The basic principle is that “each employee’s annual wage is high enough to cover the award entitlements”
Many churches have people working on their staff who fall under the Clerks—Private Sector Award. On the 1st March 2020 the Fair Work Commission introduced a major new section to the Clerks—Private Sector Award.
In summary, The Fair Work Commission stated:
“Employers need to make sure each employee’s annual wage is high enough to cover the award entitlements”.
The annual wage must include:
- Minimum Wages, plus
- Allowances, plus
- Overtime & Penalty rates, plus
- Leave loading
In essence, “the Annualised wage must not disadvantage employees.”
Then COVID19 hit and still continues to be a major issue; however we cannot ignore that this new Section 18 of the award is here and needs to be adhered to.
If you have a full-time employee operating under the clerical award paid an annual fixed salary, the employer must comply with the following 3 points:
1. Keep a record of:
- the starting and finishing times and location of the work,
- any unpaid breaks taken, and
- This record must be signed by the employee, or acknowledged as correct in writing (including by electronic means) by the employee, each pay period or roster cycle.
2. Perform an annual reconciliation between the award wage, including allowances & loadings, for the actual hours worked and the annual wage paid. If the amount paid is less that the award rate including allowances and loadings, the employer must pay the employee the difference
3. Have written documentation, a contract, which records which provisions of the award are intended to be included within the annual salary. This will include annualised wage includes the following amounts:
- a minimum wage
- overtime paid at 1.5x for the first 2 hours and 2x thereafter; and
- annual leave loading of 17.5% applied on 4 weeks’ leave.
The annual salary must cover their ordinary hours of work and overtime hours
[NB: this may be an estimate of the ‘reasonable additional hours’ required to be worked.]
Benkorp is not providing detailed HR or legal advice.
We strongly encourage employers of people operating under the clerical award and paid fixed Annualised Salary to seek advice from their denomination HR advisors to discuss and update the employee contract and ensure that these points are covered.
It is incumbent on both the church/organisation and the employees to be sure to meet the compliance requirements. This is for the benefit of both the employee and the church that all this is done properly and in order.
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