Hospitality wages were among those affected.
Hospitality wages were among those affected. Rob Williams

More hours, overtime entitlements for Warwick workers

WARWICK's part-time and casual employees have something to look forward to, with changes to certain awards bringing the promise of more hours and in some cases, overtime entitlements.

Changes to pay structures across 11 awards as of January 1, 2018 will affect workers across the regions earning their weekly wages in fields such as fast food, hospitality, registered clubs and hair and beauty.

The changes is another in a long line from the Fair Work Commission and some business managers are making structural changes to avoid being constantly affected by rising wages bills.

Warwick RSL manager John Gartside said wages were always going up.

"These changes have come in right at a very quiet time of year," he said.

"As a result of that more so, there have been about three or four staff laid off, so the remaining staff can earn a liveable wage."

In an effort to counter changing awards and confusion over entitlements Mr Gartside said he made the most of training and apprenticeship programs to upskill existing staff.

"This gives us the opportunity to move people to full-time," he said.

"We have more full time now than ever before - we can retain good staff and train them, helping them develop new skills and making them more employable in the future."

Mr Gartside the constant changes to award wages were a pain.

"If you have good staff, then paying them more is no problem," he said.

"And generally our staff are very good, which allows us to develop their skills.

"Currently we have three apprentice chefs in the kitchen and another two or three staff doing a Certificate III in Hospitality Management, which includes bar, gaming and a variety of other skills."

Employsure senior employment relations adviser Andrew Spiteri said the changes were yet another financial burden on industries running on thin margins.

"We speak to thousands of small business owners every week who would like to see government stop making frequent changes to overtime penalty rates and get serious about supporting small business.

"It's so important to be across these changes and check if the new rates apply to your business.

"Get the right advice to avoid paying the expensive price of getting it wrong."

The changes, which vary depending on the award, start from the first full pay period on or after January 1.

What are the changes?

FAST FOOD AWARD

Casual employees now have an entitlement to overtime pay.

They get overtime when working:

more than 38 hours per week, or an average of 38 hours per week over a roster cycle

more than 11 hours on any day.

HAIR AND BEAUTY AWARD

Casual employees now have an entitlement to overtime pay.

They get overtime when working:

more than 38 hours per week, or an average of 38 hours per week over a roster cycle

more than 10.5 hours per day.

HOSPITALITY AWARD

Part-time employees are engaged for a minimum of 8 hours and less/fewer than 38 ordinary hours per week over a roster cycle.

Employers and employees must agree on the minimum number of hours to be worked each week and the times the employee is available to work.

Part-time employees can be rostered for additional hours during their availability period without getting payment for overtime.

A part-time employee who regularly works additional hours for 12 months may ask to increase their guaranteed hours. Employers may only refuse on reasonable business grounds.

Casual employees now have an entitlement to overtime pay.

They get overtime when working:

more than 38 hours per week, or an average of 38 hours per week over a roster cycle (which may not exceed 4 weeks)

more than 12 hours per day.

PASSENGER VEHICLE AWARD

School bus drivers transporting students to and from school can be rostered for 1 or 2 shifts per day. Each shift needs to be a minimum of 2 hours.

PASTORAL AWARD

A new 2-hour minimum engagement for dairy operators 18 years or younger who are full-time secondary school students.

RAIL AWARD

Changes to the calculation of overtime, shift penalties and weekend penalties.

REGISTERED CLUBS AWARD

Part-time employees are engaged for a minimum of 8 hours and less/fewer than 38 ordinary hours per week over a roster cycle.

Employers and employees must agree on the minimum number of hours to be worked each week, and the times the employee is available to work.

Part-time employees can be rostered for additional hours during their availability period without getting payment for overtime.

A part-time employee who regularly works additional hours for 12 months may ask to increase their guaranteed hours. Employers may only refuse on reasonable business grounds.

Casual employees now have an entitlement to overtime pay.

They get overtime when working:

more than 38 hours per week, or an average of 38 hours per week over a roster cycle (which may not exceed 4 weeks)

more than 12 hours per day or shift.

Casuals may also be entitled to a meal allowance when working overtime.

RESTAURANT AWARD

Part-time employees are engaged for a minimum of 8 hours and less/fewer than 38 ordinary hours per week over a roster cycle.

Employers and employees must agree on the minimum number of hours to be worked each week, and the times the employee is available to work.

Part-time employees can be rostered for additional hours during their availability period without getting payment for overtime.

A part-time employee who regularly works additional hours for 12 months may ask to increase their guaranteed hours. Employers may only refuse on reasonable business grounds.

Casual employees now have an entitlement to overtime pay.

They get overtime when working:

more than 38 hours per week, or an average of 38 hours per week over a roster cycle (which may not exceed 4 weeks)

more than 12 hours per day or shift.

Casuals may also be entitled to a meal allowance when working overtime.

RETAIL AWARD

Casual employees now have an entitlement to overtime pay.

They get overtime when working:

more than 38 hours per week, or an average of 38 hours per week over a roster cycle

outside of the span of ordinary hours

more than 11 hours on one day of the week, and more than 9 hours on any other day of the week.

SOCIAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICES AWARD

Part-time rosters no longer need to have the same amount of hours in each week. Employees and employers may agree to have a different amount of hours in each week over a roster cycle.

Roster variations can be for short term or permanent changes to the roster.

WINE AWARD

The minimum payment for casual employees doing pruning or harvesting work during unexpected wet weather has been reduced from 4 hours to 2 hours.

Source: Fair Work Commission

For more information, visit: fairwork.gov.au



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