[2014] FWC 8837


Fair Work Act 2009

s.156 - 4 yearly review of modern awards

4 yearly review of modern awards
(AM2014/198 and others)



4 yearly review of modern awards – award stage – Group 2 awards – exposure drafts

[1] Under s.156 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (the Act) the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) is required to review all modern awards every four years. In a statement issued on 17 March 2014 1 the Commission stated that the first 4 yearly review of modern awards (the Review) would comprise an Initial stage, dealing with jurisdictional issues, a Common Issues stage and an Award stage. A decision issued on 17 March 20142 determined a number of jurisdictional issues and defined the scope of the Review.

[2] The Award stage of the Review deals with award specific issues in the 122 modern awards. The modern awards have been divided into 4 groups. To enhance the efficiency of the process, and to better meet the needs of the parties, the awards within each group are broken down into sub-groups. Proceedings in relation to Group 1 and Group 2 awards have commenced.

[3] The review of Group 2 awards commenced with conferences on 23 October 2014 and 2 December 2014.

[4] This Statement reports on the outcomes of the Group 2 conference held on 2 December 2014 and sets out the process for the review of Group 2 awards.

The 2 December Conference

[5] Prior to the conference, parties were invited to submit a written outline setting out the variations they intended to pursue in relation to the awards in Group 2. On 1 December 2014 the Commission published a document summarising the proposed variations sought by parties in relation to each award in Group 2. At the conference on 2 December 2014 parties were provided the opportunity to make any amendments or additions to the summary document and were also provided the opportunity to identify any agreement in relation to those variations. Parties were informed that the summary document would be updated and re-published following the conference. The updated summary of proposed variations will be published on the website today.

[6] At the conference it was proposed that certain awards in Group 2 be referred to a single Member of the Commission for the purposes of a conference, prior to the hearings scheduled for early-mid March 2015. The updated summary outlines which awards have been identified as requiring a conference.

Exposure drafts

[7] The awards in Group 2 have been divided into four sub groups. The Commission has now finalised exposure drafts for each of the sub-group 2A and 2B awards. The exposure drafts incorporate any technical and drafting changes proposed by the Commission. The exposure drafts do not incorporate any substantive changes and do not represent the concluded view of the Commission on any issue. Comparative documents have also been prepared for each award, which compares the exposure draft to the current modern award. Exposure drafts and comparative documents for the following awards will be published on the website today:

[8] Exposure drafts for awards in sub-groups 2C and 2D will be published progressively on the Commission’s website between 15 December 2014 and 17 December 2014. Those awards are:

[9] Attachment A to this Statement sets out the timeline for the remainder of the Group 2 award stage. Parties will have an opportunity to make written submissions, and submissions in reply, in relation to the exposure drafts. Awards will be called on for a Mention on Thursday 19 February 2015 at 4.00 pm to finalise the programming for the hearings. Hearings will be listed in March 2015 where parties will be given the opportunity to make submissions regarding both the technical aspects of the exposure drafts and the substantive variations they wish to pursue. As outlined at the conference on 2 December 2014, some awards or issues may be dealt with by other Full Benches.

[10] Closing dates for written submissions and submissions in reply have been revised since the previous timeline was published. The closing date for written submissions regarding sub-groups 2A and 2B awards is now no later than 4.00 pm on 28 January 2015, with submissions in reply to be filed no later than 4.00 pm on 18 February 2015. The closing date for written submissions regarding sub-groups 2C and 2D awards is now no later than 4.00 pm on 4 February 2015, with submissions in reply to be filed no later than 4.00 pm on 25 February 2015.

New search facility for the 4 yearly review website

[11] A new search facility has been added to the 4 yearly review website. This function allows users to search for any document related to the 4 yearly review that has been published on the Commission’s website. Results can be sorted by ‘best match’ ‘title’ or ‘subject’. This function will assist parties navigate the 4 yearly review website.

[12] The Commission’s website will continue to be used extensively throughout the Review. Parties who have not already done so are encouraged to subscribe to the award matters notification service to be kept informed of the progress of this Review.


ATTACHMENT A—Timeline for award stage—Group 2 awards


Sub-groups 2A & 2B

Sub-groups 2C & 2D

Document summarising issues to be published by the Commission

8 December 2014

8 December 2014

Exposure drafts issued for comment

8 December 2014

15–17 December 2014

Closing date – submissions on exposure drafts

28 January 2015

4 February 2015

Closing date – submissions in reply

18 February 2015

25 February 2015

Mention before Presiding Member*

Thursday 19 February 2015 at 4.00 pm

Thursday 19 February 2015 at 4.00 pm

Full Bench Hearings*

Early-mid March 2015

Early-mid March 2015

* A detailed timetable and notices of listing for the Mention and Hearings will be issued in due course.

 1   [2014] FWC 1790.

 2   [2014] FWCFB 1788.

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