Release type: Media Release


AIRC Award Modernisation Request

Following the passage of the Government’s Transition to Forward with Fairness Act 2008, the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations has issued an award modernisation request to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.

This request asks the Commission to begin the important job of creating new modern awards. The request was developed in consultation with members of the National Workplace Relations Consultative Council.

The Government understands that modernising and simplifying our award system is a huge job, but it is a job that needs doing to ensure this nation moves forward with fairness.

Together with the 10 National Employment Standards, modern awards will ensure a fair and simple minimum safety net for all employees when the Government’s new workplace relations system commences full operation in January 2010.

Modern awards will:

  • be able to build on the 10 National Employment Standards with industry-specific detail;
  • protect a further 10 important conditions for employees such as minimum wages, penalty rates, overtime and allowances;
  • promote flexible modern work practices and the efficient and productive performance of work; and
  • be simple to understand and easy to apply and reduce the regulatory burden on business.

The Commission will develop modern awards in consultation with key stakeholders including unions and employer groups.

In addition there will be open and transparent consultation on exposure drafts of modern awards so members of the public can have their say.

The Commission is to complete the award modernisation process by 31 December 2009.