NSW Business Chamber calls for ‘Micro Business Schedule’

Published 26 April 2015

The NSW Business Chamber has sought for the Fair Work Commission to vary a number of modern awards by the insertion of a ‘Micro Business Schedule’ which would apply to businesses employing fewer than 5 people.

As part of the award modernisation process, the NSW Business Chamber has formally applied for the Fair Work Commission to insert a ‘Micro Business Schedule’ into 93 out of 123 modern awards.   The schedule would apply to more than 500,000 small businesses in Australia that employ fewer than 5 people and would permit employers to elect whether to apply the schedule by giving 14 days’ notice to its employees.

Stephen Cartwright, NSW Business Chamber Chief Executive said:

“Small business owners want to focus their time and energy on growing their business and employing more of their fellow Australians; however many lack confidence in the current modern awards and have difficulty understanding the overly complex language and what it means for their business.

“We are proposing a simplified, user-friendly set of minimum ‘rules’ for micro businesses that retains the basic features and entitlements of modern awards, but removes the unnecessarily complicated and prescriptive rules that have little or no relevance to micro employers.”

The schedule would provide that:

  • Employees are to work a maximum of six days per week and not more than 20 days in any 28 day period;
  • Employees are not to work more than 10 hours per day except for agreement in which case the maximum is 12 hours per day;
  • Employees are not required to work for more than 5 hours without an unpaid break;
  • Employees will be paid at 150% for the first 3 hours of overtime and 200% for every hour thereafter;
  • Part time employees who agree to work extra hours will not be paid overtime until they work more than 38 hours per week.

As part of the 4 yearly review of modern awards, the Fair Work Commission is currently reviewing all awards and is due to implement any changes later this year.

The content of this publication is general in nature and provides a summary of the issues covered. It is not intended to be, nor should it be relied upon, as legal or professional advice for specific employment situations. PCC Employment Lawyers recommend that specialist legal advice should be sought about specific legal issues.