Miscellaneous Award Rates: Complete Guide 2022 – Tanda

5 min read ·  

The Miscellaneous Award is notoriously confusing because it’s unclear who it covers. As a general rule, the Miscellaneous Award is designed to protect workers who don’t have specific classifications under many Awards. It focuses on trades, but it’s not a catch-all document for anyone not covered by a traditional award. Understanding the Award is crucial to pay your staff correctly.

About the Miscellaneous Award

The Australian Government created Modern Awards to set pay rates for different industries. The idea is to balance good wages for workers with the need for businesses to be profitable. Award Wages are set every year by the Fair Work Commission, Australia’s industrial umpire.

The Miscellaneous Award covers people from a variety of different industries. Previously it only covered a set number of employees who were not covered by an Award. However,  recent changes mean it now covers employees who work in an industry with an award but don’t have a classification. Confused? Let us explain.

Previously the Building and Construction Award didn’t have a classification for security guards. This meant that security guards on building sites were not covered by any Award at all. The same situation applied in many industries. The changes bring security guards under the Miscellaneous Award, along with jobs in other sectors.

Limitations of The Award System

There are 122 Modern Awards that contain hundreds of different rules. Many businesses employ workers covered by many different awards, which makes keeping track of pay rates and entitlements a complete mess. It’s easy to misclassify an employee under the wrong Award or give them the wrong entitlements, exposing you to underpayment risks.

This raises the question: why is the Award system so complicated? The answer is that the Australian workplace system prioritises a fair go for every employee in a different industry. Pay rates are set to different levels in each sector so that workers get a fair day’s pay.  Simplifying the system could see some workers worse off, so it’s unlikely to change anytime soon.

General Miscellaneous Award Pay Rates

Below are the minimum Miscellaenous Award pay rates for 2021 for the various levels of employment. The current rule set came into effect on the 1st of September 2021. 

LevelHourly PaySaturdaySundayPublic Holiday
Level 1$7.48$8.98$11.22$18.70
Level Hourly Pay Saturday Sunday Public Holiday
Level 1 $9.35 $10.85 $13.09 $18.70
LevelHourly PaySaturdaySundayPublic Holiday
Level 1$9.62$11.54$14.43$24.05
LevelHourly PaySaturdaySundayPublic Holiday
Level 1$12.03$13.95$16.84$24.05

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$11.75

$14.10

$17.63

$29.38

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$14.69

$17.04

$20.56

$29.38

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$17.36

$20.14

$24.31

$34.73

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$13.89

$16.67

$20.84

$34.73

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$20.96

$24.32

$29.35

$41.93

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$16.77

$20.12

$25.16

$41.93

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$24.83

$28.80

$34.76

$49.65

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$19.86

$23.83

$29.79

$49.65

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$20.33

$24.40

$30.50

$50.83

Level

Hourly Pay

Saturday

Sunday

Public Holiday

Level 1

$25.41

$29.48

$35.58

$50.83

Keeping compliant with Fair Work legislation

We mentioned that the award system is messy and hard to keep track of. This is a big risk for your business. If a workers entitlements change and you don’t keep up, you’ll underpay them, exposing yourself to large fines – as well as backpay. In the past, businesses used Fair Work’s calculator to check the latest rates. This process is time-consuming, and Modern Workforce Management Systems can simplify it.

Tanda has built in Award interpretation, and our Awards are updated in tandem with Fair Work rulings. Employees can use a unique code to clock in and out of work, allowing their exact hours to be recorded. This gives businesses the confidence that workers are being paid the correct amount for their time and attendance.

Running a digital Workforce Management System also removes complicated and manual calculations. This removes the possibility of human error. Tanda can also keep track of records for the required seven years, allowing easy access when Fair Work audits your business. Ultimately it means you can spend more time doing what you should be doing – running the business – not managing piles of paperwork.

Classifying employees under the Miscellaneous Award

For a complete guide on classifying staff, you should look at Fair Work’s advice. But, for a basic run down of the different positions employees can have, see below:

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 with the understanding that there is no firm advance commitment to ongoing work with an agreed pattern of work.

Casual conversion

Following campaigning by unions, Australian Law now includes provisions for some casuals to become full-time or part-time. As a basic rule, casuals can become eligible if they’ve been working with the business for a year and have worked consistent hours for six months during that time. However, there are many nuances and exceptions. For a complete guide, you should look at Tanda’s breakdown of casual conversion.

The Miscellaneous Award includes casual conversion, and you should take this into account. When an employee becomes permanent, they become entitled to sick leave and annual leave, but they are also paid 25% less per hour. Different arrangements will suit different businesses, but you should be aware of casual conversion.

Penalties and allowances

The Miscellaneous Award contains typical penalties and allowances. Penalty rates are when employees have to work at unsociable times, like weekends or late at night. Typically they will see an employee paid between 150 – 250% of their standard hourly wage, but you should check individual circumstances.

By comparison, overtime is when an employee simply works longer than they’re scheduled to. They’ll earn a higher hourly wage for the extra time they work, but it’s different from a penalty rate.

The Miscellaneous Award covers many other entitlements, including things like tools, uniforms, and meals. You should check the specifics of the Award to see when these circumstances occur.

Leave entitlements

The Miscellaneous 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.

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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