On 17 August, 2017, the Fair Work Commission made its determination in respect of the 4 yearly review of the Pharmacy Industry Award 2010. The determination comes into operation from 11 September 2017 and takes effect at the start of the full pay period that starts on or oafter 11 September 2017.

The key amendments to the Award are as follows:

  • Employment of school students – The minimum employment period for a full-time secondary school student will be two hours (reduced from three hours) provided the student employee is engaged to work between 3.00pm and 6.30pm on school days, agrees to work the reduced period and there is at least one employee classified at Level 3 or higher engaged over the same work period to supervise the student. This amendment applies to both part time and casual student employees.
  • Payment of junior wages – The junior wage rates set out in the Award now apply only to Level 1 and 2 Pharmacy Assistants. Any junior employee classified as Level 3 or 4 Pharmacy Assistant will now be entitled to receive the adult rate of pay.
  • Payment of overtime – The provisions regarding payment of overtime have been amended to remove previous ambiguities and to make clear that an employer must pay an employee for all overtime worked in accordance with the rates set out in the Award.
  • Payment of annualised salary – The provisions regarding payment of annualised salary have been tidied up so make the criteria for such an agreement clearer and easier to understand. An additional requirement has been imposed whereby the employer must give a copy of the annualised salary agreement to the employee. Previously, the requirement with respect to copies of the agreement was only for the employer to retain a cop.

Given the amendments to the Award, we recommend that all pharmacy owners:

  • Review their rosters to identify opportunities to change the rosters for employment of school students and if changes are made, ensure that the consent of the student, or the student’s parent or guardian, is obtained.
  • Review their employee classifications and pay rates to ensure they comply with the new junior wage rates from 11 September 2017.
  • Review rosters and overtime payments to ensure they comply with the overtime provisions in the Award.

Need more information? Should you require any further information, please contact us on (07) 3370 0200.