A national Nurses Award was introduced on 1 January 2010. The Nurses Award 2010 covers nurses in primary health care and general practice, including registered nurses, enrolled nurses, nursing assistants and midwives. It determines the minimum pay and conditions for a nurse working in Australia.
Click here to view the Nurses Award as at 20 June 2013
How does it affect me?
The Nurses Award 2010 contains some significant differences to previous state-based nursing awards. To find out how you may be affected by the Award, read this article published in the Australian Nursing Journal.
The ANMF website contains information and resources on the Nurses Award.
The Nurses’ Award is the minimum wage and if you are getting paid less than this please contact the Fair Work Commission. We also do not recommend the use of the Nurses Award when looking to negotiate wages or to calculate the national average. For this reason, we have created a salary and conditions survey in which to help, which you can find here.
- What am I meant to be getting paid?
Unfortunately I cannot be very specific as I am not sure of your precise level according to the Award. I can however give you some more details on how to navigate the document.
To find your minimum wage skip to page 12 Minimum Wages and Related Matters. To figure out which of the pay points and levels you fit in to, you will need to read through Schedule B – Classification Definitions starting page 34. An RN progresses through levels, from there once you have found out what level you are (again, referring to Schedule B to find this out) then each year working in this role you progress to the next pay point.
APNA have also published an editorial in the Primary Times magazine regarding how to read the Nurses Award. You can find this article here.
- Where is my state Award?
In 2010 the individual state Nursing Awards were combined into the national Nurses Award 2010.
- What should I be getting paid for casual work?
According to section 10.4 of the Nurses Award, casual nurses are classified as:
“10.4 Casual employment
(a) A casual employee is an employee engaged as such on an hourly basis.
(b) A casual employee will be paid an hourly rate equal to 1/38th of the weekly rate appropriate to the employee’s classification plus a casual loading of 25%.
(c) A casual employee will be paid a minimum of two hours pay for each engagement.
(d) A casual employee will be paid shift allowances calculated on the ordinary rate of pay excluding the casual loading with the casual loading component then added to the penalty rate of pay. “
Please also note that casual nurses proceed through pay points differently: “or in the case of a part-time or casual employee 1786 hours of experience,” according to section 15.
- I have done [certain duties] before, what should I be getting?
Unfortunately the Nurses Award is based on duties in the practice you are currently performing, rather than the experience you have had.
- Why isn’t Annual leave/maternity leave etc mentioned in the Nurses Award?
Maternity leave is not covered in the Nurses Award, as it is included in the National Employment Standards. These can be found on the Fair Work website here.
- I’m currently doing these [specific jobs] in my practice, what is my pay rate?
The Nurses Award does not mention specific job descriptions (eg. Diabetes Educator) in its classifications of levels. It instead uses general duties that a nurse is completing in the practice currently.
- Why is it called the Nurses Award 2010? Where’s the most recent one?
As part of the federal government’s process to simplify and reduce the number of awards applying in workplaces, around 150 nursing awards across Australia have been rolled into a single national nursing award. This award will be known as the Nurses Award 2010. The 2010 Nurses Award is the current award, with revisions every few months, keeping it up to date. The latest version is always available on the APNA website.
- Please find answers to the topics in the above "New Nurses Award - Your Questions Answered"
- Who does the Nurses Award 2010 apply to?
The Nurses Award 2010 applies to registered nurses (Division 1, Victoria), enrolled nurses (Division 2, Victoria) and nursing assistants. A nursing assistant is someone who reports to a registered or enrolled nurse and is employed solely to assist a nurse in the provision of nursing care. The Nurses Award will cover most private sector nurses working in aged care facilities, private hospitals, and private sector specialist services such as medical practices. If you are not employed in the public sector and do not have a collective or enterprise agreement at your workplace, then the Nurses Award will most likely apply to you. The Nurses Award 2010 does not cover nurses employed in schools or private pharmacies which are not part of a wider health facility, such as a hospital.
Overtime will be paid from Monday to Saturday at time and a half for the first two hours and double time thereafter; on Sunday at double time; and on public holidays at double time and a half. All time worked by part-time employees in excess of the rostered daily ordinary fulltime hours will be overtime. When time off in lieu is accrued, it should be taken at overtime rates.
- Annual Leave
Annual leave will be five weeks and six weeks for shift workers. A shift worker is defined as an employee who:
• is regularly rostered over seven days a week; and
• regularly works on weekends.
- National Employment Standards
In addition to the award clauses, each award must now operate with the national employment standards. There are 10 national employment standards, including:
• Maximum ordinary hours of work
• Request for flexible work arrangements
• Parental leave and related entitlements
• Annual leave
• Personal, carers’ leave and compassionate leave
• Community service leave
• Long service leave
• Public holidays
• Notice of termination and redundancy pay
• Fair work information statement.
- Who does the Nurses Award 2010 apply to?
The National Employment Standards (NES) is a separate component of Federal industrial relations legislation and determines the absolute minimum stardards of pay and conditions for any employee in Australia. Click here to read the 10 minimum standards of the NES.