Hair & Beauty Industry Award
Knowledge Base


Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010

In this article, we detail some of the key provisions in the Hair and Beauty Award including what sorts of businesses it covers, the different levels of employee classification under the Award and guidance on employee entitlements.

This summary takes account of all changes to the award up to and including those made on 1 July 2021.

Employment Innovations advises a large number of organisations in this sector and has produced this Hair and Beauty Industry Award summary to help employers cut through the complexities of the award.

If you require any assistance in understanding your rights or obligations under the Award, please contact us.



The Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010 covers employers throughout Australia in the hair and beauty industry. This is defined as performing:

  • shaving, cutting, hairdressing, hairstyling, haircutting, trimming, facial waxing, beard trimming, face or head massaging, shampooing, wig-making, hair dying, eye-brow waxing, lash tinting or any process or treatment of the hair, head or face carried on, using or engaged in a hairdressing salon and includes the sharpening or setting of razors in a hairdressing salon; and/or
  • manicures, pedicures, nail enhancement, nail artistry techniques, waxing, eyebrow arching, lash brow tinting, make-up, analysis of skin, development of treatment plans, facial treatments including massage, specialised treatments including lymphatic drainage, high-frequency body treatments including full body massage, other specialised treatments including the use of machinery and other cosmetic applications, body hair removal including (but not limited to) waxing chemical methods, electrolysis and laser hair removal, aromatherapy and the application of aromatic plant oils for beauty treatments, use of various types of electrical equipment for both body and facial treatments.


The Hair and Beauty Industry Award does not generally cover hair and beauty work that is performed in the general retailing, theatrical, amusement and entertainment industries. For example, a beautician applying make-up and selling products in a department store would generally be covered by the General Retail Industry Award.

Other modern awards that might apply to employees in a salon include the Nurses Award (for qualified nurses) and the Health Professional and Support Services Award for other health professionals.


Classification Levels & Minimum Rates of Pay

Level 1;

A Hair and Beauty Employee Level 1 will cover employees performing administrative or clerical duties, such as a receptionist or salon assistant.


Level 2;

A Hair and Beauty Employee Level 2 will cover employees performing the following duties or with the following qualifications:

  • a make-up artist who holds a Certificate II in Make-up Services (or equivalent);
  • a nail technician who holds a Certificate II in Nail Technology (or equivalent);
  • an unqualified beautician or cosmetologist.


Level 3;

A Hair and Beauty Employee Level 3 will cover employees performing the following duties, or with the following qualifications:

  • a beautician who holds a Certificate III in Beauty Services (or equivalent);
  • hairdresser who holds a Certificate III in Hairdressing (or equivalent).


Level 4;

A Hair and Beauty Employee Level 4 will cover employees such as a beauty therapist who holds a Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy (or equivalent).


Level 5;

A Hair and Beauty Employee Level 5 will cover employees performing the following duties, or with the following qualifications:

  • a hairdresser who holds a Certificate IV (or equivalent);
  • a trichologist who is a hairdresser and holds a Certificate IV in Trichology (or equivalent).


Level 6;

A Hair and Beauty Employee Level 6 will cover employees such as a beauty therapist who holds a Diploma in Beauty Therapy (or equivalent).

  • Section/Department Manager (managing a team of five or more employees including themself);
  • Manager/Duty Manager (where the store does not have departments);
  • Assistant/Deputy/2IC Shop Manager (in a store with departments);
  • Clerical Officer level 3 (may be responsible for training / supervising other clerical employees; may perform more specialised tasks such as providing specialised advice or preparing cash payment summaries, banking reports and bank statements; calculating and maintaining wage and salary records; following credit referral procedures; applying purchasing and inventory control requirements; posting journals to the ledger, etc).



The minimum rates of pay for each level in the Award is set out in clause 17. These will increase on 1 November 2021. The Award provides for reduced rates of pay for junior employees (those under 18 years of age).


Hair & Beauty Industry Award Summary - A free downloadable resource From Employment Innovations

Types of Employment

Employees must be classified as either full-time, part-time or casual. They must be informed of their classification at the commencement of employment.



A full-time employee is engaged to work an average of 38 ordinary hours per week. Employees can be paid per hour or paid a salaried amount.



A part-time employee works less than 38 ordinary hours per week (or over the roster cycle) and has reasonably predictable hours of work. When a part-time employee is rostered to work they must be engaged for a minimum of 3 hours per shift.

Part-time employees must have a written agreement in place which outlines their regular pattern of hours, including:

  • the hours the employee will work each day;
  • the days of the week the employee will work;
  • their starting at finishing times each day;
  • that the pattern of hours can be varied by agreement between the employee and employer;
  • the minimum engagement for each shift is 3 hours;
  • the times they will be required to take a meal break and the duration of the breaks.



