Federal award matters

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Federal award matters

A Full Bench of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission heard, on Friday, 9 August, an application by the CFMEU, Furniture and Furnishing Trades Division to vary furnishing awards to provide exit rates for employees who have completed traineeships at a rate 25% above the relevant training wage award rate.

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Furnishing Awards - New Rates for Traineeships Sought

A Full Bench of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission heard, on Friday, 9 August, an application by the CFMEU, Furniture and Furnishing Trades Division to vary furnishing awards to provide exit rates for employees who have completed traineeships at a rate 25% above the relevant training wage award rate.

The proposed rates would be calculated on the "last year of schooling/ years out of school" continuum which currently establishes wage rates for employees in approved training courses.

In opposing the application, the employers submitted that the proposed rates were inconsistent with, and generally in excess of, comparable junior rates contained in the awards. This, it was argued, would create a disincentive for the employment of young people who had completed traineeships. The Commission has reserved its decision.

National Joinery And Building Trades Products Award 1993 (ODN C No. 20543 of 1990) [Print K6616 [N183]] -

Amendments to "Termination, Change and Redundancy" Provisions

Vice President McIntyre of the federal Commission has ordered that the redundancy provisions of the above named award be varied in the following significant respects:

  • the redundancy clause will now apply to employers of less than 15 employees;
  • award superannuation benefits payable on termination shall not be used in lieu of any severance payment made in accordance with the redundancy clause;
  • varying the "introduction of change" provision to provide that an employer’s duty to notify arises when an employer is planning to introduce major changes (the award formerly provided that the requirement to notify arose when the employer had made a definite decision to introduce major changes); and,
  • by including references to consultative committees (where established) in a number of provisions which currently refer only to employees and unions.

The most significant of the amendments is the first, ie. the deletion of the 15 employee exemption. McIntyre VP was satisfied that a large number of employees subject to the award are employed in workplaces with fewer than 15 employees and are therefore denied the benefits of the TCR Standard.

In granting all of the claims, McIntyre VP was persuaded by the presence of similar provisions in a number of other federal awards, including National Building Trades Construction Award, (ODN C No. 02783 of 1974), Furnishing Trades Award (1981, (ODN C No. 01333 of 1977)) and Timber Industry Award (1990, (ODN C No. 00031 of 1950), [Print J2380 [T0028]]).

Engine Drivers And Firemen’s Award 1996 - New Award Made

The federal Commission has approved the Engine Drivers and Firemen’s (General) Consolidated Award 1996 [SPLINTER 4120]. The award was approved on 16 July, 1996, and supersedes the Engine Drivers and Firemen’s (General) Award 1968.

The 1996 Award provides that respondents to the Metal Industry (Engine Drivers and Firemen’s) Award 1984 (ODN C No. 02568 of 1984) are not respondent to the 1996 Award but that the rates under the 1996 Award are now in line with those applying under the Metal Industry (Engine Drivers and Firemen’s) Award 1984.

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