Four yearly review of modern awards

Even before the dust had settled on the two yearly review of modern awards, AFEI has been  involved  since 2014 in yet another review of all 122 modern awards by the Commission. This will continue well into 2017.

What is the review about?

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the Act) requires that each and every modern award be reviewed by the Commission as soon as practicable after each fourth anniversary of 1 January 2010 – that is, on 1 January 2014, 1 January 2018, etc.

The Federal Parliament intended the 4 yearly review (the Review) to be very important. The Parliament said the review constituted the “main vehicle for varying modern awards” to “maintain a relevant and fair minimum safety net” of terms and conditions of employment for award covered employees.

The Commission has broad powers in the Review, not only to vary modern awards, but also to make one or more new award/s and to rescind (abolish) one or more modern award/s.

Why is this review important?

Since modern awards were introduced on 1 January 2010 the Commission has not been prepared to make changes to the awards other than in exceptional circumstances. Even in the one-off two yearly review of modern awards the Commission decided it would be ‘narrow’ in its scope and consequently made very few changes beneficial to employers.

Throughout Award Modernisation AFEI has been active in seeking to ensure that the award safety net is appropriate for the circumstances. 

 

What is the review process?

The Commission has announced that the Review will be conducted in stagesconducted in four overlapping groups over 2014/15, now extended into 2017.

At the commencement of each group, the Commission  conducts a conference where parties will be able to raise issues about awards in that grouping. Directions will then be issued outlining the timetable for filing any material to be presented. 

Where common matters have an impact on more than one modern award, such as penalty rates and annual leave, these are being considered separately.

Where is your Award located in the review Timetable?

To find when the awards applying in your workplace will be reviewed, click here.

AFEI will be working closely with members throughout the review so please contact us with your views and concerns.