Victorian Awards and Agreements

Victorian Awards and Agreements: A Comprehensive Guide

Employment laws can be quite complex, especially when it comes to awards and agreements. If you`re an employer or an employee in Victoria, it`s important to understand the different types of awards and agreements that exist under the state`s industrial relations system.

This article will provide you with a comprehensive guide to Victorian awards and agreements, including their purpose, types, and how they impact your rights and obligations as an employer or employee.

What are Awards and Agreements?

Awards and agreements are legally binding documents that outline the terms and conditions of employment for employees in a particular industry or occupation. These documents are created and maintained by industrial tribunals, such as the Fair Work Commission.

Awards and agreements set out the minimum standards for pay rates, working hours, leave entitlements, and other working conditions. They also provide for dispute resolution mechanisms and can be enforced by courts or tribunals.


Awards are the most common type of industrial instrument in Victoria. They apply to specific industries or occupations and set out the minimum legal requirements for wages, penalty rates, and other employment conditions.

There are currently over 100 awards in Victoria that cover a broad range of industries, including hospitality, healthcare, retail, and construction. Each award outlines the minimum wage rates for different classifications of employees, depending on their level of skill and experience.

Awards can be updated and varied from time to time, either by application to the Fair Work Commission or through negotiations between employers and employees.


Agreements, also known as enterprise agreements, are negotiated between employers and employees or their union representatives. These agreements can cover a range of employment conditions, such as pay rates, working hours, and leave entitlements.

Agreements can be made between individual employees and their employer, or they can apply to a group of employees working in the same job or industry.

There are three types of agreements in Victoria: single-enterprise agreements, multi-enterprise agreements, and greenfields agreements. Single-enterprise agreements apply to a single employer and their employees, while multi-enterprise agreements apply to two or more employers in the same industry. Greenfields agreements cover new projects and businesses where there are no existing employees or enterprise agreements.

When an agreement is negotiated and approved, it becomes a legally binding document that sets out the terms and conditions of employment for the employees covered by the agreement. Agreements also provide mechanisms for dispute resolution and can be enforced by courts and tribunals.

Impacts on Employers and Employees

Awards and agreements have significant impacts on both employers and employees. For employers, it`s important to ensure compliance with the relevant award or agreement to avoid legal action or penalties.

Employers should also be aware of their obligations under the National Employment Standards (NES), which are minimum employment standards that apply to all employees in Australia, regardless of their industry or occupation.

For employees, awards and agreements provide a minimum standard of employment conditions, including pay rates and leave entitlements. However, employees can negotiate better conditions than those outlined in the award or agreement through their union representatives or by negotiating directly with their employer.

In conclusion, Victorian awards and agreements are critical components of the state`s industrial relations system. They provide minimum standards for employment conditions and can be enforced by courts and tribunals. Employers and employees should be aware of the different types of awards and agreements that exist and ensure compliance with the relevant instruments to avoid legal action or penalties.