[2020] FWCFB 2344


Fair Work Act 2009
s.156 - 4 yearly review of modern awards

Journalists Published Media Award 2010


SYDNEY, 5 MAY 2020

Journalists Published Media Award 2010 – substantive issues.

[1] On 30 March 2020 we published a decision 1 (March decision) in which we determined two issues outstanding from our earlier decision of 20 November 20192 (November decision). In conjunction with the March decision, we published a draft determination varying the Journalists Published Media Award 2010 (Award) to give effect to the November decision and the further matters determined in the March decision, and we invited parties to make additional submissions relating to any technical or drafting matters prior to making a final variation determination.

[2] No party has made any submission concerning any technical or drafting matters in the draft determination. However, the Commission has separately received correspondence from Dailymail.com Australia (DMA) and Rural Press Pty Ltd (Rural Press) concerning the operative date of the variations. In the November decision, we determined that a number of variations should be made to or in relation to Part 5 of the Award and, in respect of those variations, we determined that the operative date should be 12 months from the date of the decision – that is, 20 November 2020. In their correspondence, DMA and Rural Press have sought the opportunity to file further submissions and evidence to support a deferral of this operative date until 1 March 2021. The deferral is sought on the basis that the unforeseen and unprecedented challenges arising as a result of the current coronavirus pandemic has meant that they now require additional time to reconfigure internal systems and processes to give effect to the variation to the Award and to deal with the financial consequences of the variations.

[3] We have decided not to grant DMA and Rural Press the opportunity which they seek because we have already formed the provisional view that the operative date for the Part 5 variations to the Award should be deferred to 1 March 2021. In the November decision we determined that these variations should only come into effect 12 months later because we recognised that affected employers would “need considerable time to introduce systems and processes and make the necessary changes to workplace arrangements so as to comply with the requirements of Part 5 at minimal additional cost”. 3 We consider that it is obvious that the pandemic will have disrupted the capacity of employers to prepare for the introduction of these variations and effectively reduced the 12-month period we considered was necessary for this purpose.

[4] Accordingly, the course we propose to take at this point is simply to direct any interested party which opposes the provisional view we have formed in this respect to file any written submissions setting out the grounds for their opposition within 21 days.


Printed by authority of the Commonwealth Government Printer


 1   [2020] FWCFB 1695

 2   [2019] FWCFB 7603

 3   Ibid at [44], see also [65] and [75]