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FAIR WORK ACT 2009 - SECT 132

Guide to this Part

This Part provides for the FWC to make, vary and revoke modern awards. Modern awards may set minimum terms and conditions for national system employees in particular industries or occupations. Modern awards can have terms that are ancillary or supplementary to the National Employment Standards (see Part 2-1).

Division 2 provides for the modern awards objective. This requires the FWC to ensure that modern awards, together with the National Employment Standards, provide a fair and relevant minimum safety net of terms and conditions, taking into account certain social and economic factors. Division 2 also contains special provisions about modern award minimum wages.

Division 3 deals with the terms of modern awards.

Division 4 provides for the FWC to conduct 4 yearly reviews of modern awards (other than in relation to default fund terms of modern awards).

Division 4A provides for the FWC to conduct 4 yearly reviews of default fund terms of modern awards.

It also sets out the process for making the Schedule of Approved Employer MySuper products in a 4 yearly review, and amending the schedule after it is made to include other employer MySuper products. If an employer MySuper product is on the schedule, an employer covered by a modern award can make contributions, for the benefit of a default fund employee, to a superannuation fund that offers the product (see subsection 149D(1A)).

Division 5 provides for the FWC to exercise modern award powers outside the system of 4 yearly reviews in certain circumstances.

Division 6 contains some general provisions relating to modern award powers.

Division 7 contains additional provisions relating to modern enterprise awards.

Division 8 contains additional provisions relating to State reference public sector modern awards.

The obligation to comply with a modern award is in section 45 (in Part 2-1).

In relation to minimum wages in modern awards, the FWC has powers both under this Part and under Part 2-6 (which deals with minimum wages). The following is a summary of the FWC's powers under the 2 Parts:

(a)   the initial making of a modern award setting modern award minimum wages can only occur under this Part;

(b)   the main power to vary modern award minimum wages is in annual wage reviews under Part 2-6;

(c)   modern award minimum wages can also be varied under this Part, but only for work value reasons or in other limited circumstances;

(d)   modern award minimum wages can be set (otherwise than in the initial making of a modern award) or revoked either under this Part or in annual wage reviews under Part 2-6.



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