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What is a modern award?

Most Australian workers 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 things like:

  • rates of pay
  • penalty rates
  • overtime
  • rosters and hours of work

Pay slips and record keeping

Workplace laws also require small and large businesses to keep accurate records of the hours their employees work and how much they are paid.

As an employer, you must provide payslips to your employees within one working day of pay day, detailing a list of information including hours worked, hourly rate, superannuation withheld and any loadings.


As an employer, you need to be familiar with the details of the modern award/s that your employees work under, so you don’t contravene a term of the award.

Failing to pay correct wages and entitlements to your employees, or failing to keep accurate records, are contraventions of modern awards, and the penalties have the potential to bankrupt your business.

Individuals can be penalised up to $12,600 for each contravention, and your company could be penalised up to $63,000 for each contravention.

For serious contraventions, where you deliberately knew that you were breaking workplace laws, the penalties are even higher – up to $126,000 for individuals per contravention, and $630,000 for companies.

How we can help

If you are having trouble understanding the terms and conditions set out in the modern award/s that apply to your employees, we can help.

Our specialist team of analysts at Employwise can explain the complex detail of the award, and ensure that you are not contravening workplace laws by paying correct wages and entitlements.

If you are worried about modern award contraventions, we can help.

Please call our specialist team at Employwise today on

1800 00 WISE (1800 00 9473)

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