AUSTRALIAN ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION
AWARD REVIEW TASKFORCE
RATIONALISATION OF AWARD WAGE AND
3 February 2006
TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
RATIONALISATION OF AWARD WAGE AND
1. The Australian Entertainment Industry Association (AEIA) is the peak
body for Australia’s live entertainment and performing arts industry.
2. Established in 1917 and registered as an employers’ association under
the Workplace Relations Act 1996, the AEIA’s activities centre around
three core areas, namely workplace relations, policy and strategy and
3. All key industry players responsible for the production of live
entertainment in Australia are members of the AEIA, including venues,
producers, major performing arts companies, festivals, promoters and
service providers. The AEIA also represents the interests of independent
cinema exhibitors and the exhibition and event industry.
4. The AEIA is a member of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and
Industry (ACCI) and the AEIA has actively contributed to the ACCI’s
submission to the Award Review Taskforce.
5. The AEIA generally supports the thrust of the Workplace Relations
Amendment (Workchoices) Act 2005 (the Act). A single workplace
relations regime and simple award structures are well overdue.
However, the AEIA is concerned about the amount of complex legislation
with which Australian businesses will be required to comply.
6. As an industry which is generally award reliant, the foreshadowed
changes to awards and classifications and wages will not necessarily
assist the industry’s productivity or efficiency in the short term.
Therefore, the results of this review should be able to be easily
understood by both employers and employees, otherwise time and
money will be wasted in deciphering complex arrangements.
7. The AEIA supports the ACCI submission with regard to the rationalisation
of award wage and classification structures.
8. Ideally, there should be a single minimum wage for adults, juniors,
apprentices and trainees which underpins workplace bargaining. This
would be the simplest structure to introduce.
9. As an interim measure, the AEIA supports the four level classification
system proposed by the ACCI. The proposal identifies the four main
levels of skills and responsibilities contained in the majority of federal
awards which have undergone the Minimum Rate Adjustment (MRA)
10. The ACCI proposal does not extend the classification system to cover
managers and professionals, the majority of which are at present award
free. Like the Award Rationalisation process, the rationalisation of
award wage and classification structures should not extend into areas
which have been traditionally award free. Any extension of award
coverage could lead to unintended demarcation disputes.
11. The AEIA supports the establishment of the Wage and Classification
Rationalisation Principles as proposed by the ACCI. The establishment of
clear and concise Principles will provide consistent outcomes for all the
parties to the process, and provide uniformity in the Australian Pay and
Classification Scales (APCSs) across all industries. This will assist the
Australian Fair Pay Commission (AFPC) in delivering consistent outcomes
for all award covered employees.
12. The AEIA endorses the ACCI’s submission that ANZSIC divisions should not
be used in either the award rationalisation review or the rationalisation
of award wage and classification structures review.
13. The ACCI’s submissions with regard to State considerations and
discrimination issues are also supported by the AEIA.
Award Review Taskforce Discussion Paper
Question: Does the minimum rate adjustment process provide a useful
model for assessing skill-level structures for wage classifications?
14. For the live entertainment industry the MRA process resulted in all our
awards being varied to provide for classifications and rates of pay in
accordance with the MRA Process. The Key Classifications were
identified and related to the Engineering Tradesperson Level 1 (the C-10
level) in the Metal Industry Award, having regard to the skills,
responsibilities and conditions under which work is performed.
15. Indeed, all Federal Awards that have been through the Award
Simplification process had to contain properly fixed minimum rates of
pay before the AIRC approved the simplification of the Award. Statistics
from the AIRC’s Award simplification website indicate that 1268 Federal
Awards have been simplified, 16 Awards are currently undergoing the
simplification process and 782 new awards have been created since 1
16. Therefore it is quite conceivable the majority of the 2229 Federal
Awards that have been simplified (AIRC figures) will contain at least one
classification (key classification) related to the C-10 level classification
of the Metal Industry Award. It is also quite conceivable that the key
classification was set on the basis of the relative skill, responsibility and
the conditions under which the particular work is normally performed.
17. The AEIA therefore submits that the majority of Federal Awards that
have undergone the Award Simplification process, will more than likely
contain a classification which has a nexus to the C-10 level classification
in the Metal Industry Award. Further research by the Taskforce could
confirm this assumption.
18. Having established that the majority of awards contain a nexus to the C-
10 level, the ACCI proposal for a 4 level APCSs can be justified. The ACCI
proposal provides for subtle variations to the model, where industry
specific requirements are needed.
19. In answer to the Taskforce Discussion Paper Question, the AEIA believes
that it is more appropriate for the Taskforce to examine the results of
the Award Simplification process where all Awards were required to
contain appropriate minimum rates of pay based on the 1989 MRA
Principle. The process of then collapsing or broadbanding other
classifications within the Award to two pay points below C-10 and one
above C-10 level would be an appropriate methodology for the Taskforce
Question: What is the best means of broadbanding classification structures?
21. Once it can be established that the majority of Federal Awards contain a
classification with a nexus to C-10 it is then appropriate to establish
classification levels both below and above the C-10 level. The ACCI
proposal is an appropriate example which could be adopted by the
22. Existing classifications could then be translated into the new
Question: How will these broadbands best assist the Fair Pay Commission in
its wage-setting function?
23. Should the ACCI proposal be adopted, the number of classifications
would be reduced dramatically, and provide a consistent structure which
could generally be replicated in other APCSs.
24. The number of pay points would also be reduced thus allowing the Fair
Pay Commission to concentrate on adjusting substantially fewer
classification levels that presently exist.
Question: How can classifications and wage rates be broadbanded in
accordance with the requirement to remove state-based differences within
three years of reform commencement?
Question: Are there any specific issues in a broadbanding approach that
relate to APCSs for juniors, trainees/apprentices and workers with
Question: Are there any specific issues in the broadbanding of casual rates?
Question: To what extent should the Taskforce consider substantial
realignment or amalgamation of classifications derived from Federal and
25. The AEIA supports the ACCI submission.
Question: Should APCSs be rationalised on the industry basis? If so:
Should the ANZSIC divisions be used as a basis for a system of
rationalised APCSs or are there better alternatives?
Can an industry based system of APCSs be achieved through a single
rationalisation process or is a multi-stage approach more appropriate?
26. The AEIA supports the ACCI submission.
27. In addition the AEIA strongly opposes the use of the ANZSIC divisions for
any system of rationalised APCSs, as outlined in our response to the
Award Rationalisation Discussion Paper.
Question: Are there alternatives to an industry based approach that the
Taskforce should consider? What are the potential advantages and
disadvantages of these alternatives?
Question: Should rationalisation occur beyond and industry basis, possibly
to one single APCS structure?
Are there any specific issues in simplifying APCSs that relate to juniors,
trainees/apprentices and workers with disabilities?
Are there any specific issues relating to the simplification of casual rates?
What transitional arrangements could the Taskforce consider to deal with
differences in classifications derived from federal and State awards?
Question: How can the Taskforce best prevent discrimination in making
recommendations about wage and classification rationalisation?
How should pay equity issues be addresses by the Taskforce?
28. The AEIA supports the ACCI submission.
29. The AEIA believes that the ACCI proposal has the ability to provide
employers and employees with a synchronised, easy to understand
classification structure applicable to all Australian industries.
30. It must be remembered that the new APCSs will provide minimum rates
of pay for each classification level – not paid rates. The proposal will act as a
safety net allowing employers and employees the ability to negotiate above the
safety net having regard to the skills, responsibilities and conditions under
which work is performed.
31. The AEIA commends the ACCI proposal.