Recently, there have been multiple changes to clauses in many modern awards, which if you’re not actively monitoring, may slip through your payments and processes. We’ve compiled a summary of them for you, so your workplace can update systems, processes and policies to comply.

For example, most modern awards now have the following new clauses. These examples are taken from the Clerks – Private Sector Award and are not the complete clause; you should check your specific award for all the required details.

If you need us to put this all into layman’s terms for you, just let us know!

Leave to deal with family and domestic violence


An employee is entitled to 5 days’ unpaid leave to deal with family and domestic violence, as follows:

(a) the leave is available in full at the start of each 12 month period of the employee’s employment; and

(b) the leave does not accumulate from year to year;and

(c) is available in full to part-time and casual employees.

Note:1. A period of leave to deal with family and domestic violence may be less than a day by agreement between the employee and the employer.

  1. The employer and employee may agree that the employee may take more than 5 days’unpaid leave to deal with family and domestic violence.


Right to request casual conversion

(a) A person engaged by a particular employer as a regular casual employee may request that their employment be converted to full-time or part-time employment.

(b) A regular casual employee is a casual employee who has in the preceding period of 12 months worked a pattern of hours on an ongoing basis which, without significant adjustment, the employee could continue to perform as a full-time employee or part-time employee under the provisions of this award.

(c) A regular casual employee who has worked equivalent full-time hours over the preceding period of 12 months’ casual employment may request to have their employment converted to full-time employment.

(d) A regular casual employee who has worked less than equivalent full time hours over the preceding period of 12 months’ casual employment may request to have their employment converted to part-time employment consistent with the pattern of hours previously worked.

(e) Any request under this subclause must be in writing and provided to the employer.


Minimum engagement periods for part-time and casual employees

Where a modern award previously had no minimum engagement period for a casual or part time employee, a 2 hour minimum now applies. Modern awards vary quite significantly regarding these engagement periods, with 2, 3 or 4 hour minimum engagements across various awards.


Requirement to pay entitlements on termination within 7 days 

From Fair Work:

Most awards say that employers need to pay employees their final payment within 7 days of the employment ending. Employment contracts, enterprise agreements or other registered agreements can also specify when final pay must be paid.

If an employee’s award, contract or agreement doesn’t say when an employee’s final pay must be paid, then it’s best practice for an employee to be paid on their last day of work or on the next scheduled pay day.


Limit on deductions from wages on termination of employment

(d) If an employee who is at least 18 years old does not give the period of notice required under paragraph (b),then the employer may deduct from wages due to the employee under this award an amount that is no more than one week’s wages for the employee. 

(e) If the employer has agreed to a shorter period of notice than that required under paragraph (b),then no deduction can be made under paragraph (d).

(f) Any deduction made under paragraph (d) must not be unreasonable in the circumstances.


Plus, there are some award-specific changes to be aware of including:

  • Penalty rates for retail employees, which you can read more about on our blog; and
  • Proposed changes to allowances under the Construction awards, which are scheduled to apply from 1 December 2018, however the awards are yet to be updated.


If this is all too much for you to digest, give our team a call on 1300 766 380. They’ll help explain what this means to you and how we can help your business going forward.