Fair Work Shake Up

Last week saw the biggest shake up in the Nanny Industry has had in a very long time with Fair Work announcing the Nannies and Au Pairs will now be covered under the Miscellaneous Award 2010 with changes effective immediately.

While I am sure there are a number of very unhappy people amongst the industry - overall I really do not think it is such a bad thing. It is a step in the right direction to see the industry as the professional body it deserves to be. I’ve only just scratched the surface of the award, but here are my views on the key elements.

Superannuation

Unfortunately, even now the entire industry has been moved to an award, Superannuation Guarantee still only applies where a Nanny earns more than $450 per month gross AND works more than 30 hours per week for any one family. This is a cop out. I struggle to understand how this is even remotely fair to Nannies.

Leave Loading

Part time and full time nannies will now be entitled to 17.5% leave loading ON TOP OF their accrued annual leave payments. If we look at any other industry award, most include leave loading. I think it is only fair that Nannies be entitled to this too.

Overtime

Any hours ABOVE 38 hours per week will now attract penalty rates. These rates are 150% for the first 3 hours and 200% thereafter. Now, this one doesn’t sit so well with me. A standard, full time nanny role is often between 40 and 50 hours per week. Add an hour commute each way to a parents standard 38 hour week and it doesn’t take long to get to 50 hours. While a win for Nannies (if their family doesn’t hire a 2nd Nanny to eliminate these costs) it is certainly a blow for families.

Ordinary hours

Ordinary hours are hours between 7am and 7pm. Anything outside of this attracts penalty rates. Another one that isn’t completely right. With most childcare facilities not open outside of these times, the families who use a nanny outside of hours are often shift workers, nurses, doctors and the like who do not have any other choice. Again, a win for nannies and another blow for families.

Minimum wage

Currently, the average hourly rate charged by a professional nanny is upwards of $25 per hour. Under the award, the minimum rate of a level 2 employee (keeping in mind that 3 & 4 do not apply as their are no mandatory qualifications for Nannies) is only $20.22 per hour. This one is a low blow! Thankfully, this is only a guide and there is no reason a Nanny cannot negotiate a higher hourly rate.

Why have Fair Work done this? Simple - it has been put in place to protect the vulnerable. A quick scroll through Facebook Nanny and Au Pair groups will reveal many jobs paying sub standard rates.

Where to from here? While we would all love to wave our magic wands and have an award that is built specifically for the industry, unfortunately, I believe this is a long way off. Undoubtedly, this will see some arrangements that move back to ‘cash’, but for most of us, those risks are too high and we have no choice but to comply. Until then we can live in hope that the Government will one day provide rebates for all families so they do not feel the need to offer sub standard rates in the first place.

 

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