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Most workers in Australia are covered by a modern award, which sets out the minimum terms and conditions of employment in a particular industry.

The sorts of terms and conditions set out in modern awards include pay, hours of work, breaks, rosters, allowances, penalty rates and overtime.

There are 122 modern awards in all, covering most industries in the country.

If someone is on a higher income, they may not be covered by an award, even if an award applies to the industry they work in.

The Fair Work Act 2009 says that a person must not contravene a term of a modern award.

If an employer doesn’t pay the correct wages, penalty rates or entitlements as set out in a modern award, they are contravening workplace laws, and face fines of up to $12,600 per contravention for an individual and $63,000 per contravention for companies.

The employer can also be made to pay back what they owe to their employees, plus interest, and may even have to pay compensation.

There are higher penalties for serious contraventions, which include repeat offenders, or those who knowingly don’t abide by the conditions set out in a modern award.

If you believe your employer is contravening the terms and conditions set out in the award that you are covered under, there is help available.

Please call Industrial Relations Claims on

1300 853 837


Contact us here



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