RETAIL INDUSTRY AWARD KNOWLEDGE BASE

General Retail Industry Award 2020

In this article, we detail some of the key provisions in the General Retail Award including what sorts of businesses it covers, the different level of employee classifications under the Award and guidance on employee entitlements.

This summary also details changes to penalty rates that come into effect from 1 March 2021 and changes to junior rates of pay that will apply from 1 May 2021.

Employment Innovations advises a large number of organisations in this sector and has produced this Retail 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.

 

Coverage

The General Retail Award covers employers and employees working in the “general retail industry”. This is defined as the sale or hire of goods or services to final customers for personal, household or business consumption. It includes the following:

  • Food, supermarkets and grocery stores;
  • Department, clothing and soft goods stores;
  • Bakeries (where food is baked and sold on the premises);
  • Furniture, homeware and appliance stores;
  • Newsagents;
  • Customer information services in shopping centres or retail complexes;
  • Clerical work which is performed at a retail establishment.

 

The General Retail Award will also generally cover business involved in the sale of such products online, and where such products are sold “door-to-door” or outside.

 

The General Retail Award does not generally cover:

  • Pharmacies – who will be covered by the Pharmacy Industry Award 2020;
  • Hair & beauty establishments – who will be covered by the Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010;
  • Butchers – who will be covered by the Meat Industry Award 2020;
  • Fast Food outlets – who will be covered by the Fast Food Industry Award 2010;
  • Clerical work which is performed away from the retail establishment (e.g. at a head office) – who will be covered by the Clerks Private Sector Award 2020;
  • Motor vehicle retailing & motor vehicle fuel and parts retailing – who will be covered by the Vehicle Repair Services and Retail Award 2020;
  • Warehousing & distribution – who will be covered by other awards including the Storage Services and Wholesale Award 2020.

 

 

Classification Levels

The Award provides that each employee must be classified at one of the levels set out in Schedule A – Classifications. Each classification has a corresponding minimum rate of pay set out in Schedule B – Summary of Hourly Rates of Pay. There are reduced rates of pay for junior employees (20 years and under, however, from 1 May 2021 junior rates can only be paid for levels 1 to 3. From 1 May 2021 junior employees classified as levels 4 to 8 must be paid the full adult rate.) Rates of pay will increase on 1 February 2021.

Following are some of the most common job titles for each level, together with some commentary to help you properly classify your staff:

 

Level 1;

This level is suitable for someone new to working in retail or with limited relevant experience.

The level is also suitable for someone performing basic clerical duties, who is new to the role and has limited experience.

Indicative job titles include:

  • Shop Assistant;
  • Clerical Officer Level 1 (usually someone with little prior experience, appropriate level when first recruited);
  • Check-out Operator;
  • Store Worker;
  • Telephone order salesperson;
  • Door-to-door salesperson or retail outdoor salesperson;
  • Driver.

 

Level 2;

This level is suitable for someone working at a higher level of skill than a Level 1 employee, but not yet performing the duties of a Level 3 employee.

Indicative job titles include:

  • Forklift Operator;
  • Ride on Equipment Operator.

 

Level 3;

Employees at this level might be required to perform tasks such as supervising others, being responsible for the security of cash and/or opening or closing a store.

Indicative job titles include:

  • Machine Operators;
  • 2IC to a Department Manager;
  • Senior Salesperson;
  • Driver Selling Stock;
  • A person employed alone, with responsibilities for the security and general running of a shop.

 

Level 4 – Trade Qualified;

Employees at this level might be required to:

  • Manage a defined section or department of a store;
  • Supervise a team of up to four sales staff (including themselves);
  • Be responsible for stock control;
  • Be responsible for buying or ordering of stock where this requires the exercise of discretion as to price, quantity, quality etc.

 

This is also the appropriate level where the employee is required to be trade qualified to carry out their role.

Indicative job titles include:

  • Assistant Manager/Deputy Manager/2IC to Shop Manager (in a shop with no departments);
  • Shift work Supervisor;
  • Section/ Department Manager (supervising a team of up to two employees including themselves);
  • Clerical Officer Level 2 (requires less supervision than Clerical Officer Level 1).

 

Level 5 – Trade Qualified;

Indicative job titles include:

  • Tradesperson in charge of other tradespersons within a section or department.

 

Level 6;

Indicative job titles include:

  • 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).

 

Level 7;

Indicative job titles include:

  • Visual Merchandiser (who holds a diploma);
  • Clerical Officer Level 4 (duties as per Clerical Officer 3, but more experienced or required to exercise more initiative and discretion in the performance of their duties).

 

Level 8;

Employees at Level 8 may be Diploma qualified.

