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Modern awards are legal documents that set minimum employment entitlements for specific industries or occupations. They apply on top of the National Employment Standards.
There are 122 modern awards that cover most jobs and employees in Australia. Each modern award applies to everyone who works in the industry or occupation it covers. The exception is some managers and employees who earn more than $129 300 a year.
Modern awards don’t apply to employers who are bound by an agreement.
See How to find an award for helping finding the award that applies to you.
Modern awards replaced federal and state awards (pre-modern awards) on 1 January 2010. They have changed minimum terms and conditions for many employees. The changes vary by state, industry and employer. Most modern awards have ‘transitional arrangements’ which phase in changes to pay rates over 4 years (ending in July 2014). Find out more about how this is happening on the Phasing in modern award pay rates page.
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