Nurses Award Guide [MA000034]

Nurses Award Guide [MA000034]

Table of content

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

This article provides guidelines on the Australian Nurses Award package. For more information on this award, please refer to the Nurses Award Guide [MA000034].

What is the Nurses Award?

The Nurses Award is a set of legal minimum employment standards and conditions that apply to nurses and their assistants working in the health industry in Australia.

It sets out the minimum wage rates, working hours, leave entitlements, and other conditions for nursing roles, including nursing assistants, enrolled nurses, registered nurses, nurse practitioners.

The Nurses Award aims to ensure that nurses and their assistants are treated fairly and receive reasonable pay and conditions for their work.

Who is entitled to the Nurses Award?

Coverage

The Nurses Award covers:

  • employers and their employees in the health industry
  • employers who employ nurses and midwifes.

Types of employment

This award covers the following employee categories:

  • Full-time employee: An employee who is engaged to work either 38 hours per week or an average of 38 hours per week.
  • Part-time employee: An employee is engaged to work less than an average of 38 ordinary hours per week and has reasonably predictable hours of work.
  • Casual employee: An employee is engaged and paid without any guaranteed hours of work. (They are entitled to receive the minimum hourly rate applicable to their classification and pay point, as well as a loading of 25% of the minimum hourly rate applicable to their classification and pay point for each ordinary hour worked.)

The Award does not generally cover

The following employers and employees are not covered by the Nurses Award:

  • medical practitioners (for example, doctors)
  • registrars
  • health professionals such as physiotherapists, pastoral carers and health information managers
  • clerical and administration employees
  • nurses employed in a primary or secondary school.

Check the award for full information on coverage and classifications.

Source reference: Nurses Award [MA000034] clauses 3, 4 and schedule B

How is the shiftwork arranged in the Nurses Award?

Shiftworker

Shift Type

Span of hours

      Afternoon shift

12.00 am – 6.00 pm (same day)

Night shift

6.00 pm -7.30 am (following day)

Hours of Work

Day worker

   6.00 am – 6.00 pm, Monday to Friday.

Shiftworker

   For a full-time employee will be:

  • 38 hours per week; or
  • 76 hours per fortnight; or
  • 152 hours over 28 days.

*An accrued day off (ADO) system of work may be implemented where a full-time employee works no more than 19 days in a 4 week period of 152 hours.

Breaks

Unpaid meal breaks

  • Employees can take a 30-60 minute break between the 4th and 6th hour of work.
  • Employees working shifts of 6 hours or less may waive their meal break by agreement.
  • If an employee is required to work during their meal break, they will be paid overtime for all the time worked until the break is taken.
  • If an employer requires an employee to be available during a meal break but the employee is not required to perform any duties, the employee should be paid at their regular rate for the 30-minute meal break. This time will not count towards calculating overtime or penalty rates.

  Paid tea breaks

  • Employees get a 10-minute paid tea break every 4 hours worked, scheduled by agreement between employer and employee.
  • Subject to agreement between the employer and employee, two 10 minute tea breaks may be taken as one 20 minute tea break.
  • Tea breaks will count as time worked.

How are wages and allowances calculated in the Nurses Award?

Minimum rates

Minimum weekly rate

(full-time employee)

