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Overview Of Award Setup / Configuration

This article serves as an overview of awards functionality in Wagemaster.

In Wagemaster setup, awards refer to an employee’s employment category or payment conditions, e.g. Full-time, Part-time, Casual or Salary.

Even if you pay under enterprise or workplace agreements, within Wagemaster, all employees must be attached to an award. The various screens of the award are configured to encompass the employee’s working conditions and entitlements.

When hours are entered into a timesheet for an employee, Wagemaster uses the employee’s attached award to interpret the timesheet, make the necessary calculations, which then translates into a resulting payslip.

The idea behind the awards is to remove the need for manual equations by the user, as Wagemaster will do all the calculation.

Therefore, it is important that the awards are setup and configured before attaching the employees.

Different Types Of Awards

Salary

• Permanent staff that 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.

Full-Time

• 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.

Part-Time

• Permanent staff who work less than 38 hours per week.
• Often entitled today 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.

Casual

• 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, depending on the day of the week.
• Could be entitled to overtime or some leave entitlements may accrue, i.e. long service leave.

Block And Standard Awards

There are two types of award structures that can be setup.
A Block Time Award references an agreement that specifies the start and finish times of work as well as the maximum number of normal hours with a spread of hours (the start and finish times). Normally times worked outside these boundaries and if the normal hours are exceeded, overtime will be paid. This award type is normally defined by fixed rostered or shift hour workers.

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When configuring an award, it is important to understand what is classified as a normal working day and what may be classified as an RDO.

The Rostered Day Off (RDO) function used within Wagemaster, is predominantly considered as days during the employee’s working week where they are not scheduled to work. Each day of the week is considered to be either a Workday or an RDO. Therefore, every day that is not an RDO, is considered to be a workday. As an example, this would mean for normal office workers, that Saturdays and Sundays would be their RDOs.

This does not imply that any special payments must be made for work on an RDO, although they can be if required.

In Wagemaster it is also necessary to distinguish between a base pay rate and a normal pay rate for various days. In the Award > Loadings > Day: allows the user to set loading percentages where there may be normal pay rates set for weekdays, weekends, public holidays, and RDO's. These normal rates may take the shape of percentages calculated from and added to the base pay rate.

Once again, it is important to understand that there could be multiple employees attached to each of the awards. Making one change within a screen of the award will then affect all the employees attached to it. It is also important to recognize, that within Wagemaster, awards and base rates are two separate items but they operate in conjunction with each other.

The base rate of an employee will be used as the reference for the hourly rate within Wagemaster each time the employee requires a payment. It is the award that they are attached to which will use this base rate, interpret the times and payments being allocated, and then assess if any loadings or entitlements are required to be calculated on top of or added to this base rate. For instance, you could have two employees, whose contracts are identical for the conditions of employment and the entitlements they are to receive. They could however have different annual salary amounts. If this is the case, I would expect both to be attached to the same award, but each employee to have a different base pay rate.

What’s In Each Award

In Wagemaster, all employees, regardless of their employment category i.e. casual, part-time, full-time or salary need to be attached to an award. As stated an award controls an employee’s payment conditions and items covered in the Fair Work Act such as normal working hours, overtime conditions, shift penalties, Public Holiday conditions, leave accruals and employer superannuation obligations.
Awards can either be imported with an Association pdl, Copy And Edit An Existing Award or manually created by selecting Add.
Brief Overview: Navigate to Setup > Awards > Select an Award and Edit.

  1. General > General displays the name of the award, which will also be displayed on the employee’s payslip. This can be changed by selecting the Change button.2.png
  2. Employees provide a list of employees attached to the relevant award.3.png
  3. Normal > Normal Times establishes normal times in a day that can be worked before overtime starts, minimum hours in a day, period overtime. There is also Public Holiday conditions and RDO penalties conditions.                                           4.png
  4. Loadings: Loadings per day, overtime conditions and shift loadings, shift Break, meal break, split shift, and miscellaneous loadings are setup here.5.png
  5. Leave: Accrual and entitlement conditions in regard to annual, sick, long service leave, accrued days off and leave loading. Leave Types can be added here.6.png
  6. Payments: Superannuation, Workcover conditions, termination notice & severance payments.
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  7. Scripts cater for situations, whereby a custom program instruction is created in order to make additional payment calculations for employees that cannot be catered for in other areas of the award or program.8.png

The below table provides examples of what questions need to be addressed prior to setting up or checking awards.

 

Questions

 

Examples

Standard working week

Normal hours vs.

Overtime

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. the 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 (i.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?

 

  • Sometimes 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 When they don’t work?

 

  • 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 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., 7 am or 7 pm. Is there a penalty associated with working between those times?

 

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

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 a break and then come back and do dinner.

Annual leave

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

 

  • If your 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 in the first year?  On termination? Some employers pay salaried staff leave loading and some do not. 

                                                      

Sick leave

How much sick leave does employees accrue?  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?
 

 

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