. It is unlawful to expect an employee to provide their own float, or make up money for non-paying customers or errors in the till.
  • Trial periods without pay, are generally not allowed.
  • Employees who are under the age of 21 are sometimes paid a percentage of the full wage which depends on their age and experience.
  • Government awards that apply to young people, often differ from industry to industry; and all conditions and entitlements change with the passing of time. Therefore it is essential to check with the appropriate authorities to become acquainted with the facts that are relevant to you, before building your schedule.

Requirements and considerations specific to your individual workplace:

Here are some considerations that can affect your :

  • When building your schedule, it is practical to have knowledge of staff availability. Other commitments that they have, such as family or Uni, may prevent some staff from working at certain times. It is therefore wise to consult with individual staff and make notes of their personal requirements.
  • Some staff may have religious beliefs that need to be considered. This would be the case for people who felt unable to work on the Sabbath Day for example. Strict Muslims need to be able to pray throughout a day, and sometimes Jewish or Muslim workers are unable to handle certain food products in a kitchen.
  • Occasionally there are personality or cultural clashes amongst staff, and while anti-discrimination policies are in place in all work environments, to avoid conflicts, it is sometimes easier to just schedule certain staff together or apart as a first preference.

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