On May 1 the Fair Work Commission Full Bench issued a significant decision varying the Real Estate Industry Award 2010.

The decision has removed the ability to engage part-time employees and remunerate them on commission-only arrangements effective as of the first full pay period that starts on or after June 30, 2019.

The decision comes as part of the four-yearly review of modern awards.

What does this mean for employers?

Employers will need to cease remunerating any part-time employees on a commission-only arrangement by June 30. Remunerating part-time employees on a commission-only basis after this date will constitute a breach of the award and may incur a penalty.

What can we do?

Current part-time commission-only employees can instead be engaged on a retainer/commission arrangement. The employer and employee will need to agree to change the contract of employment from commission-only to debit/credit.

Alternatively, the employer may choose to remunerate the part-time employees on a commission-only basis 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.

If the employee agrees to change their basis of employment, it is recommended the employee sign a new contract of employment containing the new terms and conditions of employment.

Employers should start discussions with current part-time commission only employees regarding the changes and the alternative arrangements available to them.

► If you have any questions we recommend you contact the CCIWA Employee Relations Advice Centre on (08) 9365 7660 or advice@cciwa.com