Legal Services Award Guide [MA000116]

Legal Services Award Guide [MA000116]

Table of content

  1. What is the Legal Services Award?
  2. Who is entitled to the Legal Services Award?
  3. How is the shiftwork arranged in the Legal Services Award?
  4. How are wages and allowances calculated in the Legal Services Award?
  5. How is the leave managed in the Legal Services Award?
  6. How to keep in compliance with the Legal Services Award?
  7. How can Workstem assist you?

This article provides guidelines on the Australian Legal Services Award package. For more information on this award, please refer to the Legal Services Award 2020.

What is the Legal Services Award?

The Legal Services Award applies to employees who work in legal practices, including law firms, barristers’ chambers, and corporate legal departments. It covers a range of roles within these organisations, including lawyers, paralegals, legal secretaries, and administrative staff.

The award sets out minimum standards for things like pay rates, working hours, overtime, leave entitlements, and other conditions of employment.

Employers are required to comply with the award and must not pay their employees less than the minimum rates specified in the award.

Who is entitled to the Legal Services Award?

Coverage

The Legal Award covers employers in the legal services industry and their employees who fit within the classifications of the award.

The legal services industry means employers who provide legal and legal support services.

Examples of employees covered by the Legal Award includes:

  • legal clerical and administrative employees
  • law graduates
  • law clerks

The Legal Award also covers labour-hire businesses and their employees who are placed with an organisation within the legal services industry.

The Award does not generally cover

  • an employee excluded from award coverage by the Act;
  • employees who are covered by a modern enterprise award, or an enterprise instrument (within the meaning of the Fair Work (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Act 2009 (Cth)), or employers in relation to those employees; or
  • employees who are covered by a State reference public sector modern award, or a State reference public sector transitional award (within the meaning of the Fair Work (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Act 2009 (Cth)), or employers in relation to those employees.

To determine whether your staff fall under the Legal Services Award, it’s recommended to visit the Fair Work website.

Types of employment

Employees under this award will be employed in one of the following categories:

  •  Full-time employees: An employee who is engaged to work 38 ordinary hours per week.
  • Part-time employees: An employee who is engaged to work less than 38 ordinary hours per week on a reasonably predictable basis.
  • Casual employees: An employee who is engaged to work on an irregular or non-guaranteed basis.

* As per the award and the NES, a casual employee must be paid a minimum hourly rate and an additional 25% loading for each ordinary hour worked. This loading is given instead of entitlements to leave and other matters that casual employees are excluded from under the award and the NES.

How is the shiftwork arranged in the Legal Services Award?

Shiftwork

  • Early morning, afternoon and night shift penalty rates

Shift

Penalty rate Casual penalty rate (inclusive of 25% loading)

Afternoon or night

115% 140%

Early morning

110% 135%
Non-continuous afternoon or night—first 3 hours 150%

175%

Non-continuous afternoon or night—after 3 hours 200%

225%

Permanent night 130%

155%

  • Rate for working on Saturday, Sunday and public holiday shifts

Shifts

% of the minimum hourly rate
Saturday shifts 150%

Sunday and public holiday shifts

Continuous shiftworkers

200%

 

Shiftworkers other than continuous shiftworkers

Sundays

200%

Public holidays

250%

Span of Hours

The ordinary hours of work are to be worked continuously, except for meal breaks, at the discretion of the employer between 7.00 am and 6.30 pm, Monday to Friday.

Hours of Work

Employment type

Ordinary hours per week Minimum daily hours Maximum daily hours

Day worker

average 38 hours per week

152 hours

Continuous shiftworker less than 38 hours per week

8 hours

Casual No guaranteed hours 4 hours

8 hours

Breaks

Breaks

Time
Unpaid meal breaks

A meal break of between 30 and 60 minutes must be taken not later than 5 hours after the employee starts work or after resuming work after a previous meal break.

Paid rest breaks

2 paid rest breaks on each day the first of 10 minutes to be allowed between the time of starting work and the usual meal break;

the second of 10 minutes to be allowed between the usual meal break and the time of finishing work for the day

All employees who work more than 4 hours on a Saturday before 12 noon must be allowed a paid rest break of 10 minutes between the times of starting work and finishing work.

How are wages and allowances calculated in the Legal Services Award?

