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Clerks Private Sector Award Rates: Complete Guide 2022

4 min read ·  

Updated 1st of July 2022 to include the latest Clerks Private Sector Award rates. These rates come into effect on the first full pay run after July 1. 

Back in the day, a clerk was a person employed in an office or bank to keep records and accounts. These days they’re typically called something else, like a receptionist, or administrative assistant. Almost all businesses need administrative staff, and the Clerks Private Sector Award MA000002 covers hundreds of thousands of employees.

About the Clerks Private Sector Award

The Clerks Private Sector Award MA000002 is a comprehensive set of pay rules for employees in the sector. It gives the minimum pay and entitlements for workers in the sector. This includes penalty rates, allowances, overtime and other entitlements. Businesses need to follow these pay rates, although it is possible to pay more than the Award should you choose.

The most common jobs covered by the Award are administrative assistants, receptionists, bookkeepers, and clerical employees. However, many other jobs are covered by the Award. Clerical work includes things like filing and photocopying, typing and word processing, answering calls, and other administrative tasks. If you have any doubt you should look at Fair Work’s Award coverage. 

One key exemption from the act is professional accountants. A properly qualified Chartered Accountant isn’t covered by the Award. This does not include a TAFE qualification or an Accounting major in a university degree.

Another exemption is public sector employees. Anyone employed by a state or federal government isn’t covered by the Clerks Private Sector Award, which is for private-sector employees only. Government employees negotiate their pay in separate deals.

Limitations of The Award System

The Award system prioritises fairness and due process for employees. Most Australians agree that the ‘fair go’ should be the backbone of the workplace system, but this can make things complicated. There are 122 Modern Awards under Australia’s industrial relations framework, and each award has been 180-200 rules. This means that keeping track of entitlements and pay can be a mess.

It also means it’s easy to make errors. Incorrectly classifying an employee will almost always result in them being paid incorrectly. This often leads to underpayment, which carries major fines from Fair Work. Award pay rates are also updated regularly. Failing to keep pace will see employees paid the incorrect rate. The problem is that many businesses employ people under a number of different awards. These different instruments change pay rates at different times, often causing chaos.

General Clerks Private Sector Award Pay Rates

Below are the minimum general clerk award pay rates for 2022 for the various levels of employment. The current rule set came into effect on the 1st of July 2022. 

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$12.75

$15.30

$22.95

$28.05

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$10.20

$12.75

$20.40

$25.50

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$14.16

$17.00

$25.49

$31.16

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$11.33

$14.16

$22.66

$28.33

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$17.00

$20.40

$30.60

$37.40

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$13.60

$17.00

$27.20

$34.00

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$19.84

$23.81

$35.71

$43.64

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$15.87

$19.84

$31.74

$39.68

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$22.66

$27.20

$40.79

$49.86

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$18.13

$22.66

$36.26

$45.33

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$25.50

$30.60

$45.90

$56.10

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$20.40

$25.50

$40.80

$51.00

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$22.67

$28.34

$45.34

$56.68

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$28.34

$34.01

$51.01

$62.34

Keeping compliant with Fair Work legislation

We mentioned earlier that Awards constantly change and have hundreds of rules. This can make compliance pretty messy and time-consuming. In the past, businesses used Fair Work’s calculator to manually look up entitlements for each employee, before entering the rates into their payroll system. For many businesses, this is too complicated.

To simplify the issue, many businesses are using automatic award interpretation software. Automatic software will have Award interpretation built into the system. Employees use a unique code to clock in and out of work, allowing the system to calculate their exact working hours. Businesses then select which award covers the employee, their position, and the software can calculate their pay.

Award interpretation takes away many of the complicated, error-prone payroll calculations. For example, Tanda manages a large number of Awards, including the Clerks Private Sector Award. Tanda has built-in rates that sync with payroll, update on staff birthdays, and are updated when Fair Work reviews them. This allows you to focus on what they should be doing, getting away from nitty-gritty compliance and running the business.

It’s also important to ensure your rosters are compliant with the law and optimise your business performance. Tanda’s rostering experts have written a guide that outlines best-practice rostering so you can stay compliant.

Classifying employees under the Clerks Private Sector Award

Incorrectly classifying employees is one of the quickest ways to pay them the wrong hourly rate. For a complete guide on classifying staff, you should look at Fair Work’s advice. However, for a basic outline, read on:

FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES

  • Usually works, on average, 38 hours each week.
  • Can be a permanent employee or on a fixed-term contract.

PART-TIME EMPLOYEES

  • On average work less than 38 hours per week.
  • Commonly work regular hours each week.
  • Can be a permanent employee or on a fixed-term contract.

CASUAL EMPLOYEES

  • Are employed knowing there is no firm advance commitment of ongoing work

Casual conversion

If a casual employee works consistent hours and has been at the company for at least a year, they could be eligible to become permanent. Recent changes to Australian Law give employees the right to request casual conversion in some circumstances. The process is quite complicated, and for a full guide, you should look at Tanda’s breakdown of the issue.

The Clerks Private Sector Award includes casual conversion and you should take this into account when designing your roster. If someone becomes a permanent (part-time or full-time) employee, they get entitlements. This includes things like annual leave and personal leave, which could have an effect on the business. Check out Tanda’s full guide to Casual Conversion here.

Penalties and allowances

Employees are given penalties and allowances for certain types of work in Australia’s workplace system. Two of the most common of these are penalty rates and overtime. These are two quite different entitlements. Penalty rates give a worker extra pay for working at inconvenient times, like on weekends or late at night. Overtime is extra pay for working longer than rostered, like working ten hours instead of eight.

Clerks are also given allowances under the Award. These include allowances for First-Aid, Higher Duties, Clothing and Footwear, meals, and other typical allowances. 

Leave entitlements

The Clerks Private Sector Award has the same leave arrangements as the vast majority of Australian Awards. These are dictated by the National Employment Standards. Typically, it means that part-time and full-time employees receive annual leave. Casual workers are not entitled to leave, but receive an extra 25% pay per hour in return.

FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES

  • Are entitled to paid leave including annual leave and sick & carer’s leave.

PART-TIME EMPLOYEES

  • Are entitled to paid leave including annual leave and sick & carer’s leave.

CASUAL EMPLOYEES

  • Are not entitled to paid leave including annual leave and sick & carer’s leave.
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