Indicative job titles include:

  • Shop Manager of a shop within departments or sections;
  • Clerical Officer Level 5 (may perform duties such as scheduling workloads, resolving operations problems, monitoring the quality of work produced and performance managing other staff).

 

Download the Retail Industry Award Summary 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.

 

Full-time;

A full-time employee is an employee who is engaged to work an average of 38 ordinary hours per week.

 

Part-time;

A part-time employee works less than 38 ordinary hours per week and has reasonably predictable hours of work. The minimum engagement an employee can be required to work is three hours per day.

Part-time employees must have a written agreement specifying their working pattern. This must be entered into at the point they are engaged as an employee. Any variance to this must be made via a written agreement between employee and employer.

The agreement must be in writing and specify:

  • The number of hours the employee will work each day;
  • Which days of the week the employee will work;
  • The actual starting and finishing times of each day;
  • The time and duration that meal breaks must be taken.

 

Any additional hours worked outside a part-time employee’s set weekly hours must be paid as overtime.

Employment Innovations has developed template employment contracts especially for the General Retail Award which will satisfy these requirements. Please contact us if you require a copy of our General Retail employment contract.

 

Casual;

A casual employee doesn’t 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 the fact that they don’t have access to annual leave, paid personal/carer’s leave entitlements, notice of termination and redundancy pay.

A casual employee must be engaged for a minimum of 3 hours of work unless the employee is a full-time secondary student engaged to work between 3:00 pm and 6:30 pm on a day which they are required to attend school, then (so long as their parent or guardian agrees) the minimum engagement can be 1.5 hours.

 

Casual Conversion

Casual employees are entitled to request 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.

Employers must provide a copy of the clause in the General Retail Award dealing with casual conversion to all casual employees within their first 12 months of employment. It is generally easiest to provide this to an employee when they start their employment.

Any request from a casual employee to convert to a permanent employee must be considered by the employer but may be refused on reasonable business grounds.

Please contact Employment Innovations if you need a copy of the clause to send to your employees.

 

When Overtime Applies

Full-Time & Part-Time Employees

Overtime is payable whenever work is performed outside the following spread of ordinary hours.

Days

Spread of Ordinary Hours
Monday to Friday inclusive

7:00 am – 9:00 pm

Saturday

7:00 am – 6:00 pm

Sunday

9:00 am – 6:00 pm

 

  • Outside of the employee’s regular pattern of work (for part-time employees);
  • More than nine hours on one day of the week (although on one day per week an employee can work up to 11 hours before overtime is payable);
  • More than an average of 38 hours per week over the roster cycle (maximum four weeks).

 

An employee should have at least a 12 hour break between finishing work and when they next commence work. Where an employee recommences work without the 12 hour break, they will be entitled to be paid double-time for all time worked until they receive a 12 hour break.

By agreement between employer and employee, the break between shifts may be reduced to 10 hours.

 

Casual Employees

Overtime is payable whenever work is performed outside the following spread of ordinary hours.

  • More than 38 hours per week averaged over the roster cycle (maximum four weeks);
  • Outside of the following span of ordinary hours.

 

Days

Spread of Ordinary Hours
Monday to Friday inclusive

7:00 am – 9:00 pm

Saturday

7:00 am – 6:00 pm

Sunday

9:00 am – 6:00 pm

 

  • More than nine hours on one day of the week (although on one day per week an employee can work up to 11 hours before overtime is payable).

 

 

Ordinary Hours & Rostering Arrangements

The ordinary hours of work will be 38 hours per week or an average of 38 hours per week. These can be hours can be structured to be worked:

Days

Spread of Ordinary Hours
Monday to Friday inclusive

7:00 am – 9:00 pm

Saturday

7:00 am – 6:00 pm

Sunday

9:00 am – 6:00 pm

 

Penalty rates apply to ordinary hours worked on the weekends and in the evenings (see further below).

The maximum number of ordinary hours an employee can work on one day is 9 hours, although an employer can roster an employee to work up to 11 ordinary hours on one day per week.

Full-time employees can have their 38 ordinary hours averaged over a period of up to four weeks (or a longer period if the employee agrees). Employers have a degree of flexibility as to how such employees are rostered, but they must be given 2 consecutive days off per week, or 3 consecutive days off per 2 week cycle. The maximum number of consecutive days an employee may work (whether ordinary hours or overtime) is 6 days. Further rules relating to the rostering of full-time employees are found in clause 15.6 of the Award.

Ordinary hours may also be worked from:

  • 5.00 am in a Newsagency;
  • Until midnight in a video shop; or
  • Until 11.00 pm if the trading hours of the establishment extend beyond 9.00 pm on a Monday to Friday or 6.00 pm on a Saturday or Sunday.

