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The Fair Work Commission has approved changes to the Restaurant Industry Award. To streamline award classifications, exempt higher-paid workers from key award conditions for more pay and introduce all-in allowances.

The tribunal’s President, Iain Ross, Deputy President Richard Clancy and Commissioner Michelle Bissett endorsed the provisional view they reached last month that the changes should proceed, from August 11, for an initial 12 months.

The ruling provides for a review of the provisions after nine months.

List of Changes

The changes approved by the commission, available by agreement, include:

  • A new ‘exemption rate’, similar to other hospitality awards, which removes onerous administrative requirements for senior staff and provides greater simplicity and certainty for employers.
  • A simplified classification structure for food and beverage and kitchen stream employees that better reflects the practical way employees often work especially in smaller businesses covered by the Restaurant Industry Award.
  • A simpler mechanism for calculating a series of allowances by using a set hourly rate rather relying on each instance they are accrued. This change will provide greater business certainty and simplicity when predicting wage costs into the future.

The changes will operate from 11 August 2021 to 10 August 2022 and will be overseen by a monitoring committee comprised of representatives of both Restaurant & Catering Industry Association (R&CA) and the United Workers Union (UWU).

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