Understand Awards

What is an award?

In Wagemaster/WageEasy, an award refers to an employee’s employment conditions. The conditions are set according to the employee’s payment requirements.

These include:

  • Number of hours worked
  • Days worked
  • Overtime
  • Public holidays
  • Leave (annual, long service & sick)
  • Superannuation

They do not include the employees actual pay rate.

If your staff have the same number of hours/days worked, overtime, public holidays, leave (annual, long service & sick) and superannuation, they are all on the same award. If any of these conditions vary, then a separate award is required.

When hours are entered onto a timesheet for an Employee, Sage WageEasy uses the Employee’s attached award to interpret the timesheet, make the necessary calculations, which then translates into a resulting pay slip. The idea behind the awards is to remove the need for manual equations by the user, as Wagemaster/WageEasy will do all the calculations for them.

Therefore, it is important that the awards are set up and configured before attaching the employees, and that the entire Client Employee list can be accounted for with one of the corresponding awards established.

Methods to calculate awards

When an award is created, there are two ways to calculate those awards:

Standard Hours Award – this is used by most employees such as staff, rotating shift workers, day workers and casuals. This is the most common way that hours are calculated in the agricultural industry.

Block Time Award– this only applies to employment conditions that specify the start and finish times of every block of work and for which work outside of these times is considered overtime. This type only applies in special circumstances e.g. for fixed roster shift workers and so on.

Types of award

To help you understand the types of employment conditions, below are the different types of awards:


  • Permanent staff who are on an annual salary and receive the same each pay period, irrespective of hours actually worked
  • Very rarely entitled to overtime or loadings
  • Accrue annual, sick and long service leave


  • Usually attached to permanent employees who are paid an hourly rate
  • In most cases, entitled to overtime when they work over their contracted hours
  • In most cases receive an additional loading for working on a weekend
  • Are entitled to accrue annual, long service and sick leave
  • Are usually contracted to work 38 or 40 hrs per week


  • Permanent staff who work less than 38 hours per week
  • Often entitled to day loadings and overtime
  • In some cases work contracted hours and on specific days
  • Accrue annual, sick and long service leave on a pro rata basis for the hours worked only.


  • Rotational employees who tend to work various hours each pay period
  • Often paid a loading on top of their base pay rate for each hour worked
  • Not generally entitled to overtime or some leave entitlements may accrue long service leave.

Things to consider when configuring your awards

Below are a few things you need to consider when configuring your awards.




Standard working week

Normal hours vs.


How many hours make up a standard working work, i.e., 35, 38 or 40 hours?

What are the normal hours that they can work without going into overtime?

·         There are many variations on this.  For instance, a part timer may work a standard 20 hours a week. I.e. their normal amount of hours they can work without receiving overtime is 20.

·         Other people that work long hours, for instance a hotel manager, may have 45 hours



·         It may not actually be the hours that they work, that their standard hours are based on.



·         They may or may not receive overtime if they work more than their standard hours.

Day overtime

How many hours can an employee work in a day before they receive overtime?

·         This is usually for non-salaried staff (salaried staff usually do not receive overtime).



·         For example, if a full-time employee has a standard working week of 40 hours and 8 hours a day.  If they work 9 hours in one day, do they receive one hour of overtime or is the next day worked at 7 hours. Max hours in a day.

Period overtime

How many hours can an employee work in a period before they receive overtime (i.e., 38 hours in a week, 76 hours in a fortnight, etc)

·         This is an alternative way of paying overtime.  

·         This states that employees can work any hours of the day and only receive overtime if they work more than a particular amount of hours in a given period 9i.e. if an employee works more than 76 hours in a fortnight). 



·         An employee could work 3 20-hour days = 60 hours in a fortnight and still not receive overtime.  But as soon as they reach 76 hours in the period, they get overtime.

Saturday and Sunday loading 

Do employees get paid any extra for working on the weekend? Are weekend hours part of normal hours or are they considered overtime?

·         Sometime this just applies to Sundays.  For example, some retail awards don’t pay extra for Saturday. 

·         Alternatively, other awards state that all hours worked on the weekend are considered overtime.

Public holidays

What happens when employees work on a public holiday?  For instance, do they get a higher loading and/or a day in lieu?  What happens

·         Do employees have an option for public holidays?  For instance, when people work are they given two options:

·         Time and a half for hours worked and a day in lieu


When they don’t work?

·         Or Double time and a half for all hours worked.

Shift loadings

Does an employee get loadings when they work before or after a specific hour of the day, i.e., 7am or 7pm. Is there a penalty associated with working between those times?

·         This applies to specified shift.  For instance, the NSW Clerical award has a 17% loading after 6pm, then a 20% loading after 11pm.

Meal break

Are meal break penalties paid?  For instance, if they work 5 hours without a break?

·         In some awards, after 6 hours, if you don’t get a 30-minute break, you get paid double time until you get the break. (AHA)

Split shift

Is there a spread of hours penalty, where the start of a shift and the end of a shift is more than a certain amount of hours?

·         This is usually used for people like chefs, who work a breakfast or lunch shift, have break and then come back and do dinner.

Annual leave

Is annual leave based on 4/5 weeks of leave, or pro rata?

·         If you an Employee works a majority of Sundays, do they get five weeks annual leave.

Annual leave loading

Do you pay annual leave loading?

·         Is this paid on the first year?  On termination? Some employers pay salaried staff leave loading and some do not.                                                     

Sick leave

How much sick leave to employees accrues?  Do they receive their whole accrual for the year at their anniversary?

(I.e., block accrual)

·         Do they get their whole amount of accrual on their anniversary or does it accrue on a day-by-day basis?

·         Are part time employees on an hourly accrual so they get pro-rata of a full-time employee?


Next Step: Agrimaster Award Templates

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