Piece rates and commission payments
Some employees can be paid piece rates or commission payments.
Employees paid piece rates and commission payments are paid by results instead of getting an hourly or weekly pay rate. This means the amount the employee earns each week will vary depending on how much work they do.
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A piece rate is where an employee gets paid by the piece. This means the employee gets a pay rate for the amount picked, packed, pruned or made.
When piece rates are paid, they apply instead of the hourly or weekly pay rate. An employee can be hired to work a mix of piece rates and hourly rate shifts.
An employee can be paid piece rates when:
- an award or registered agreement allows for piece rate payments
- the employee isn’t covered by an award or registered agreement and they get a pay rate based on how much work they do.
An award or registered agreement can have additional requirements or specific rules about piecework. Find out more information about piecework arrangements in your award by selecting from the list below.
Find enterprise agreements and other registered agreements on the Fair Work Commission website. Go to Find an enterprise agreement – Fair Work Commission.
A commission payment is an amount paid to an employee based on how much they sell.
Normally, the commission payment is calculated as a fee or percentage of the employee’s total sales. A commission payment can be called a ‘bonus’ or ‘incentive payment’.
A commission payment can:
- be paid as an extra incentive on top of an employee’s pay or
- make up an employee’s whole wage (commission only payments).
When an employee can be paid commission as an incentive
An employee can be paid commission as an incentive at any time.
An award or registered agreement can set out rules about how this can be done.
When a employee can be paid commission only
An employee can be paid on a commission only basis when an award, enterprise agreement or other registered agreement states an employee can be paid this way.
For rules about paying award and agreement free employees on a commission only basis see Award and agreement free wages and conditions.
An award or registered agreement can set out specific rules about how the commission can be paid.
Find information about piecework arrangements and commission payments in your award by selecting from the list below.