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News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin August 2010
12 AUGUST 2010 With the implementation of the new award and its transitional provisions commencing on 1 July 2010 the ADA HR service has been inundated with enquiries from members with relation to the new award and how it will affect their businesses. Set out below is a list of the most commonly asked questions we have been receiving and we hope this will assist in alleviating many members' concerns. For any further information please contact us directly and we will be able to assist you further. Please note: These provisions do not have to be implemented if your practice is already paying above the new transitional wage rate. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Q. My business operates as an unincorporated entity such as a sole trader or partnership. Does the new award apply to me? A. The new award will only apply to unincorporated businesses in Victoria, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. If your business is located in NSW, SA, QLD, WA or TAS then the new award and its transitional wages won't apply to you at this stage. Q. Previously the ADA HR Advisory Service has provided me with a simple sheet which outlines the relevant wages for my employees. Why is the HR Advisory Service no longer providing this information? A. The ADA HR Advisory Service is able to provide ADA members with wage summaries for both pre-modern award and the new modern award -- that is, the Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2010. Unfortunately, the ADA HR Advisory Service cannot create transitional wage summaries for members. The reason for this is that the transitional provisions within the modern award are complex. The effect of this is that the transitional wages for this industry cannot be calculated on a generic basis. Instead these wages must be calculated on a case by case basis having regard to the specific classifications under both the previous award and the modern award for each individual employee. To assist members in undertaking these calculations we have developed a transitional wage calculator which can be accessed on the ADA website or by emailing or calling the HR Advisory Service. To use this calculator all you need to do is input the employee's old award wage and the new award wage under the Health Professionals and Support Services Award and the calculator will then work out the transitional rate for you. The calculator will work provided you are running Microsoft Excel spreadsheet program on your computer. Q. When I use the calculator the new transitional wage amount is still lower than what I am currently paying. Do I need to make any changes? A. As long as the figure you are paying is still higher than the new transitional amount, you are not obligated to increase your wages any further. Q. I find the whole calculator too time consuming and confusing. What are my options? A. We understand the considerable confusion the new wages' regime is creating. However, this is the correct way of working out wages for the next five years if you are covered by the new award. As explained above, if the transitional amount is lower than what you are presently paying then you don't need to make any changes to your employees' current hourly rates. If the new wages are higher than your current rates the only options are to either use the calculator to calculate the transitional wage or alternatively if you find the process too time consuming to implement the full new award rate, increase to the new rate without gradually transitioning to the new amount. Q. How do I determine what award classification is relevant for my employee? A. To determine which award classification is relevant for your employee(s), you should carefully read through the classification definitions contained within both the pre-modern award and the new Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2010. For your convenience, these definitions have been included as part of the wage summaries - see ADA website. A classification will apply to an employee if it clearly covers their occupation, skills, competency and level of responsibility. In some cases the classification definition will contain a list of indicative tasks which employees at that level are expected to perform. However, in classifying your employees, we recommend that you consider the task list in conjunction with the required skills, competencies or responsibilities within the relevant classification. When considering which classification is the most appropriate for an employee we recommend employers review or analyse the particular employee's job description. You may also wish to consider the following: • primary purpose of the employee's position; • employee's required level of supervision; • expected level of skill or competency of the employee; • whether the employee will be required to supervise other staff; and • employee's qualifications, experience or knowledge. NEW AWARD transitional provisions update
ADA News Bulletin September 2010