IMPORTANT NOTICE TO TRAINERS – Modern Award Commences on 1 January 2010 / National / 24 Dec, 2009

Trainers should be aware that as of 1 January 2010, the Horse and Greyhound Training Award (the Modern Award) will come into effect.

The Modern Award is the new award that will apply to trainers and their employees, as a result of the Australian Government’s initiative to review and rationalise awards to create a Modern Award System. As part of this process, the Australian Industrial Relations Commission was required to review Pre-Reform Awards and Notional Agreements Preserving State Awards applying to particular industries and occupations, and replace those earlier awards with Modern Awards.

The ATA has recently mailed to all trainers, a copy of the Modern Award and Wage Rates, which trainers should now have received.


The ordinary hours of work for employees covered by the Modern Award is 38 hours per week, to be worked within rostered hours in 5 full days, or 4 full days and 2 half days, Monday to Saturday.


The minimum weekly wages payable to employees is set out in Clause 13 of the Modern Award. A copy of those rates of pay can be accessed from the ATA website under the Employer Information section (Please Note - Members Login username and password are required) or alternatively, by contacting the ATA Office on (03) 9372-1688.

For some trainers, the minimum weekly wages specified in the Modern Award may be slightly higher than those currently paid.

Schedule A of the Modern Award contains transitional provisions in respect of the amount of wages payable to employees if employees have previously been paid pursuant to a “transitional minimum wage instrument and/or an award based transitional instrument”.

Rates of pay calculated pursuant to Schedule A of the Modern Award are specific to each trainer. It will not apply to many trainers. Trainers therefore should first seek advice if they wish to pay wages calculated in accordance with Schedule A. The application of the provisions in Schedule A may result in trainers paying an amount of wages slightly less than the minimum weekly wage specified in clause 13 of the Modern Award, but trainers should be aware of ongoing obligations to adjust those weekly wages on a yearly basis until 2013.

The ATA is of the view that it is far simpler for all trainers to pay their employees pursuant to the minimum weekly wage as specified in clause 13 of the Modern Award, rather than pursuant to Schedule A of the Modern Award. By paying the minimum weekly wage in accordance with Clause 13, trainers will have certainty that they are not underpaying employees, and the risk of later claims by employees that they have not been paid the correct rate will be eliminated.

Alternatively, if trainers wish to consider using the pay rates as calculated in accordance with Schedule A of the Modern Award, they should contact Wayne Lee on (03) 9372-1688 at the Australian Trainers’ Association for advice as to whether it can apply to them and the applicable rates.