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End to part-time work for commission-only employees

Part-time commission-only real estate employment is set to be phased out following a recent decision from the Fair Work Commission (FWC).

What has changed?

Senior Employment Relations Adviser from Employsure, Sophie Joselyn said the Real Estate Industry Award 2010 was thrown into the spotlight during the FWC’s four-year review, which ruled that part-time commission-only employment was ‘neither useful nor relevant’.

As a result, commission-only employees can no longer be employed on a part-time basis.

“New and existing commission-only part-time employees must receive the provisions and entitlements outlined in the Real Estate Industry Award 2010,” she said.

When do the changes come into effect?

Sunday 30 June, 2019.

“Remunerating part-time employees on a commission-only basis after this date will constitute a breach of the Award and may incur a penalty,” Ms Joselyn said.

What do employers need to know?

Ms Joselyn said employers with part-time commission-only employees must now take steps to review the commission-only employment arrangements to ensure that, effective 30 June, 2019, no employee remains on part-time commission-only employment.

“Current part-time commission-only employees can instead be engaged on a full-time 38-hour per week basis. This will allow the employer to continue to remunerate the employee on a commission-only arrangement,” she explained.

“Employers and employees will need to mutually agree to change the contract of employment, and it is recommended the employee signs a new contract of employment containing the new terms and conditions of employment.”

Alternatively, “the employer may choose to remunerate the part-time employee on a debit-credit or target-based commission structure”.

“Employers should start discussions with current part-time commission-only employees regarding the changes and the alternative arrangements available to them,” Ms Joselyn said.

To be compliant with the new arrangements, any new or existing commission-only part-time employees must receive the provisions and entitlements outlined in the Real Estate Industry Award 2010, starting from 30 June, 2019.

If you need assistance to apply this decision, employers are encouraged to talk to a FWC Employment Relations Adviser or seek workplace specialist advice.

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