Enterprise agreements and awards both set out wages and conditions of employment. Minimum terms also protect all employees, with or without an agreement or award.
On this page:
Awards tell employees the terms and conditions of their employment. Most awards cover a whole industry or occupation. Examples are ‘retail industry’ or ‘legal services'.
The employee receives the benefits in the award plus other terms the law requires (for example the National Employment Standards). Examples of the terms in an award are:
- ordinary hours of work
- shiftwork entitlements.
If you know your award, find it in our List of awards A to Z.
To find out if an award covers you, you can Find the right award on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website.
Enterprise agreements are often similar to awards, but they cover a specific business or businesses. They may also have some terms and conditions that are different from the award.
If an agreement applies to an employee, the modern award does not apply even if it covers them.
An employer and 2 or more employees can create an agreement that meets the needs of the business. To make sure this is fair on employees, we assess all agreements. We only approve agreements that meet the requirements in the Fair Work Act 2009.
Search for an agreement if you know the company name.
Enterprise agreements had other names before the start of the Fair Work Act. Find out about Historical agreements and instruments.
Minimum standards for all employees
All employees have a ‘safety net’ to give them minimum pay and conditions.
If an employee is not covered by an award or an enterprise agreement, their entitlements are:
All awards and agreements must meet the requirements in the Fair Work Act.