The Fair Work Commission (FWC) recently announced changes to the following modern awards that will come into effect from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 November 2020:


The changes detailed below include variations to rostering provisions, allowances, non-contact time and minimum engagements for casuals.


Changes to the Educational Services (Teachers) Award


Minimum Engagement for Casuals

Clause 17.5(c) now outlines that casual employees must be paid for a minimum number of hours, depending on the hours they are required to work. The table below outlines the new conditions;


Hours Worked Minimum Hours of Pay
< 2 hours 2 hours of pay
Between 2 hours and less than 4 hours 4 hours of pay
Between 4 hours and up to a full day Full day rate


For example; an employee who is required to work 3 hours, must be paid a minimum of 4 hours of work.


Pending changes; ‘Responsible Person’ and ‘Educational Leader’ Allowance

The FWC also announced a potential new allowance being added to the award. This new allowance would ensure that employees will receive additional remuneration if they are appointed to be the ‘Responsible Person’ ($3 – $6 per hour) or the ‘Educational Leader’ ($62 – $105 per week).

However, this new allowance is yet to be confirmed and the final decision as to whether this will be implemented will likely occur after a case dealing with the Equal Remuneration Order for employees in this sector is finalised.


Changes to the Children’s Services Award


Protective Clothing and Equipment – Hats and Sunscreen

The Children’s Services Award contains a list of protective clothing and equipment (PPE) that employers must either supply to or reimburse their employees for. Clause 1.52(c) of the award has been extended to include hats and sun protection (e.g. sunscreen).  The reimbursement for these items is limited to reasonable costs incurred by the employee.


Non-contact time for educational leaders

Educators are already entitled to 2 hours of paid non-contact time under the award. However, the recent changes under clause 21.5 ensure that Educational Leaders with programming responsibilities can now receive an additional 2 hours of paid non-contact time per week. Meaning that employees who are involved in the preparation, implementation or evaluation of development programs will be entitled to a minimum of 4 hours of paid non-contact time per week.



The Commission also revised the conditions relating to changing the employee roster (clause 21.7(b)) and changing the pattern of hours for part-time employees (clause 10.4(d)). Employers and employees can now agree to make changes to the roster or changes to a part-time employee’s pattern of hours electronically. Whilst these arrangements still need to be recorded in writing – this can now be done digitally e.g. via email or text message.


Pending changes; ‘Higher Duties’ condition

In addition to the above, the FWC also announced a potential change to the higher duty conditions of the award. Currently, employees that cover a higher staff member’s position whilst they are attending paid training, do not get paid the higher wage for that shift. The proposed changes will ensure that employees who perform these higher duties will get paid at the higher rate of pay for those shifts. However, the Commission has not confirmed when this change will take effect.


Other articles that may interest you

Modern Awards | Knowledge Base

Changes to the Educational Services Award and the Vehicle Award

Modern Award Flexibility Extension Due To COVID-19


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The information provided in these blog articles is general in nature and is not intended to substitute for professional advice. If you are unsure about how this information applies to your specific situation we recommend you contact Employment Innovations for advice.