Queensland wages

There are special arrangements that apply to wage rates for some social and community services and crisis assistance employers in Queensland. Pay equity regulations were made in March and December 2012 that apply to these employers. If these regulations apply to an employer, the employer may also need to give their employees back pay.

Which employers do the regulations apply to?

Employers covered by these regulations are non-constitutional corporations that existed immediately prior to 1 January 2010. 

These employers are divided into 2 groups. These groups are referred to as AT employers and Div 2B employers.

AT employers are employers who, immediately prior to 1 January 2010, were in the SACS industry and receiving funding from the Queensland Government in relation to the 2009 Queensland Industrial Relations Commission Order external icon . These employers would have applied either the:

However, immediately prior to 1 January 2010, the employer must not have been subject to:

  • an enterprise agreement
  • a workplace agreement (ie. a collective agreement or ITEA)
  • a workplace determination
  • a preserved state agreement
  • an AWA, or
  • a pre-reform AWA

in relation to the affected employee.

Div 2B employers are employers to which:

What did the regulations do?

The March pay equity regulations external icon  were effective from 1 March 2012. The base rates of pay in these regulations needed to be paid by AT employers. The regulations also required these employers to provide employees with back pay.

You can find the base rates of pay from the March pay equity regulations in the Queensland SACS Wage Table (xlxs 19.4KB) XLSX.

Note: the March regulations apply to 316 employers in Queensland. All employers covered by these changes would have already been notified in writing by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

The December pay equity regulations external icon were effective from 1 December 2012. The base rates of pay in these regulations needed to be paid by both Div 2B employers and AT employers.

You can find the base rates of pay from the December pay equity regulations in the Queensland SACS Wage Table ( 19.4KB) XLSX. These rates will be updated each year.

I'm an AT employer. What do I need to do?

AT employers need to apply the March pay equity regulations and then the December pay equity regulations. This means that from 1 March 2012 AT employers must:

  • pay employees the relevant base rate from the Queensland SACS Wage Table 
    • Note: the base rates of pay were increased on both 11 July 2012 (the March pay equity regulations) and 1 December 2012 (the December pay equity regulations).
  • Start paying back pay to employees who were employed between 27 March 2011 and 29 February 2012. The total back pay must be paid over 3 years as follows:  
Due Date Minimum percentage of
total back pay
1 July 2012 35%
1 July 2013 70%
1 July 2014 100%
  • Note: An employer can pay back pay in a different way, as long as the minimum amounts are paid by the due dates set out above. To calculate the back pay that needs to be provided to employees you can use the Back pay calculator (xlxs 9.4MB) XLS. Employers may need to back pay both current and past employees.
  • check the Queensland SACS Wage Table on 1 July each year as the rates of pay will be increased
  • consider the penalty rates and overtime rates within the SACS award. These should be applied to the base rate of pay found above.

I'm a Div 2B employer. What do I need to do?

Div 2B employers need to apply the December pay equity regulations.

This means that from 1 December 2012 you must start paying employees the base rate from the Queensland SACS Wage Table (use the rates effective 1 December 2012). You will need to check the table on 1 July each year as the rates of pay will be increased.

Penalty rates and overtime rates will come from the SACS award. These should be applied to the base rate from the Queensland SACS Wage Table.

There are no back pay arrangements for Div 2B employers.

My business is also covered by the Equal Remuneration Order. How do I apply this?

The Equal Remuneration Order (ERO) only applies to employers where it provides a higher rate of pay than what they are currently paying. Although it applies, employers do not need to consider the ERO for the period 1 December 2012 - 1 July 2014 as the ERO rates are lower than those provided in the Queensland SACS Wage Table.

I think that there is a transitional pay equity order that applies to my business but I’m not covered by the awards listed above. What do I do?

A transitional pay equity order preserves the base rates of pay in the pre-modern award. Some pre-modern awards have a TPEO. For example, the Disability Support Workers Award (State) 2003 [RA140093].

To check if the pre-modern award has a TPEO that applies, you will need to open the pre-modern award using Award Finder.

If you are an employer to whom one of these TPEOs apply the rates of pay that are preserved in the pre-modern award will continue to apply to your employees until the modern award rate of pay is higher.

The Equal Remuneration Order (ERO) may also apply to your business. The rates of pay provided in the ERO will only apply when they are higher than those provided in your TPEO. For example, the rates of pay provided in the ERO are higher than those provided in the TPEO for the Disability Support Workers Award (State) 2003. This means that relevant employers should apply the rates of pay from the ERO. The Equal Remuneration Calculator  (XLS 9.4MB) can be used to find the minimum rates of pay.

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Page last updated: 19 Mar 2012