On the 24th November 2017, the Fair Work Commission handed down its latest draft decision as part of the Modern Award review process impacting employers and employees across hospitality, licensed clubs, cafes and restaurants, social and disability sector, retail, fast food, hair and beauty, agriculture and transport industries.

The decision is a significant one with key changes taking effect from the 1st January 2018 in regards to overtime for casual employees, conversion of casual employment to permanent and flexibility in respect of part-time employment.

In this article we breakdown what you need to know across some of these industries and provisions.

Hospitality, Cafes & Restaurants

Similar changes have been drafted in respect of both the Hospitality (General) Industry Award and Restaurant Industry Award. A part-time employee is defined as someone who is engaged to work between 8 to 38 hours per week, on average, has reasonably predictable hours of work and receives equivalent entitlements to a comparable full-time employee on a pro-rata basis. There is nothing ground-breaking in that context. However, an industry frustration has been somewhat addressed by allowing the part-time employee and employer to reach agreement as to the number of “guaranteed hours” (i.e. the number of hours which is guaranteed to be provided and paid to the employee over a roster period) and “the employee’s availability” (i.e. the days of the week, and the periods in each of those days, when the employee will be available to work those guaranteed hours). The employer may then roster the guaranteed hours and any additional hours for the employee provided that they do not fall outside the employee’s nominated availability. Any hours worked in excess of the employee’s rostered hours, or 38 hours per week, or outside the maximum hours provisions for each day, will be treated as overtime, and paid as such.

Employers across hospitality, cafe and restaurant industries should be looking at HR and payroll software that automates not only how a part-time employee will record their availability but also award interpretation to ensure compliance and wage control.

Additional provisions relate to how the above arrangements can be amended by either party from time to time throughout the employment period.

In relation to casual employees, from the 1st January 2018, they will be entitled to overtime penalty rates in accordance with the Award once 38 hours per week have been worked (or averaged over a period of up to 4 weeks). Previously, casual employees did not have an entitlement to overtime penalty rates in these scenarios.

Social, Community, Home Care & Disability Sector

With the introduction of the NDIS and greater choice for industry participants, employers have been struggling with the challenges of balancing a permanent workforce and lack of certainty around service demand. In order to avoid a casualisation of professionals and support staff in the industry, the Fair Work Commission has responded by allowing employers bound by the Social, Community, Home Care & Disability Services (SCHADS) Award to have greater agility in when work can be performed, in that the nominated pattern of hours need not be the same each week.

Retail & Fast Food

Despite similar claims to those across hospitality, restaurants and cafes, part-time flexibility in retail and fast food remains unchanged. However, in relation to casual employees, from the 1st January 2018, they will be entitled to overtime penalty rates in accordance with the Award once 38 hours per week have been worked (or averaged over a period of up to 4 weeks). Previously, casual employees did not have an entitlement to overtime penalty rates in these scenarios.

Need Help?

Importantly, these changes should not directly impact any employers and employees operating under an enterprise agreement or workforce management solution. However, if you are operating under any of the above Awards you will certainly need to understand the implications of these changes on how you engage, roster and pay both part-time and casual workers. With only one month until these changes take effect, Employment Innovations are offering complimentary consultations with industry experts to help you navigate through this. Slots are limited so take advantage of this today by contacting us. Alternatively, award compliance is also a feature of our subscription plans.