 

Hours worked outside of ordinary hours must be paid as overtime.

 

Overtime Rates

The overtime rate payable to an employee depends on the time at which the overtime is worked:

When Overtime Is Worked

Full-Time & Part-Time EmployeesCasual Employees
Monday to Saturday – first 3 hours

150%

175%
Monday to Saturday – after 3 hours

200%

225%
Sunday

200%

225%
Public holiday

250%

275%

 

Overtime is calculated on a daily basis.

 

Time Off In Lieu (TOIL)

An employer and employee may agree in writing to an employee taking time off instead of being paid for overtime work.

The period of time off that an employee is entitled to take is equivalent to the payment they would have received for overtime hours worked. For example, an employee who worked two overtime hours at time-and-a-half is entitled to three hours’ time in lieu.

This must:

  • Be agreed to in writing; 
  • Be taken within 6 months of the overtime being worked at a time agreed by employee and employer.

 

Download the Retail Industry Award Summary from Employment Innovations

Penalty Rates

When an employee works ordinary hours on the following days, they are entitled to the following penalty rates:

Time Of Ordinary Hours Worked

Full-Time & Part-Time EmployeesCasual Employees
 

% of the minimum hourly rate

% of the minimum hourly rate
(inclusive of casual loading)
Monday to Saturday – after 6:00 pm
(from 1 October 2020 to 28 February 2021)

125%

145%
Monday to Saturday – after 6:00 pm
(from 1 March 2021)

125%

150%
Saturday – all ordinary hours

125%

150%
Sunday – all ordinary hours

150%

175%
Public Holidays – all ordinary hours

225%

250%

 

Full-time & part-time employees – an employer and employee may agree that instead of being paid the above penalty rate for hours worked on a Public Holiday, an employee can:

  • Be paid at the minimum hourly Public Holiday rate for hours worked on a Public Holiday; and;
  • The equivalent hours worked on the Public Holiday in TOIL (to be taken within 28 days of working Public Holiday) or added to employees annual leave balance.

 

Shift work

Special provisions apply to “shiftwork” ie a shift starting at or after 6:00 pm on one day and before 5:00 am on the following day (different rules apply to baking production employees – see Part 6 of the Award).

Shiftwork does not include a shift which starts and finishes on the same day within the span of ordinary hours specified in the award.

All time between the actual commencing time and the actual ceasing time on any shift must be paid as shiftwork, using the rates below. All meal breaks and rest breaks are paid and count towards time worked.

Type of Employment

12:00 am Sunday to
12:00 am Friday
SaturdaySunday
 

% of the minimum hourly rate

% of the minimum hourly rate

% of the minimum hourly rate

Full-Time & Part-Time

130%

150%

175%

Casual

155%
(inclusive of casual loading)

175%
(inclusive of casual loading)

200%
(inclusive of casual loading)

 

For shiftwork performed on a public holiday, employees must be paid as per the “Penalty Rates” section above.

 

Public Holidays

  • Full-time and part-time employees are entitled to be absent from work without loss of pay on a public holiday if they would have ordinarily be required to work that day, but employees can be required to work on a public day where the requirement is reasonable.
  • Employees who work on a public holiday are entitled to be paid an additional 225% (FT & PT) or 250% (Casual) on their base rate of pay (or can agree to be paid their usual rate of pay and have the number of hours they work added to their annual leave balance, to be taken or paid out within 28 days).
  • An employer and employee may agree to substitute a full or part day for a day that would otherwise be a public holiday under the NES (ie to treat another day as a public holiday instead of the gazetted one)

 

 

Breaks

 Hours Worked

Rest Break
(Unpaid for all except shiftworkers)
Meal Break (Paid)
Work less than 4 hours

No rest break

No meal break
Work 4 hours or more, but no more than 5 hours

One 10 minute rest break

No meal break
Work more than 5 hours, but less than 7 hours

One 10 minute rest break

One meal break of at least 30
minutes but not more than 60
minutes.
Work 7 hours or more but less than 10 hours

Two 10 minute rest breaks, with one
taken in the first half of the work
hours and the second taken in the second half of the work hours.

One meal break of at least 30
minutes but not more than 60
minutes.
Work 10 hours or more

Two 10 minute rest breaks, with one
taken in the first half of the work
hours and the second taken in the second half of the work hours.

Two meal breaks each of at
least 30 minutes but not more
than 60 minutes.

 

  • An employee cannot be required to take a rest break or meal break within one hour of commencing or ceasing of work. An employee cannot be required to take a rest break(s) combined with a meal break;
  • No employee can work more than 5 hours without a meal break
  • An employee must be given a 12 hour break between the completion of work on one day and the commencement of work on the next day unless the employee agrees to reduce this period to no less than 10 hours. If employees commence work without being given such a break, they are entitled to be paid double time under they receive the appropriate break.

