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Award free employees

Great question! And sometimes challenging to find correct information on this topic so let’s go back to basics for the big picture on award free employees.

To be covered by an award, an employee must:

  • work in an industry or business covered by the award
  • work in a job classification that is covered by the award
  • not be in a job or industry that is excluded from the award

While most employees are covered by a Modern Award or registered agreement, there are a number of jobs and industries that are not. Traditionally, the marketing and advertising industries are not covered by a Modern award.
When an employee is not covered by an award or agreement they are considered to be award and agreement free.

While employees working in particular roles or industries might be considered award free, they continue to have access to entitlements under the Fair Work Act, including the National Employment Standards. Award-free employees may also have entitlements under a Contract of Employment with their employer.

Minimum wages and conditions for employees who are award and agreement free include:

  • national minimum wage
  • hours of work, breaks and overtime
  • public holidays
  • leave
  • ending employment

When determining whether a role might be award free it is important to consider the nature of the work. Should an employee working for a marketing and advertising business be primarily engaged in administration or clerical duties within the business, the Clerks Private Sector Award may apply.

It’s sometimes challenging to determine whether your team members are considered award free employees. The Fair Work Ombudsman’s Award & Agreement Free Wages & Conditions page is a great place to start for general information. Bare Bones Consulting can also provide advice on what classification your employees fall under as well as information on the right HR structure for your business. Why not give us a call to find out more?

  • PO Box 3956,
    Burleigh Town 4220,
  • 07 5576 4693
  • 0401 279 065
  • Bare Bones Consulting

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Note: Bare Bones Consulting provides HR services for employers. Employees seeking advice on workplace concerns should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.