AIRC reveals Miscellaneous Award to cover ‘everyone else’

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AIRC reveals Miscellaneous Award to cover ‘everyone else’

The AIRC has released a draft ‘Miscellaneous’ modern award that will cover employees not covered by any other modern award.

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The AIRC has released a draft ‘Miscellaneous’ modern award that will cover employees not covered by any other modern award.
 
The Commission said it is not clear which employees will be covered by this award.
 
‘It may be that it will have application in some areas of the workforce which have not been covered by awards before,’ it said in a statement.
 
However, the Miscellaneous Award will exclude employees in an industry covered by another modern award but who are not in one of the classifications in that modern award or who are specifically exempted from it.
 
Classification structure
 
The classification structure is very general with only four levels. The first level is set at the minimum wage and applies to employees with less than three months service. The second level covers an employee with more than three months service. The third level requires trade or trade equivalent qualifications. The fourth level is for a graduate employee.
 
The draft provides for full-time, part-time and casual employees and has flexible working hours provisions. The minimum wage levels have been set having regard to minimum wages for lower skill, trades and graduate employees in other relevant modern awards. A range of generally applicable allowances is also included.
 
The AIRC said s576L of the Workplace Relations Act provides that the Commission may only include terms in modern awards to the extent that they constitute a fair minimum safety net.
 
‘Because there is doubt about the existing conditions of employees who might be covered we have taken a cautious approach,’ it said.
 
‘We have included some provisions found in modern awards of wide application but not included others so as to reduce the risk of significant cost and employment effects.’
 
Risk being disregarded
 
In total, the AIRC released another 29 draft stage 4 modern awards and has called for written comments, ruling those filed outside the published timetable risk being disregarded.
 
The awards cover such areas as:
  • accountancy practices
  • aquaculture
  • building services
  • correctional facilities
  • educational services — preschool teachers
  • entertainment and broadcasting industry (other than racing)
  • firefighting services
  • labour-hire services
  • local government administration
  • maritime industry
  • restaurant and Catering industry
 
The AIRC said proposals, submissions and other material in relation to the exposure drafts are to be lodged with the Commission by 16 October 2009.
 
Consultations
 
The Full Bench will sit to conduct consultations in relation to the Stage 4 draft awards from 26 to 30 October 2009 in Sydney and on Wednesday, 4 November 2009 in Melbourne, with Thursday, 5 November also being available if required.
 
‘It is intended that so far as practicable contributions should be in written form,’ the Commission said.
 
‘The public consultations are not an opportunity to restate what is contained in the written material.'
 
‘We should also stress that while some latitude will be permitted to file written material by way of reply or elaboration in connection with the public consultations, as a general rule material filed outside the published timetable is at risk of being disregarded.’
 
The AIRC said the exposure drafts ‘reflect a provisional or tentative view and changes may be made on the basis of the material and arguments advanced’.
 
‘In some cases also, the drafts may be incomplete or based on the draft advanced by a particular party or group of parties.'
 
Transitional provisions
 
‘The new exposure drafts all include the model transitional provisions namely, the model commencement and transitional clause and the model phasing schedule. We shall decide whether to include the model phasing schedule in the final awards in light of the consultations.'
 
‘We also encourage parties to agree on transitional provisions where it is practicable to do so. There may also be cases in which special or additional transitional provisions are appropriate. Any proposals for such provisions should be in writing and filed in accordance with the timetable.’
 
Detailed information
 
A statement on the draft awards and the 29 exposure drafts can be found online.
 
The AIRC has a dedicated webpage on modern awards generally.
 
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