 

 

Leave & Annual Leave Loading

  • Employees are entitled to leave in accordance with the National Employment Standards (NES) set out in the Fair Work Act 2009. For full-time employees, this includes four weeks annual leave per year and 10 days personal/carer’s leave (pro-rata for part-time employees).
  • Shiftworkers are entitled to an additional week of annual leave if they regularly are rostered to work Sundays and public holidays in a business in which shifts which are continually rostered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Full-time and part-time employees are entitled to an annual leave loading (i.e. an uplift in the wages they would have earned) as follows:
    • Day work: 17.5% or the relevant weekend penalty rates, whichever is the greater but not both;
    • Shiftwork: 17.5% or the shift loading (including relevant weekend penalty rates) whichever is the greater but not both.

 

 

Annual Closedown

An employer can require permanent employees to take annual leave (but not leave without pay) where there is a temporary closedown (e.g. a Christmas closedown) so long as they are given 4 at least weeks’ notice.

 

Download the Retail Industry Award Summary from Employment Innovations

Termination of Employment and Notice

The employee and employer need to provide the following amount of notice. The period of notice required is dependent on the employees’ period of continuous service. This service includes authorized unpaid leave (e.g. unpaid parental leave). However, this period does not include periods of unauthorized leave or absences.

Period of continuous service

Minimum notice period

1 year or less

1 week

More than 1 year – 3 years

2 weeks

More than 3 years – 5 years

3 weeks

More than 5 years

4 weeks

 

 

When notice is being given by the employer, the 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 with the employer at the end of the day the notice is given.

If the employee is over 18 years old and fails to provide the sufficient amount 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 or other over-award payments.

 

Deduction from Wages

  • Inadequate Notice: Where an employee has failed to provide adequate notice in line with the National Employment Standards in the Fair Work Act 2009, an employer can deduct up to one week of wages from monies owed to the employee, provided it is reasonable and employee is over 18 years of age.
  • No deduction can be made from accrued entitlements including annual leave.
  • If annual leave is taken in advance of the entitlement being accrued and has not been accrued at point of an employee’s employment ceasing, an employer can deduct the equivalent amount paid to the employee from their termination pay.

 

 

Redundancy

Full-time and part-time employees are entitled to redundancy payments as per the National Employment Standards in the Fair Work Act 2009, there is generally an exemption from paying redundancy pay where the employer has less than 15 employees.

 

Higher Duties

If an employee performs higher duties than their normal classification for a period of less than 2 hours, they must be paid for only the time worked at this higher classification. If an employee performs higher duties for more than 2 hours, they will need to be paid the higher classification for the whole day.

 

Allowances

These are some of the commonly used allowances under the Award. Refer to clause 19 of the Award for 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.

 

Meal Allowance:
When performing overtime of between 1-4 hours – $18.87;
Overtime of four or more hours – an additional $17.10.

 

Special clothing reimbursement :
Employees must be reimbursed for the cost of purchasing special clothing such as protective wear, uniforms or other clothing they are required to wear.

 

Laundry allowance:
Where employees are required to launder their own special clothing they are entitled to an allowance as follows:

  1. Full-time employee – $6.25 per week;
  2. Part-time or casual -$1.25 per shift.

 

Travelling costs:
Where an employee is required to work at a branch/shop other than their usual place of work they are entitled to be:

  • reimbursed for additional travel costs;
  • paid for additional travel time at their ordinary rate of pay (or at 150% of that rate on a Sunday or public holiday).

 

Where an employee is required to use their own vehicle to perform duties, an allowance of $0.78 per kilometre will be paid.

Non-shiftworkers: Where an employee commences work prior to 7 am or finishes after 10 pm, and their regular means of transport or an alternative cannot be arranged, the employer must reimburse the employee for the cost of a taxi far between their usual place of residence.

 

Transfer costs:
Where an employee is required to permanently transfer to a work location in another town, moving expenses are to be reimbursed for the employee and the employee’s family.

 

First aid allowance:
Where an employee who holds a relevant qualification and is appointed by the employer to perform first aid duty, they must be paid an extra $11.21 each week.

 

Liquor licence:
An employee who holds a liquor licence under a relevant State or Territory law will be paid an extra $26.74 per week.

 

Superannuation

An employer is obligated to make contributions the employee earns $450 or more (before tax) in a calendar month. This only includes employees under 18 years old if they work over 30 hours in a week. (Figure correct as at 1 November 2020).

 

Download the Retail Industry Award Summary 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.

 

Disclaimer

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.

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