Changes to the Professional Employees Award 2020 come into effect on 16 September 2023.
This Award covers a wide range of employees who work in information technology, medical research, quality auditing, engineering and telecommunications.
Arising from a Full Bench decision on 22 April 2020 as part of the four-yearly review of modern awards, in January 2023, the Fair Work Commission decided of its own motion to address hours and overtime, and Award coverage. Variations were proposed in the Commission’s 16 March 2023 decision.
Hours and overtime – summary of changes
The Full Bench decision in Zheng v Poten & Partners identified an issue with the “principal purpose” test for determining Award coverage and the classifications in Schedule A of the Award. The Commission found the test was “singularly ill-suited” to determine the application of those classifications, causing uncertainty and excessive litigation about the coverage of the Award.
Schedule A will therefore be modified to clarify coverage:
“An employee performing professional engineering duties, professional scientific duties, professional information technology duties or quality auditing must be classified in one of the following classifications, provided that the employee is not employed in a wholly or principally managerial position.”
Notes for employers
If you require legal advice or assistance, please contact our Harmers team by phone: +61 2 9267 4322.
© Copyright Harmers Workplace Lawyers 2023. All rights reserved. No part of this alert may be reproduced, in whole or in part, by any means whatsoever, without the prior written consent of Harmers Workplace Lawyers.
Disclaimer: This news alert provides a summary only of the subject matter covered without the assumption of a duty of care by the firm. No person should rely on the contents as a substitute for legal or other professional advice.