Changes to awards in 2020

The Fair Work Commission (the Commission) have been reviewing all modern awards external-icon.png since 2014, as part of the 4-yearly review of modern awards. During this process, they've clarified how some award clauses work and changed other clauses.

On 2 September 2019, the Commission issued a decision external-icon.png that they're finalising the review and will release the new versions of the awards in 3 groups (‘tranches’).

The first tranche of awards apply from the first full pay period on or after 4 February 2020.

So, if your pay week is from Monday to Sunday, the new awards take effect from Monday 10 February 2020.

While the review is finishing up, there may be further changes to the awards later on. If you're signed up for our email updates, we'll keep you informed about any further changes.

Find out:

What do I need to do?

You can find copies of the tranche 1 awards on the Commission’s Modern award list external-icon.png to see what the changes are.

Otherwise, you don’t need to do anything yet.

If you’re not already signed up to get our email updates, you can subscribe now and we’ll let you know when your award is changing.

If you’re an employer or manager, every award requires that you make a copy of the award (or awards if more than one applies to your employees) available to your staff on a noticeboard or through accessible electronic means. You’ll need to make sure this is updated when the new award starts applying.

What's changing?

For most awards, the biggest change is to the layout and the language. This will mean that your award should be simpler and easier to understand. The rules and entitlements in your award probably won't change significantly.

The Commission have made changes to awards over the last few years. During this time we've updated our website and tools, and sent emails to subscribers about significant changes. So, most of the big changes are already in your current award.

If you’re signed up for our email updates, we’ll send you information about any significant changes to your award.

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When is my award changing?

Most of the first tranche of awards apply from the first full pay period on or after 4 February 2020. The Commission will release the remaining awards once they're finalised.

The following table lists the awards in each tranche.

Tranche 1 Tranche 2 Tranche 3
Aluminium Industry Award Aboriginal Health Award Aircraft Cabin Crew Award
Ambulance Award Airline Ground Staff Award Amusement Award
Animal and Veterinary Services Award (starts 14 February 2020) Air Pilots Award Broadcasting Award
Aquaculture Award Airport Award Black Coal Award
Banking, Finance and Insurance Award Alpine Resorts Award Building and Construction Award
Book Award Architects Award Business Equipment Award
Car Parking Award Asphalt Award Dredging Award
Cement, Lime and Quarrying Award Cleaning Award Teachers Award
Cemetery Award Clerks Award Electrical Award
Coal Export Terminals Award Commercial Sales Award Fitness Award
Corrections and Detention Award Concrete Products Award Food and Beverage Manufacturing Award
Cotton Ginning Award Contract Call Centres Award Funeral Award
Electrical Power Industry Award Dry Cleaning and Laundry Award Retail Award
Gardening and Landscaping Award Educational Services (Schools) General Staff Award Graphic Arts Award
Hydrocarbons (Upstream) Award
Educational Services (Post-Secondary) Award Health Services Award
Legal Award
Gas Award Horse and Greyhound Award
Market and Social Research Award
Higher Education Academic Staff Award Horticulture Award
Medical Practitioners Award
Higher Education General Staff Award Journalists Award
Nursery Award
Hospitality Award Joinery Award
Oil Refining and Manufacturing Award
Hydrocarbons Field Geologists Award Live Performance Award
Port Authorities Award
Labour Market Assistance Award Marine Towage Award
Premixed Concrete Award
Local Government Award Marine Tourism and Charter Vessels Award
Racing Ground Maintenance Award
Models Award Mobile Crane Hiring Award
Real Estate Award
Manufacturing Award Nurses Award
Seafood Award
Offshore Oil and Gas Award Miscellaneous Award
Silviculture Award
Meat Award Plumbing Award
Sporting Organisations Award
Pastoral Award Ports, Harbours and Enclosed Water Vessels Award
State Government Agencies Award
Passenger Vehicle Award Pest Control Award
Surveying Award
Pharmaceutical Award Professional Award
Travelling Shows Award
Poultry Award Racing Clubs Events Award
Water Award
Professional Diving (Industrial) Award Registered Clubs Award

Professional Diving (Recreational) Award Seagoing Award

Rail Award Security Award

Restaurant Award Sugar Award

Road Transport (Long Distance) Award Supported Employment Services Award

Road Transport Award Telecommunications Award
  Stevedoring Award Textile and Clothing Award
  Storage and Wholesale Award
Timber Award

Transport (Cash) Award
Wine Award
Vehicle Award
Waste Award

The Commission is finalising a plain language redraft for the following awards:

  • Fast Food Award
  • Hair and Beauty Award
  • Aged Care Award
  • Social and Community Services Award
  • Children's Services Award.

The Commission hasn't finalised the following awards from the first tranche:

  • Fire Fighting Award
  • Mining Award
  • Pharmacy Award
  • Salt Award
  • Wool Award

The timeline for the release of these awards hasn't been issued yet.

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Merging of the Quarrying Award with the Cement and Lime Award

All of the Quarrying Award’s terms and conditions have moved into the Cement and Lime Award. The new award is called the Cement, Lime and Quarrying Award [MA000055] external-icon.png. The award took effect on the first full pay period on or after 4 February 2020.

You can access updated pay and entitlement information through our Pay Calculator.

More information

Visit the Commission’s website external-icon.png for more information about their review of modern awards.

You can find a copy of the tranche 1 awards on the Commission’s Modern award list external-icon.png.

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