Award Interpretation

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Award Interpretation

The Australian Government regularly seem to be introducing changes to various workplace laws including the Fair Work Act, National Employment Standards and Award Modernisation.

Many businesses today are finding it hard to keep up to date with the ever changing requirements in these legislation’s.

In addition to this, awards can be very ambiguous and can sometimes lack the specific explanation employers require.

One of the biggest changes seen in recent years is the introduction of the Fair Work Act 2009, which has seen all private sector employers covered by Modern Awards (except those in WA).

An employee’s Modern Award classification is primarily determined according to skill or competency level that they are required to exercise in the work they perform.

Employees are not classified according to the actual duties they perform.

Typically, a Level 1 in a Modern Award is the level at which employees learn & gain experience in the competencies of basic skills required by the employer.  In most cases, this would then lead to a progression through the classification structure, as their competency & skills increase.

The Modern Award classification often only provide a list of typical duties & skills, but these are for guidance only.

Tipping Points offers an Award Interpretation service, which can assist businesses through the jungle of legislation and separate the forest from the trees.

With our wealth of experience and knowledge we can offer you not just a solution, but a best practice solution as well.


Services & Solutions

An auditing Service that provides you with practical business solutions that saves you time & money.

Includes an assessment of whether your company is currently meeting workplace requirements.

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We can assist you with recruiting the most suitable person, from the ground level up.

Ensure your organisation is compliant and consistent with the way it manages it’s workforce.

We can establish your policies and procedures from scratch or review and report on your existing ones.

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Before making the right decision about a particular issue, often you need to ensure you have sufficient information.

We can conduct thorough investigations discretely so that you can be assured of making a well informed decision that won’t lead to more problems.

A happy workplace, is a productive workplace!

Let Us help you to understand your employees better, so that you can create an environment that produces results & reduces employee turn over.

Modern awards deal with the following conditions of employment

  • Minimum wages
  • Types of employment
  • Work arrangements including hours of work, rostering, notice periods, rest breaks, and variations to working hours,
  • Overtime rates
  • Penalty rates
  • Annual salary arrangements
  • Allowances
  • Leave, leave loadings and arrangements for taking leave
  • Superannuation, and
  • Procedures for consultation, representation and dispute settlement.


Contracting out of an Award can be tricky and also risky to your business.  Great care should be given when doing this & I always recommend seeking expert help & advice when doing so.

However, here are some factors that should be considered in this situation:

  • Is the employee of a high income (i.e. above the stipulated threshold?)
  • Is the employee covered by a modern award
  • Is the employee subject to an enterprise agreement – in which case the employee would become ineligible to be covered.
  • Is there a guarantee of earnings present which is effective? Strict rules apply to this.


There are many situations in which employers can find themselves, if they are not up to date and familiar with current legislation and awards.

Some of the common problems experienced include:

  • Potentially costing thousands of $$$ on mediation and court fees
  • Low performing staff
  • High employee turnover

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