Minimum rates

  • Adult employee rates

Employee classification

Minimum weekly rate (full-time employee)

Minimum hourly rate

Level 1—Legal clerical and administrative employee

954.00 25.11

Level 2—Legal clerical and administrative employee

995.00

26.18

Level 3—Legal clerical and administrative employee

1050.90 27.66

Level 4—Legal clerical and administrative employee

1103.60 29.04

Level 5—Legal clerical and administrative employee

1148.40

30.22

Level 5—Law graduate 1148.40

30.22

Level 6—Law clerk 1217.30

32.03

  • Junior employee rates

Age

% of adult rate

Under 16 years

45

16 years

50

17 years

60
18 years

70

19 years

80

20 years

90

Overtime rates

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

For overtime worked on Full-time and part-time employees Casual employees

Minimum payment

% of minimum hourly rate

Monday to Saturday until 12.00 pm—first 3 hours

150% 175%

Monday to Saturday until 12.00 pm—after 3 hours

200% 225%
Saturday after 12.00 pm and Sunday 200% 225%

3 hours

Public Holiday 250% 275%

3 hours

Penalty rates

  •  Early morning, afternoon and night shift penalty rates

An employee will be paid the following shift penalty rates for all ordinary hours worked by the employee on the following shifts:

Shift

Penalty rate Casual penalty rate (inclusive of 25% loading)

Afternoon or night

115% 140%

Early morning

110% 135%
Non-continuous afternoon or night—first 3 hours 150%

175%

Non-continuous afternoon or night—after 3 hours 200%

225%

Permanent night 130%

155%

  •   Rate for working on Saturday, Sunday and public holiday shifts
Shift Penalty rate Casual penalty rate (inclusive of 25% loading)
Saturday shifts 115% 140%
Sundays Continuous shiftworkers 110% 135%
Shiftworkers other than continuous shiftworkers
Shiftworkers other than continuous shiftworkers 150% 175%
Non-continuous afternoon or night—after 3 hours 200% 225%
Permanent night 130% 155%
  • Work on a rostered day off
Shift Penalty rate

Casual penalty rate (inclusive of 25% loading)

Monday to Saturday until 12.00 pm—first 3 hours

150% 175%

Monday to Saturday until 12.00 pm—after 3 hours

200% 225%
Saturday after 12.00 pm and Sunday 200%

225%

Public holiday 250%

275%

Allowance

Classification Payable

Allowance

Meal allowance

Overtime from Monday to Friday

$ 18.23 per occasion

Overtime from Monday to Friday—further allowance

$ 14.53  per occasion

Overtime Saturday or Sunday

$ 18.23 per occasion

Overtime  Saturday or Sunday —further allowance

$ 14.53 per occasion

Uniform allowance

$ 3.65 per week

Vehicle allowance

Motor car

$0.95 per kilometre

Motorcycle

  $0.32 per kilometre

Living away from home allowance

an employee, who has to work away from their usual workplace, and may have to sleep away from home, is entitled to the following allowances:

  • fares allowance;
  • travelling time allowance;
  • a board and lodging allowance.

Reimbursement

  Transport of employees—overtime

If an employee needs to arrange alternative transport due to working overtime beyond accessible means of transport, their employer must reimburse them for the cost of the alternative transport to get home.

  Protective clothing

The employer will reimburse employees for the cost of uniforms and/or protective clothing if their work damages their clothing, unless the employer provides such clothing free of charge.

How is the leave managed in the Legal Services Award?

In the Legal Services Award, leave entitlements for employees are determined by the National Employment Standards (NES) and the classification of the employee.

Annual leave

Annual leave is provided for in the NES. It does not apply to casual employees.

  • For each year of service with an employer (other than periods of employment as a casual employee of the employer), an employee is entitled to 4 weeks of paid annual leave.
  • Employers are required to pay employees an extra 17.5% of their regular pay as annual leave loading, both during their annual leave and when they leave the company with unused leave.

Personal Leave

  • For each year of service with an employer (other than periods of employment as a casual employee of the employer), an employee is entitled to 10 days of paid personal/carer’s leave.

Public holidays

Public holiday entitlements are provided for in the NES.Employees and employers can agree to substitute another day or part-day for a public holiday or part-day public holiday under the National Employment Standards (NES).

  • An employee is entitled to be absent from his or her employment on a day or part-day that is a public holiday in the place where the employee is based for work purposes.

How to keep in compliance with the Legal Services Award?

To comply with the Legal Services Award in Australia, businesses in the Building and Construction industry can follow:

Minimum wage

Employers must pay their employees at least the minimum wage set by the Fair Work Commission.

Superannuation

Employers are obligated to make superannuation contributions on behalf of their eligible employees, which includes calculating and paying the correct amount on time.
Taxation

Businesses must accurately calculate and withhold income tax from employee wages, regularly passing the amount to the ATO.

‍Record-keeping 

Employers are required to maintain comprehensive records relating to employee pay, taxes, superannuation and entitlements

How can Workstem assist you?

Workstem is a comprehensive payroll and HR platform that includes an award interpretation module and customized attendance formulas to ensure compliance with Fair Work regulations for building and construction employers. The platform streamlines HR processes, reduces administrative burdens, and provides a user-friendly interface suitable for both small businesses and large enterprises.

Experience the benefits of Workstem for yourself!

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