Update on Changes to the Professional Employees Award 2020: Preparing for September 2023
On 16 March 2023, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) issued its final determination and confirmed variations to the Professional Employees Award (PE Award).
As expected, the FWC has implemented the changes it originally proposed (and which we covered here) with very little variation made to its proposal. Below, we outline the key changes.
The FWC has broadened the coverage of the PE Award. Schedule A to the PE Award now expressly states that unless an employee's role is wholly or principally managerial, they will be covered by the PE Award provided they perform professional engineering duties, professional scientific duties, professional information technology duties, or quality auditing. This came into operation on 23 March 2023.
Hours of work
From 16 September 2023:
- ordinary hours of work are 38 hours per week;
- an employer and employee may agree that the employee's ordinary hours of work will be averaged over a period of up to 13 weeks; and
- an employer may request or require full-time employees to work overtime, more than 38 hours per week, provided those hours are reasonable.
From 16 September 2023:
- employers and employees may agree to time off work in lieu of payment of overtime, which must be subject to a separate agreement and must be kept as an employee record;
- an employee who performs remote work outside of ordinary hours of work, must keep, and provide to their employer, within a reasonable time after performing the work, a detailed time sheet or other record or their working hours;
- a penalty rate of 125% of the minimum hourly rate will apply to hours worked before 6am or after 10pm, Monday and Saturday; and
- a penalty rate of 150% of the minimum hourly rate will apply to hours worked on a Sunday or a public holiday.
Importantly, if an employer contractually agrees to pay an employee an annual salary which is 25% or more than the minimum annual wage for the employee's relevant classification, these overtime entitlements, as well as record keeping obligations, will not apply.
It is important that employers re-visit modern award coverage across their workforce to identify any employees covered by the PE Award, particularly employees who may not have previously been covered. Employers should also be reviewing their processes and remuneration arrangements to prepare for compliance with these new provisions from September 2023.
Our team has extensive technology sector expertise and experience in managing transitions to compliance with new modern award requirements. Please reach out to our team to discuss how we can best assist you.