Casual Overtime Clause Updates

As part of their four-yearly review of modern awards, the Fair Work Commission considered the overtime provisions relating to casual employees contained in modern awards.

The intent was to remove ambiguity in relation to:

  • How casual and overtime loadings interact
  • Whether casuals are entitled to overtime
  • The hours when overtime applies.

This matter has been ongoing since December 2017 where a number of awards were identified as containing potential ambiguity and interested parties were invited to make submissions to the Commission.

The Commission dealt with 13 awards in their decision of the 8 October 2019. They further looked at clauses in a number of other awards in their decision of the 18 August 2020.

On the 30 October 2020, the Fair Work Commission announced updates to 97 awards, with changes applying from the first full pay period on or after 20 November 2020.

Given the different clauses and provisions across all awards, the Commission did not make a general ruling (where one standardized clause would be applied across the board).

Instead, it considered matters on an award by award basis, where relevant parties raised matters to their awards.

Given the diversity of casual overtime award provisions, all employers are recommended to check the awards that cover their employees, to find out what new provisions apply to your business.

For some employees, these changes mean changes to overtime pay rates that need to be applied from the 20 November 2020.  (Note: Changes to the Aged Care Award don’t apply until the first full pay period on or after 1 March 2021.)

To check your pay rates, go to the Fair Work Ombudsman website – Pay Guides Section to find the awards that apply to your business.

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