Award modernisation is the process of reviewing and rationalising awards in the national workplace relations system to create a system of 'modern awards'.
The Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) began the process in March 2008 following a formal request from the Australian Government under Part 10A of the Workplace Relations Act 1996.
By the end of 2009 the AIRC had reviewed more than 1500 awards and created 122 industry and occupation awards. These awards commenced on 1 January 2010, but most include transitional provisions to phase in changes in wages, loadings and penalties over a five-year period.
The award modernisation process is continuing under the AIRC's successor, the Fair Work Commission. The work includes:
- Modern Awards Review 2012—review to be undertaken two years after the commencement of modern awards
- modernisation of enterprise awards—applications to be lodged by 31 December 2013
- termination of instruments—award-based transitional instruments and pay scales are to be terminated as soon as practicable after they have been completely replaced by a modern award.
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