What is an Award?

What is an award?

An award is an enforceable document containing minimum terms and conditions of employment in addition to any legislated minimum terms.

In general, an award applies to employees in a particular industry or occupation and is used as the benchmark for assessing enterprise agreements before approval.

The Fair Work Commission has responsibility for making and varying awards in the national workplace relations system.

Types of awards

Awards in the national workplace relations system include two main types:

  • modern awards, and
  • award-based transitional instruments (including former federal and state awards created before 27 March 2006) which are being reviewed.

Modern awards

Modern awards are those awards created under the national workplace relations system which relate to specific industries or occupations.

Together with the National Employment Standards (a legislated set of minimum standards effective from 1 January 2010), they provide a fair and relevant minimum safety net of terms and conditions.

The first modern awards were created as part of an extensive review conducted by the Fair Work Commission's predecessor, the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. They came into effect on 1 January 2010.

Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award 2010:

Telstra Award:


Telstra's Archived Awards:

TSA Award:

Optus Award: