An Award Rate for
For the first time in history, Australian Nannies and Au Pairs now fall under an Award rate, the Miscellaneous Award 2010. On the 25/09/18 the Fair Work Ombudsman announced the ruling that was made by the High Court in January this year. This decision was a shock to both the Nanny and Au Pair Industry, especially given that it was only last year stakeholders attended a vote in 2017 that determined both industries fall under the National Employment Standards (NES). It was also a shock that the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) made this decision without any industry consultation. In fact, it was by chance that the Australian Nanny Association (ANA) was warned of the changes prior to the official announcement.
What does this mean?
Having an Award means that agencies, nannies and families will have a legal document that sets out clear terms and conditions of employment. Awards are usually specific to a job or industry so it’s frustrating that our industry is lumped with one that is not targeted to our unique circumstances. Awards clearly define things like minimum wages, overtime, meal breaks, penalty rates and allowances.
(Some of) The negatives.
- The Miscellaneous Award rate is very broad and not tailored to our industry.
- The minimum wage drops for nannies.
- Level 3 and 4 pay classes aren’t required as there is no mandatory qualification for our industry
- Overtime rates may make it hard for families who require 38+ care, possibly seeing them split the role
- Faced with confusion over the Award specifications, we will see some arrangements go back to cash in hand.
Steps moving forward.
The decision has been made and is now required by law for all employers to follow. Let’s all acknowledge that there is no magic wand to change the sections we want. Options to customise this award include applying for rule exemptions or even heading down the path of building our own industry-specific Award. Both of these options will take a lot of time and money and it’s hard to say who will front the bill or dedicate the time to presenting proposed solutions. High Court rulings mean lawyers and lawyers mean money.
For now, it’s important for the Nanny industry to regroup, get educated and investigate how their individual scenarios play out. There are pros and cons for both sides the transition will see employment arrangements renegotiated. While the award rate has gone down, I truly hope families and agencies still honour the true value a good nanny is worth and keep the average industry wage above $25/ hour.
How you can be a part of making a difference.
The ANA is here to support the industry and as mentioned, the heads up on the announcement was thanks to a tip provided to the ANA earlier last week. As a member, it was great seeing the Association in action as committee members spent their own time researching and liaising with the FWO to then deliver information to the industry.
The Association is the peak body of the industry and its time like this that we can see the importance of having this representation. Over the year’s we have seen large organisations like the ATO, FWO and Australian Government contact the ANA for consultation, meetings and industry knowledge. If you are passionate about being a voice in the future of the industry, maybe it’s time to think about joining the committee! Nominations are now open and the AGM will be held at Nanny Convention on the 13th October where the new committee for 2019 will be voted in.
Nanager is a proud supporter, member and advocate of the ANA and we look forward to its continued growth!
If you’re interested in joining the committee, you need to fill out this form and send it through to the ANA prior to the 8th October 2018.