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Modern awards

Last updated January 2024

This chapter explains when modern awards apply and how they regulate minimum employment conditions for your employees.

Does a modern award apply to your employees?

Definition: Modern Award

A modern award is an instrument that records the minimum conditions of employment for employees it covers. These conditions are enforceable under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act).

A modern award will apply to your employees if you are a national system employer and:

  • you and your employee fall within the coverage clause of the award; and
  • the employee falls within the award classification.
Important: Modern awards are generally national rather than confined to states or territories. However, WA private sector employers that are not constitutional corporations are covered by awards made under WA legislation (the coverage of which depends on their scope).
Tip: Click here to view a full alphabetical list of modern awards.