Table of content
- What is the Professional Employees Award?
- Who is entitled to the Professional Employees Award?
- How are the hours of work arranged in Professional Employees Award?
- How are wages and allowances calculated in the Professional Employees Award?
- How is the leave managed in Professional Employees Award?
- How can Workstem assist you?
This blog is only the summary of the Professional Employees Award. Please check the full version on Fair Work Professional Employees Award 2020.
What is the Professional Employees Award?
Award is an industrial instrument that sets out the minimum terms and conditions of employment for a group of employees in a particular industry or occupation.
The Professional Employees Award is one of the modern awards that outline the minimum terms and conditions of employment for employees.
The Professional Employees Award applies to professional employees who perform work in various professional fields, such as accounting, engineering, IT, legal services, architecture, and more. It sets out the minimum pay rates, ordinary hours of work, penalty rates, overtime entitlements, and other conditions of employment for these professionals.
Who is entitled to the Professional Employees Award?
The Professional Employee Award covers employers mainly engaged in the information technology, medical research, quality auditing or telecommunications services industries and their employees who fit within the classifications of the award.
Employees are also covered if they perform professional engineering and scientific duties, unless another award with a more appropriate classification covers their employer.
The information technology industry means:
- designing and manufacturing computers, peripherals and software, and telecommunications equipment
- installing, repairing and maintaining computer systems
- computer consultancy services
- computer programming
- system analysis services
- designing, developing and maintaining online internet architecture and facilitating online content management, or
- work associated with any of the above.
The medical research industry means not-for-profit organisations mainly involved in basic, applied, translational or clinical research operating for the primary purpose of the cure, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease.
The quality auditing industry means providing advice, auditing and assessment services to companies seeking compliance with the International Standards Organisations quality standards.
The telecommunications services industry means:
- supplying, installing or maintaining telecommunications services, including value add services
- work associated with supplying, installing or maintaining telecommunications services, or
- installing and maintaining telecommunications equipment and line.
Professional engineering and professional scientific duties means duties that generally require a formal academic qualification or equivalent experience.
Examples of employees covered by the Professional Award:
- degree-qualified engineers, scientists and information technology employees
- information technology employees who have sufficient qualifications and experience to become a Certified Professional of the Australian Computer Society
- engineers and scientists who have sufficient qualifications or experience to become member of a professional body, such as Engineers Australia or Royal Australian Chemical Institute
- medical research employees who have sufficient qualifications and experience in medical research
- quality auditors who have sufficient qualifications or experience in auditing.
The Professional Award also covers labour hire businesses and their employees who work in the above industries or occupations.
The Professional Award doesn’t cover employers and employees when they are covered by one of the following awards:
- Airport Award
- Black Coal Award
- Electrical Power Award
- Nurses Award
- Port Authorities Award
- Rail Award
- State Government Award
- Water Award
Types of employment
An employee covered by this award must be one of the following:
- a full-time employee (An employee who is engaged to work an average of 38 hours per week.);or
- a part-time employee (An employee who is engaged to work fewer than 38 hours per week on a regular basis.);or
- a casual employee (An employee who is engaged on an irregular or intermittent basis, with no expectation of ongoing employment.).
How are the hours of work arranged in Professional Employees Award?
Hours of work
Ordinary hours of work under this award are 38 per week.
An employee who by agreement with their employer is working a regular cycle (including shorter or longer hours) must not have ordinary hours of duty which exceed an average of 38 hours per week over the cycle.
Employers must compensate for:
- time worked regularly in excess of ordinary hours of duty;
- time worked on-call-backs;
- time spent standing by in readiness for a call-back;
- time spent carrying out professional engineering duties or professional scientific/information technology duties outside of the ordinary hours over the telephone or via remote access arrangements; or
- time worked on afternoon, night or weekend shifts.
A shiftworker is a 7 day shiftworker who is regularly rostered to work on Sundays and public holidays.
An employee who is transferred permanently from day work to shiftwork or from shiftwork to day work must receive at least one month’s notice unless the employer and the employee agree on a lesser period of notice.
How are wages and allowances calculated in the Professional Employees Award?
In the Professional Employees Award, wages and allowances are calculated based on several factors outlined within the award.
Minimum hourly rate
Level 1 Graduate professional—Pay point 1.1 (3 year degree)
Level 1 Graduate professional—Pay point 1.1 (4 or 5 year degree)
|Level 1 Graduate professional—Pay point 1.2||61,955||
|Level 1 Graduate professional—Pay point 1.3||64,535||
Level 1 Graduate professional—Pay point 1.4
Level 2 Experienced professional/quality auditor/experienced medical research employee
Level 3 Professional/senior (lead) quality auditor/experienced medical research employee
|Level 4 Professional/experienced medical research employee||86,390||
|Level 5 Experienced medical research employee||104,074||
*For more information about minimum rates, please refer to the complete version of Fair Work.
A full-time or part-time day worker employee must be paid at the following rates for all ordinary hours worked:
% of the minimum hourly rate
Monday to Saturday
before 6:00am or after 10:00pm
Travelling expenses and travelling time
|$0.95 per km if an employee required to use their private vehicle on the employer’s business|
|Equipment and special clothing||
Except where an employee elects to provide equipment and special clothing, the employer must provide free of cost
How is the leave managed in Professional Employees Award?
For the complete version of leave entitlement, you may refer to NES.
Annual leave is provided for in the NES. It does not apply to casual employees.
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:
- 17.5% of the minimum hourly rate for the employee’s ordinary hours of work in the period; or
- The minimum hourly rate for the employee’s ordinary hours of work in the period inclusive of shift weekend penalty rates as specified.
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.
Community service leave
Community service leave is provided for in the NES.
Family and domestic violence leave
Family and domestic violence leave is provided for in the NES.
Information provided to employers concerning an employee’s experience of family and domestic violence is sensitive and if mishandled can have adverse consequences for the employee.
Employers are subject to confidentiality requirements regarding the handling of this information.
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.
How can Workstem assist you?
Workstem is a one-stop payroll & HR platform that has an award interpretation module to assist professional employee award employers in several ways. We understand the various provisions of the professional employee award and stay in compliance with Fair Work requirements, the customised attendance formulas can automatically calculate payments and will stay up-to-date with relevant regulations.
By utilising Workstem, manufacturing award employers can streamline their HR processes, reduce administrative burdens, and stay in compliance with Fair Work.Sign up now to get a 14-day free trial!