Clerks Private Sector Award 2020

Clerks Private Sector Award 2020

Clerks Private Sector Award 2020

The Clerks Award 2020 is the pre-eminent Federal Award covering private sector employees engaged in clerical work. It is worth reviewing clause 4.4 of the Award to identify the wide range of awards that are separate from the clerical award including banking and finance, Contract Call centres etc.

The Clerical Award has five classification levels based on the employee’s qualifications, skills and experience as detailed in Schedule A. Employees engaged at Levels 1 and 2 receive incremental advances after the completion of 12 months of employment.

Under the Clerks Award, employees must be classified as either full-time, part-time or as casual.  Full-time employees are engaged to work 38 ordinary hours per week or engaged to work a number of hours that the employer regards as full-time (e.g 36 hours). The hours can be averaged over a four-week period or over an agreed roster period.

Part-time employees work an average of less than 38 hours per week (or less than 36 hours if that represents the employer’s full-time arrangements). When starting employment, the employer and the part-time employee must agree in writing on the number of hours to be worked per day, the days of the week the employee will work, and the start and finish times for each day. There is a minimum three-hour engagement for each shift.

Casual employees can work up to 38 ordinary hours per week. Casual employees receive an additional 25% casual loading and must be paid a minimum 3-hour engagement per shift.

The ordinary 38 hours per week are to be worked between 7 am and 7 pm Monday to Friday or between 7 am and 12:30 pm on Saturday (with applicable penalty loadings for weekend work). The ordinary hours can be moved backwards or forwards by up to one hour, by agreement with the majority of employees. The maximum ordinary hours that can be scheduled in a single day is 10.

A roster can include a Rostered Day Off (RDO), and by agreement, up to 5 RDOs, may be banked.

Any employee under the award who works more than 3 hours and up to eight hours is entitled to a paid smoko break of 10 minutes, and if required to work more than 5 consecutive hours, is entitled to an unpaid meal break with a minimum 30 minutes up to a maximum 60 minutes. Meal breaks are also prescribed when employees work overtime during Monday to Friday or after working 4 hours on a Saturday, Sunday or a Public Holiday.

The Clerks Award contains several common allowances, including first aid, higher duties, payment for meals during overtime, and reimbursement for the usage of their own vehicle.

The Clerks Award has prescribed penalty rates where employees are required to work overtime beyond their usual finishing time, outside their ordinary working hours, or on an RDO that is not substituted or banked. Part-time employees are entitled to overtime for any hours required to be worked in excess of their roster.

Penalty rates under the Award can be summarised as 150% (first 2 hours Monday to Saturday) and then 200% for additional hours worked. On Saturdays, employees receive 200% for the third and any subsequent hours, with a minimum engagement of three hours).

On Sundays, all employees receive 200% with a minimum payment of four hours.

On Public holidays, all employees receive 250% with a minimum engagement of four hours.

Workforce Advisory Lawyers offers a service at competitive rates where we undertake a thorough audit of your employment records to ensure all employees are correctly classified, receiving the correct wages and overtime payments, as well as superannuation entitlements. The audit also ensures you are keeping all times and wages records and employment details, as required by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The Clerks Award has annual leave requirements which are compatible with the National Employment Standards (NES), being 4 weeks per year, and entitlement to 17 ½ % leave loading when annual leave is taken. If an employee has more than six weeks accrued leave, under the award, there are provisions for the employer to manage this to a minimum of four weeks. An employee can request to cash out annual leave, but only for a maximum of two weeks every 12 months, and the balance must remain at least 4 weeks.

As is now common with many Federal awards, the Clerical Award refers to the following leave provisions:

  • Sick and Carer’s Leave;

  • Compassionate & Bereavement Leave;

  • Maternity and Parental Leave;

  • Community Service Leave;

  • Family and Domestic Violence Leave;

to the standards contained within the NES.

The Clerks Award has standard TCR consultation provisions that apply where an employer makes a definite decision to make major changes likely to have significant effects on employees.

With the exception of casual employees, under the Clerks Award, an employee must give notice as per the following table:

Period of Notice

For questions about Construction Award or other employment questions, please contact Dean Cameron at Workforce Advisory Lawyers – We Know Employment Law on 1300 WAL LAW, 0417 622 178 or via email to

Disclaimer: This information is provided as general advice on workplace relations and employment law. It does not constitute legal advice, and it is always advisable to seek further information regarding specific workplace issues. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

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