A casual employee does not have guaranteed hours of work and usually works an irregular pattern. They are paid an additional 25% loading on top of the permanent base rate of pay as compensation for in lieu of annual leave and personal/carer’s leave entitlements, a notice of termination, redundancy benefits and other entitlements of full or part-time employees. When a casual employee is rostered to work, they must be engaged for a minimum of 3 hours per shift.


Casual Conversion

Under the Award, casual employees are entitled to ask their employer to convert their employment to full-time or part-time employment when they have worked a regular pattern of hours over a period of at least 12 months and they could continue to work those hours as a full time or part-time employee without significant changes to their employment.

The employer must provide a copy of the casual conversion subclause of the Award to all casual employees within their first 12 months of employment. It is generally easiest to provide this to employees when they start their employment. Any request to convert must be considered by the Employer but may be refused on reasonable business grounds.

These obligations currently operate alongside the new casual conversion provisions in the Fair Work Act. Employers must follow the casual conversion obligations under the Fair Work Act and in the award. See further guidance in our blog article on understanding your new obligations regarding Casual Conversion.


Hours of Work

The maximum number of ordinary hours of work that may be worked is 38 hours per week or an average of 38 hours per week.

Employees can be rostered on for a maximum of 9 hours on each day, with the exception of one shift going up to 10.5 hours in one week, and by mutual agreement in writing, a second 10.5 hour day.

Ordinary hours must be worked between the following spread of hours:


Spread of Ordinary Hours
Monday to Friday

7:00 am – 9:00 pm


7:00 am – 6:00 pm


10:00 am – 5:00 pm


Ordinary hours will be worked on not more than five days in each week, provided that if ordinary hours are worked on six days in one week, ordinary hours in the following week will be worked on no more than four days.


When Overtime Applies – Overtime Rates


Full-Time & Part-Time Employees

Overtime rates will apply when a full-time or part-time employee works:

  • Over an average of 38 hours a week;
  • Outside the following spread of hours:


Spread of Ordinary Hours
Monday to Friday inclusive

7:00 am – 9:00 pm


7:00 am – 6:00 pm


10:00 am – 5:00 pm


  • Part-time employees will also receive overtime if they work over their agreed number of hours per week.


Overtime rates are payable at:

  • 150% of the ordinary hourly rate of pay for the first three hours and 200% thereafter.


Casual Employees

Overtime rates will apply when a casual employee works:

  • Over an average of 38 hours a week;
  • Outside the following spread of hours:


Spread of Ordinary Hours
Monday to Friday inclusive

7:00 am – 9:00 pm


7:00 am – 6:00 pm


10:00 am – 5:00 pm


  • In excess of 10.5 hours a day.


Overtime rates are payable at:

  • 175% of the ordinary hourly rate of pay for the first three hours and 225% thereafter.*


Overtime rates when working outside the spread of hours are payable at:

  • 150% of the ordinary hourly rate, for any day except for Sunday.*.


*The overtime rates for a casual employee are inclusive of the 25% casual loading.


Time Off In Lieu (TOIL)

An employee and employer can mutually agree for the employee to take time off instead of getting paid for overtime that has been worked. When taking the time off, the employee is entitled to take an equal amount of leave to the overtime payment amount. For example, if the employee worked 2 hours of overtime at the rate of double time, they would be entitled to take 4 hours of time off.


Hair & Beauty Industry Award Summary - A free downloadable resource From Employment Innovations

Penalty Rates

Time Of Ordinary Hours Worked

Penalty Rate
Saturday (between 7:00 am – 6:00 pm)

Paid at the rate of 133% for any ordinary hours of work performed between the span of hours (i.e. an extra 33%).

Sunday (all day)

Paid at the rate of 200% for all ordinary hours of work on a Sunday (i.e. double-time).

Public Holidays (all day)

Paid at the rate of 250% for all hours worked (i.e. double-time-and-a-half).

Work on a Rostered Day off (“RDO”)

An employer and employee may mutually agree for work to be performed on an RDO. Such agreement will need to be evidenced in writing.

Where such agreement is in place, the employer must:

  • Pay any ordinary hours at the rate of 200% of the ordinary rate of pay;
  • Provide at least four hours of work.


* Penalty rates are calculated based on the minimum ordinary hourly rate for full-time, part-time, and casual employees. In other words, all types of employees receive the same rate for working ordinary hours on a weekend. Casual employees do not currently receive an additional casual loading on these amounts, however, an additional loading of 25% is planned to be introduced gradually over the next few years for casuals, with the final increase in December 2023. Please contact Employment Innovations for further advice.


Public Holidays

An employee who works on a public holiday will be paid double time and a half of their ordinary rate for hours worked on the public holiday.

Permanent employees who aren’t required to work on a public holiday and would ordinarily work on that day will be entitled to receive their ordinary wages for that day.



