Awards and wages
An award is a legal document that sets out the terms and conditions of employment for a specific industry or job. They define things like minimum wages, overtime, penalty rates and allowances.
National Employment Standards
The National Employment Standards (the standards) set out 10 minimum working standards for employees, including:
- a 38 hour week (plus reasonable additional hours)
- 4 weeks paid leave a year
- the right to ask for flexible working arrangements.
The conditions in awards (or enterprise agreements) have to be the same or better than those defined in the standards. (Enterprise agreements include specific conditions for one workplace. Modern awards set out minimum conditions for a whole industry or type of job.)
Read fact sheets about the standards explaining how they apply.
Modern awards cover most workplaces and set out minimum conditions for employees and employers who work in the same industry or occupation.
In Queensland, employees of local government, the state public sector, and a number of statutory authorities remain under the state industrial relations system.
Find your award
There are over 100 awards covering various occupations and industries in Australia. To find the modern award covering your job:
You can also view details and a full list of all modern awards (that started on 1 January 2010) through the:
What if I don't have an award?
Employees who do not have an award often have an enterprise agreement or employment contract instead.
Most wages in Queensland are controlled by modern awards, and will vary from job to job.
Rates of pay
There are various ways to find the right pay rate for a job, including:
The national minimum wage sets out the lowest rate of pay for employees not covered by awards or agreements.
Additional pay entitlements
Under modern awards, employees may be eligible for extra pay through penalty rates, overtime or allowances.
Your employer must give you a pay slip each time you are paid.