An employment award is a set of conditions that apply to an employment relationship between an employer and employee.  The award regulates certain aspects of the employment relationship which the employer must adhere to.  There can be penalties for failing to meet employment award standards so it's important to understand any employment awards that apply.

There are many employment awards which can apply.  What employment award will apply depends on the particular industry and particular work function of the employee. 


Employment awards will usually apply in employment where the employee is covered under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).  Employment awards normally apply depending on which industry and the role an employee is employed in.  Awards apply in addition to the National Employment Standards.  Often employment awards change the National Employment Standards to provide special conditions and standards for different industries and occupations.

Employment Standards

In most cases employment standards apply according to the following flow:

  1. National Employment Standards

  2. Employment award

  3. Contract of employment

Approaching an employment dispute or employee entitlements using this systematic approach can help to avoid confusion and mistakes.

Employment Award Conditions

While each employment award is different and can impose certain conditions, there is common conditions across most employment awards. 


Some of the common conditions found in employment awards include:

  • Whether the employment award can be varied by an employer\employee agreement

  • Types of employment

  • Minimum wages

  • Employee allowances

  • Employee accident pay

  • Superannuation payment requirements

  • Employee work hours

  • Shift work and rosters

  • Employee overtime pay and penalty rates

  • Employee breaks

  • Employee annual leave

  • Employee personal leave and or carers leave

  • Public holidays entitlements


With over 122 industry and occupation Awards in force, it's important to understand which Award applies to an employment\employee relationship so you know your rights and responsibilities.


Modern Employment Awards

You can find the current modern employment awards list by clicking here.

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Disclaimer - This information has been provided for general information and education purposes only. This information is not intended and should not be taken as legal advice. This information is general in nature only and may not be applicable in all situations and may not, after the date of its presentation, even reflect the most current authority. This information should not be relied upon nor acted upon without the benefit of professional legal advice based upon your particular facts and circumstances.

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