Wages are usually one of the biggest costs a business has. At the same time, they are the thing nearest and dearest to an employee’s heart. This means it is vital to get wage rates right, along with all the legal conditions attached to paying wages
The Right Pay
Setting the right wage is a balance between meeting legal minimum requirements, paying enough to attract and keep employees. However, there is always a fine line to ensure you’re not paying too much that the profitability of your business is negatively impacted.
Minimum Wages & Allowances:
There are legally enforceable minimum wages and allowances for many jobs. These are found in awards issued by the Fair Work Commission. Awards apply to certain industries and occupations.
The most common awards in the road transport industry are:
- Road Transport & Distribution Award 2010
- Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award 2010
- Clerks Private Sector Award 2010
- Vehicle Manufacturing, Repair, Services and Retail Award 2010
- Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2010
- Passenger Vehicle Transportation Award 2010
- Transport (Cash in Transit) Award 2010
In addition, many companies have an enterprise agreement negotiated with employees specifically for their business. Awards and enterprise agreements can be found on the Fair Work Commission website.
An employer can be fined for paying less than an award. Payment of above award rates are common but employers still need to make sure they comply with other award requirements such as overtime and weekend penalty rates. Assuming an over-award payment automatically buys out other award entitlements can be dangerous if you’re unsure always contact us to check.
Actual Pay Rates:
What other businesses are paying their employees can be hard to find unless you know they pay award rates or have an enterprise agreement. Some industries have remuneration surveys conducted. The Australian Bureau of Statistics also has information about average earnings in various industries, including road transport.
There are a variety of obligations for employers when it comes to how and when your employees are paid. There are also obligations around the records that you need to keep. These obligations are found in the Fair Work Act 2009 and applicable awards and enterprise agreements.
- Payment to be in full (less any authorised deductions) and in money
- Deductions must be agreed in writing by the employee and should only be for the benefit of the employee
- Wages are to be paid at least monthly (although Awards and enterprise agreements often have weekly or fortnightly pay periods)
- Records of pay must be kept for seven years
- An employee must be given a payslip for each pay period that contains certain details
NatRoad is here to help get your wages rights. For more information view the resources below or contact us.