Meal Breaks

All employees must be allowed a meal break of 45 to 60 minutes after 5 hours of work. This can be shortened to 30 minutes if the employee and employer mutually agree. Meal breaks are unpaid and are not counted as time worked.


Rest Breaks

Full-time employees must be granted two 10 minute rest breaks per day, one on either side of their meal break.

Part-time employees working 4 to 7 hours must be rostered to have one 10 minute rest break.

If the employee also has a meal break, this rest break must be granted within the greater time portion on either side of the meal break. If the portions of time are equal, this must be granted at a mutually agreeable time.

Where the work period is 7 to 10 hours, two 10 minute rest breaks must be rostered, one at either end of the meal break.

All rest breaks are paid and considered time worked.


Minimum Breaks Between Shifts

All employees are entitled to at least a 12 hour rest break between finishing work on one day and starting work the next day.


Consecutive Days Off

Ordinary hours will be worked so as to provide an employee with two consecutive days off each week or three consecutive days off in a two week period.

This requirement will not apply where the employee requests in writing and the employer agrees to other arrangements, which are to be recorded in the time and wages records. It cannot be made a condition of employment that an employee makes such a request. An employee can terminate the agreement by giving four weeks notice to the employer.

Ordinary hours and any reasonable additional hours may not be worked over more than six consecutive days.

Unless otherwise mutually agreed, an employee who elects to work Sundays as part of ordinary hours is to be rostered off at least one Sunday every four weeks.


Annual Leave and Leave Loading

Annual leave is provided for by the National Employment Standards (NES), which means permanent full-time employees must accrue 4 weeks of annual leave (or the prorated amount for part-time employees).

Annual leave loading is payable on accrued leave. For day workers this loading will be either an additional 17.5% on the minimum rate of pay, or the weekend penalty rates they would have received if these are greater, but not both.

For shift workers, this loading will be either an additional 17.5% on the minimum rate of pay, or the shift loading (including relevant weekend penalty rates) they would have received, whichever is greater, but not both.

An employer may require an employee to take annual leave by giving at least four weeks notice as part of a close-down of its operations (e.g. a Christmas closedown).


Other Leave

Other leave such as personal/carer’s leave, compassionate leave, parental leave, family and domestic violence leave, etc is as is provided for in the NES. Long service leave (including for casual employees) is dealt with in State/Territory legislation.


Notice Periods

Period of continuous service Period of Notice
Not more than 1 year 1 week
More than 1 year but not more than 3 years 2 weeks
More than 3 years but not more than 5 years 3 weeks
More than 5 years 4 weeks


The notice periods above apply to both employees and employers providing notice of termination. When the employer is the one providing notice of termination, the notice periods above must be increased by one week if the employee is over 45 years old and has completed at least two years of continuous service.

If the employee is over 18 years old and fails to provide the required period of notice, an employer may deduct up to one week’s wages from an employee’s pay if the deduction isn’t unreasonable. The employer is only able to deduct pay from wages owed, they cannot deduct from the employee’s entitlements e.g. accumulated leave.



These are some of the commonly used allowances under the Award. Refer to clause 19 of the Award for a list of all allowances and the full conditions associated with each allowance. The value of the allowances stated below are correct as of 1 November 2020, the allowances will increase on 1 February 2021.

Manager’s allowance $43.88 per week, where an employee is in charge of a hair and/or beauty establishment for a full week
Overtime meal allowance
(permanent employees)
$19.57 where at least one hour of overtime is worked and $19.57 for an extra meal after every 4 hours (only where the employee is given less than 24 hours notice of the requirement to work overtime)
Tool allowance $9.44 per week, where the employee is required to provide their own tools
Vehicle allowance $0.78 per km
Special and protective clothing reimbursement Reimbursement for the cost of protective or special clothing (including a uniform) and the cost of replacement items, when replacement is necessary due to normal wear and tear.



Superannuation is provided for under the relevant superannuation legislation.


Hair & Beauty Industry Award Summary - A free downloadable resource From Employment Innovations

How Employment Innovations can help

If you require assistance with dealing with disciplinary issues concerning staff, Employment Innovations can help. Our HR Advisors will be able to guide you through each step of the disciplinary process and we have template documents (e.g. direction to attend a disciplinary meeting, written warning, letter of termination, etc) available as part of our subscription packages.


About Employment Innovations

Employment Innovations is one of Australia’s leading providers of employment services designed to increase productivity and ensure compliance. Its services and solutions include all the tools that every Australian small to medium sized employer needs – including workplace advice, legal services, payroll solutions, migration, human resource management and HR software.



The information provided in these knowledge base 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. The information in this summary is correct as of August 2021.


This knowledge base article will change over time, as Modern Award legislation relating to this Industry or Occupation is passed by the Fair Work Commission. Originally published on 21 September 2021 and last updated on 22 September 2021.


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