Minimum hourly rate

$

Nursing assistant—other than aged care employees

1st year

934.20 24.58

2nd year

948.80 24.97
3rd year and thereafter 964.00

25.37

Experienced (the holder of a relevant certificate III qualification) 995.00

26.18

Student enrolled nurse

Less than 21 years of age

867.90 22.84
21 years of age and over 910.90

23.97

Enrolled nurse

Pay point 1

1013.40 26.67

Pay point 2

1026.80 27.02
Pay point 3 1040.50

27.38

Pay point 4 1055.50

27.78

Pay point 5 1066.10

28.06

Registered nurses—aged care employees

Registered nurse—level 1

Pay point 1

1246.80 32.81

Pay point 2

1272.30

33.48

Pay point 3

1303.60 34.31

Pay point 4

1338.30 35.22

Pay point 5

1379.30

36.30

Pay point 6 1419.30

37.35

Pay point 7 1460.30

38.43

Pay point 8 and thereafter 1498.30

39.43

Registered nurse—level 2

Pay point 1

1538.00 40.47

Pay point 2

1562.50 41.12
Pay point 3 1589.60

41.83

Pay point 4 and thereafter 1615.60

42.52

Registered nurse—level 3

Pay point 1

1667.70 43.89

Pay point 2

1698.30 44.69
Pay point 3 1727.60

45.46

Pay point 4 and thereafter 1758.60

46.28

Registered nurse—level 4

Grade 1

1903.40 50.09

Grade 2

2039.80

53.68

Grade 3 2158.80

56.81

Registered nurse—level 5

Grade 1

1920.70 50.54

Grade 2

2022.70 53.23

Grade 3

2158.80 56.81
Grade 4 2293.40

60.35

Grade 5 2529.40

66.56

Grade 6 2767.60

72.83

Nurse practitioner—aged care employees

1st year

1919.00 50.50
2nd year 1976.00

52.00

Overtime rates

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

Monday to Saturday Sunday Public holiday

Full-time and part-time employees

First 2 hours After 2 hours

% of minimum hourly rate

150% 200% 200%

250%

Casual employees 150% 200% 200%

250%

Penalty rates

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

  • Full-time and part-time employees

Minimum hourly rate

Monday to Friday Saturday Sunday Public holiday

Afternoon shift

Night shift

% of minimum hourly rate

100% 112.5% 115% 150% 175%

200%

  • Casual employees

Casual hourly rate

Monday to Friday Saturday Sunday Public holiday

Afternoon shift

Night shift

% of minimum hourly rate

% of casual hourly rate1

125% 137.5% 140% 150% 175%

200%

* 1 The casual hourly rate is defined in clause 2—Definitions.

Allowance

Wage-related allowances

On-call allowance

  • $25.48 per 24-hour period or part thereof between rostered shifts or ordinary hours on Monday to Friday inclusive
  • $38.38 per 24-hour period or part thereof between rostered shifts or ordinary hours on Saturday
  • $44.77 per 24-hour period or part thereof between rostered shifts or ordinary hours on Sunday, public holiday or non-rostered day

Expense-related allowances

Uniform allowance

  • $1.23 per shift or part thereof on duty; or
  • $6.24 per week

Laundry allowance

  • $0.32 per shift or part thereof on duty; or
  • $1.49 per week

Meal allowances

  • paid a meal allowance of $15.20
  • a further $13.70 if exceeds 4 hours

Travelling, transport and fares

  • $0.96 per kilometre

How is the leave managed in the Nurses Award?

In the Nurses 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.

  • An employee who is not a shiftworker is entitled to 5 weeks of paid annual leave for each year of service with their employer.
  • An employee who is a shiftworker is entitled to 6 weeks of paid annual leave for each year of service with their employer. (To be considered a shiftworker, an employee must be regularly rostered over 7 days of the week and regularly work on weekends.)

During a period of paid annual leave, an employer must pay an employee an additional payment for the employee’s ordinary hours of work. The additional payment is payable on leave accrued.

For an employee who would have worked on day work only or worked on shiftwork had they not been on leave, the additional payment is the greater of:

  • An employee (other than a shiftworker) will be paid an annual leave loading of 17.5% of their ordinary pay on a maximum of 152 hours/4 weeks’ annual leave per annum
  • Shiftworkers will be paid the higher of an annual leave loading of 17.5% of ordinary pay or the weekend and shift penalties they would have received had they not been on leave during the relevant period.

Personal Leave

Casual employees are entitled to be absent from work to care for a person who requires care or support because of:

  • illness or an injury;or
  • an emergency

but they’re not entitled to be paid for time away from work.

Public holidays

An employer must pay an employee who works on a public holiday or on a day that is substituted for a public holiday at the public holiday penalty rate set out in penalty rates.

  • For a full-time and part-time employee, 200% of the minimum hourly rate applicable to their classification and pay point.
  • For a casual employee, 200% of the casual hourly rate.

How to keep in compliance with the Nurses Award?

To comply with the Nurses Award in Australia, businesses in the Nurses 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 one-stop payroll & HR platform with an award interpretation module and customised attendance formulas that ensure Nurses employers stay compliant with Fair Work regulations. The platform simplifies HR processes, reduces administrative burdens, and offers a user-friendly interface for small businesses and large enterprises alike.

Experience the benefits of Workstem for yourself!

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