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Employee Relations

Question 1

Coverage of the penalty rates is in (clause 20 – Minimum wages) of Schedule D – Classifications and Definitions. The Sunday penalty rates are 150 percent for part-time, full-time, introductory level casuals and 175 percent for level 3 – 6 casuals.

Question 2

The covered employers and employees in the hospitality sector are outlined in Schedule D – Classifications and Definitions.

Question 3

Labor hire companies are covered by this award as stated in (subclause 4.1) of Schedule D – Classifications and Definitions. The clause, however, functions as subject to any exclusions stated in this award. The award applies to these labour-hire organizations as the employers and employees work within the hospitality sector that is subject to this award.

Question 4

As stated in (clause 13.4) of Schedule D – Classifications and Definitions, the conversion of a casual worker to par or full-time is possible upon the agreement between the employee and their employer. The conversion of the casual employee to full or part-time basis is, however, subject to other provisions listed in this clause. Employees on a casual basis who have worked for 38hrs a week for a period of 12monthgs qualifies for promotion to full-time basis. Similarly, a casual employee who has worked for an average of less than 38hrs a week for 12months is also eligible for conversion to a part-time basis.

The advantage of this arrangement for the organization is a flexible working schedule that allows them to work for durations fit for the employer rather than for stipulated times for casual engagement. Further, the pay for a part or full-time employee is rather controllable as compared to that of a casual worker. The employer can easily manage the output and demand responsibility for a full-or part-time worker.

Question 5

According to Schedule D – Classifications and Definitions, (subclause 20.1) Level 5 defines the second highest work class as well as their minimum wage rate per rate. This rates apply to all adult employees but exclude employees under apprenticeship. Australia’s hourly minimum wage rate is $17.29. Level 5 workers are thus 23.71 percent above the legal minimum wage rate.

Question 6

The salary rates for junior employees have gone up in the last five years. These increases in the hourly wage rates have been harmonized with the reclassification of junior employees to match their duties and responsibilities at the workplace. Currently, the minimum pay for the highest junior employee is $14.84 while the lowest is at $8.21. These new rates increase from $14.41 and 7.98 respectively.

The increase in the rates for junior employees has been a ripple effect of the rise in the rates for their adult counterparts. The junior workers are paid a percentage of the adult rate thus any change in the adult rates directly impacts the junior rate as well. Further, the junior employees have been allowed to work in areas such as bar attendants that they could not enter before. This entrance also has positively affected their wage rates.

Question 7

According to Schedule D – Classifications and Definitions Clause 31 – Breaks, permanent employees are entitled to a 30-minute unpaid meal break if they are required to work for more than five hours (subclause 31.1). However, after the lapse of the five hours without the meal break, the employee gets an additional 20 minute paid break that can be taken in two 10 minute portions. When the meal break is not given as agreed, the employer becomes liable to play their employee 50 percent of the employee’s basic pay from the start of the meal break to when the break is given or to when the work shift ends (subclause 31.4).

When the employee does not get their proper meal break, the employee ought to be paid 150 percent of their base rate starting from the end of the six hours to the time they are given the break, or the shift ends. After the unpaid meal break, the employee ought to be given a 20-minute break if they are required to work for five more hours. Full-time employees required to work more than 10 hours in a day they must be given two additional 20 minute paid breaks. Lastly, when the employees are required to work for more than two hours overtime after the conclusion of their shift, they are allowed a 20-minute break.

Unpaid meal breaks are given to the employees as permitted. The employees on meal break are not on work. However, in this case where the employees are working, it is only fair to give them their due payment and an allowance for having to work extensively without a meal. Employers are also obliged to provide a working environment that is safe and supportive to their employees. Working without a break is a risk to the employee’s health. As such, adequate compensation ought to be awarded to the employees when they put their health on the line for their employers.

Question 8

In Schedule A – Transitional Provisions outlines the minimum employer obligations when dealing with employees and also details the needs for the physically challenged. The provisions of Schedule E – Supported Wage System defines the conditions under which physically challenged workers are eligible for a supported wage.

Companies should employ physically challenged people because it is a constitutional provision that all individuals including the physically challenged have equal employment opportunities. Further, hiring the physically challenged in an organization brings in some diversity in the organization’s talent pool and also builds on the reputation of the company for equal opportunity and non-discrimination. Additionally enterprises seeking to reduce their tax burden can hire physically challenged people and benefit from the various tax reliefs for making their workplace accessible and supportive to the physically challenged.

