With special thanks to our Australian colleagues Michael Michalandos and Carmel Foley for this post. 

This briefing contains a summary of everything an employer in Australian needs to know about the operation of the award system.

Why this is important?

We have prepared this briefing because there has been a high incidence of employers in the information technology industry failing to have regard to the application of modern awards in their workforce or misunderstanding how these awards operate. In particular, many employers have issued employment contracts which do not identify the applicable award and do not contain provisions which comply with the award.

This may result in a potentially serious compliance issue which could cost the business a significant amount of money in terms of back-payments, penalties, and potential reputational damage.


What is an award?

Modern awards (or, simply, “awards”) are industrial instruments created by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) that set and regulate minimum terms and conditions of employment for certain employees in Australia. Currently, there are 122 awards and almost all businesses in Australia will employ award-covered employees. Awards operate in a similar way to legislation and their application can only be circumvented in very limited circumstances.

Who do awards cover?

Awards generally fall into one of two categories: “industry awards” or “occupational awards.” Some awards apply on both an industry and occupational basis, for example the Professional Employees Award 2010 (Professional Employees Award) which, for example, covers engineers on an occupational basis but also covers employers operating in the “information technology industry” (as defined) on an industry basis.


Continue Reading A Quick & Timely Guide to the Australian Award System

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a rapid, severe, and unprecedented disruption to the movement of workers around the globe. In an effort to impede the spread, many governments have implemented travel and immigration restrictions that have impacted visa processing, work authorization, and cross-border entry for foreign nationals employed by multinational companies.

In order to allow

In 2020, trade tensions, uncertainties over Brexit, significant changes in the political landscape and unexpected global events, such as the Coronavirus outbreak, continue to present challenges for the global employer. Meanwhile, the relentless advance of technology is accelerating workplace transformation, creating an opportunity for employee growth and diversification across industries.

To help navigate the global

(With thanks to Michael Michalandos and our Asia Pacific Employment and Compensation team for this post.)

The recent outbreak of COVID-19 (the Coronavirus) raises challenging issues for employers, particularly those that operate in multiple locations, provide a variety of services, and employ a global workforce which travels routinely. Now is the time for employers to

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In the Global Employer Magazine: 2019 Horizon Scanner we review the key themes and trends that dominated the employment law landscape in 2018, and explore the global trends and issues employers need to know about in 2019.

Listen in! We just released three new episodes of The Employer Report podcast series. Each 15-20 minute episode offers on-the-go learning opportunities to navigate the latest developments impacting multinational employers.

  • 2019 Employment Law Changes in China, Australia and Singapore
  • 2019 Employment Law Changes in France, Germany and the UK
  • 2019 Employment Law Changes in Mexico

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