How to audit your pay rates

Getting pay rates wrong can be an expensive mistake, but do you know where you stand? Check your pay rates regularly. Here’s how to do it.

You have to pay your employees at least the minimum pay rate set out in your enterprise or other registered agreement or an award.

If you pay an employee more than the award it’s important to check the rate regularly to make sure it’s still above the minimum pay rate in the award that applies to them. Award pay rates are reviewed annually by the Fair Work Commission on or around 1 July.

Check your employees’ qualifications and job duties

Depending on the award or agreement which covers your employees, their pay rate will be based on their:

  • job duties
  • qualifications (eg. trade certificate)
  • age
  • a combination of all of these.

Junior employees covered by the Building and Construction Award have to be paid the relevant adult pay rate for their classification. This means that trade qualified juniors are paid the adult pay rate for trade qualified employees.

Are your employees covered by an enterprise agreement?

If an employee is covered by an enterprise agreement, or other registered agreement, check the agreement for minimum pay rates.

The pay rate in the registered agreement can’t be less than the pay rate in the award. You’ll still need to check the award pay rates regularly.

Check award pay rates

We’ve made checking award pay rates easier. To find pay rates, including base rates, penalties, overtime and allowances:

  • use our Pay Calculator to calculate individual rates
  • for an overview of pay rates, overtime and the most common penalties and allowances, download your award’s pay guide from our Pay guides page.

Help with special pay rates

For information to help you manage particular types of pay rates go to:

Next step: audit your employment processes

Now you’ve got your pay rates in order, go to our article on How to audit your employment processes – including employing apprentices and using independent contractors.

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