Question 9

The restaurant Industry award provides better provisions than the National Employment Standards. In this award, the rules are unique to the particular employment positions in the hospitality sector. On the other hand, NES provide an essential framework for the employment sector with the provisions providing blanket cover for employees in various areas. In essence, NES offers a framework upon which the individual industry awards base their regulations.

The National Employment Standards’ improvement can be by making it more direct and detailed to the particular elements of the concerned industry. Above providing the basic employment standards, the NES ought to go further into details and provide context related provisions.

Question 10

In the Jupiter’s Hotel and Casino Enterprise agreement, the omission of the meal allowance and the transport allowance are less beneficial than the award. These provisions are legal as stated in Clause 2 – Commencement and Transitional (subclause 2.2) which allows for any financial obligations of the employer under this award to be into over-award payments

According to the Fair Work Commission (2015), the Better-Off Overall Test (BOOT) is a standard for approval of enterprise agreements. The test requires that every employee affected by the agreement become better off under its cover than under the pertinent modern award system. This standard works to ensure that any enterprise agreements between the workers and their employer improve the quality of life for the employees rather than oppressing them for the benefit of their establishment.

Press release

In the previous wage bargaining highlighted in Workplace Express (2011), the union’s used material they considered a show of lack of good faith by Jupiter’s in the bargaining process. The issue arose from the perceived inaccuracy of the information by the United Voice. On the other hand, the union’s position highlighted the hard tussles of the bargaining process. The role of the bargaining representative is also highlighted by the employer in their assertion workers look upon the representative to give them an accurate account of the bargain progress other than their employer. The common issue in this process was the need for good faith in a bargaining engagement. The commitment of the two sides to an amicable solution if highlighted by Jupiter’s decision to seek arbitration other than taking contingency or corrective steps as the commissioner notes.

The union uses the distributive bargaining strategy in their engagement with the employer [ CITATION Wal65 l 2057 ]. The apparent intention of the union is to gain as many benefits as possible for the workers. These benefits are however realizable only at the expense of the employer who feels the threat from the tactics the representative uses. Unions being representatives of the workers, it is their sole responsibility to present and defend the needs of the employee. The employer meets their obligation to disclose all relevant information to the workers’ representative to aid constructive negotiations [ CITATION Bob07 l 2057 ]. As such, all United Voice bargain decisions are made from a point of information and the necessary consideration id also given to the employer in the union’s demands for the employees.

Jupiter’s should continue their employee bargains with their unions as the United Voice provides a sole representative under control and checking by other independent bodies, unlike bargaining employees who are not subject to any other organ. The companies enjoy the benefit of information as they are aware of the performance of the businesses which implies they explicitly know their bargaining allowance beforehand. Further, Bendix (2000), states employees are constitutionally allowed to join workers unions, Jupiter’s has no other option other than settling for negotiation with the United Voice.


Bendix, S. (2000). The Basics of Labour Relations. Cape Town: Juta.

Dunlevey, B. (2007). Effective Collective Bargaining Strategies. Esica Spring Conference (pp. 2 — 33). Baltimore: Board Certified Specialist in Labor and Employment Law.

Fair Work Commission. (2010). Restaurant Industry Award 2010. Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010, 1 — 88.

Fair Work Commission. (2015, January 6). Approving Agreements. Retrieved October 28, 2015, from wc.gov.au: https://www.fwc.gov.au/annual-report-2013-14/3-performance-reporting/approving-agreements

Walton, R. E., & McKersie, R. B. (1965). A Behavioral Theory of Labor Negotiations: An Analysis of a Social Interaction System. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Workplace Express. (2011, December 6). Union Campaign Material did not Breach Good Faith Bargaining Obligations: FWA. Retrieved from WorkplaceExpress.com.au: https://www.workplaceexpress.com.au/nl06_news_selected.php?act=2&stream=1&selkey=47062&hlc=1&hlw=Jupiters+Casino&s_keyword=Jupiters+Casino&s_searchfrom_date=1230728400&s_searchto_date=1414673940&s_pagesize=20&s_word_match=1&s_articles=1