How is an employee working higher duties paid?

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How is an employee working higher duties paid?

Employees sometime perform tasks that are not their normal duties and, when these tasks attract a higher rate of pay, the employer has to take this into account when paying the employee.

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Employees sometime perform tasks that are not their normal duties and, when these tasks attract a higher rate of pay, the employer has to take this into account when paying the employee.

This question was recently sent to WorkplaceInfo.

Q  We have an employee employed as a store person who is required to perform a number of duties in addition to the classification under which they are employed under the Storage Services and Wholesale Award 2010.

These other duties (fork lift and mobile crane operation) comprise, on average, approximately 10 hours out of the employee’s total 38 ordinary hour week, and attract a higher rate of pay under the Award than the employee’s classification.

Though we pay the higher rate for the hours the employee works, he is claiming a full day’s pay for each day worked on higher duties.

There are also other duties the employee performs that would be classified as a level below his current classification.

Can we apply an ‘under and overs’ to the employee’s rate of pay reflecting their overall tasks — with the result the employee is paid approximately their normal weekly wage, or is there some other method we need to apply in this circumstance?

A  The payment will depend on the number of hours worked on higher duties for each day worked.

Clause 19 of the Award states that where an employee performs work temporarily at a classification higher than the employee’s deemed classification the employee is paid as follows:
  • up to 3 hours on any one day — the rate for the higher classification for those hours
  • over 3 hours on any day — a full day’s pay at the rate for the higher classification
  • over 20 hours in any one week — a full week’s pay at the higher classification.
Consequently, if the employee’s 10 hours are worked 2 hours per day, the employee would receive the higher rate for the 10 hours.

However, if the employee works 4 hours on a particular day on higher duties, then 7.6 hours is paid at the higher classification rate as well as 6 hours for the other days where higher duties are worked. This would amount to a total of 13.6 hours at the higher classification rate rather than 10 hours.

An employee cannot suffer a reduction in their ordinary rate for the classification under which the employee is employed under their contract of employment.

Provision varies
 
As the provision regarding higher duties can vary depending on the industrial instrument, reference should be made to the applicable modern award or enterprise agreement to determine an employee’s entitlement.

Source: Paul Munro, IR Consultant.
 
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