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Most workers in Australia are covered by a modern award, which sets out the minimum terms and conditions of their employment in a particular industry.

The sorts of terms and conditions set out in modern awards include pay rates, penalty rates, overtime, rosters, and hours of work.

The Fair Work Act 2009 states that as an employer or senior contractor, you cannot contravene a term of a modern award.

If you don’t pay the correct wages and penalty rates, or entitlements as set out in an award, you are in contravention of workplace laws, and could face fines of up to $12,600 as an individual for each contravention, and your company could be penalised up to $63,000 for each contravention.

As an employer, you can also be made to to pay back what you owe to your employees, plus interest, and you may even be ordered to pay compensation.

There are even higher penalties for serious contraventions, like repeat offending, or for those who knowingly don’t abide by the conditions set out in a modern award.

If you are unsure of your obligations or are facing claims of contravening a modern award, there is help available by speaking to our expert team at Employer Advisors who can assist you through the process.

We are open from 8:00am to 6:00pm (Queensland time) Monday to Friday, but will make appointments after hours as well by arrangement.

Please call Employer Advisors on

1300 853 837


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