Navigating the Hospitality Industry General Award: Tips for Employers

Navigating the Hospitality Industry General Award Tips for Employers

The Hospitality Industry General Award is a crucial piece of legislation that sets out minimum wage rates, entitlements, and conditions for workers in the hospitality industry. While it is designed to protect the rights of employees, it can be confusing and complex for employers to navigate. This article will provide tips for employers to help them understand and comply with the hospitality award.

Understanding the Award

The first step for employers is to understand the Hospitality Industry General Award. This award applies to hospitality employees, including cafes, restaurants, hotels, and catering businesses. The award sets out minimum wage rates, allowances, and working conditions for employees.

Employers need to be aware of the different classifications of employees under the award. The award classifies employees into different levels based on their duties, qualifications, and experience. For example, Level 1 employees are typically unskilled and perform basic tasks, while Level 5 employees are highly skilled and perform complex tasks.

Employers also need to understand the different types of employment under the award. The award recognises four types of employment: full-time, part-time, casual, and fixed-term. Each type of employment has different entitlements and conditions, so employers must ensure they provide the correct entitlements and conditions to their employees.

Pay Rates and Allowances

Pay rates and allowances are among the most important aspects of the Hospitality Industry General Award. The award sets out minimum wage rates for each classification level and type of employment. Employers must ensure they pay their employees at least the minimum wage rates set out in the award.

In addition to minimum wage rates, the award also provides various allowances such as penalty rates, overtime rates, and allowances for working weekends and public holidays. Employers must ensure that they provide the correct allowances to their employees.

Record Keeping and Payslips

Employers must keep accurate records of their employees’ hours of work, pay rates, and entitlements. This information must be kept for a minimum of seven years. Employers must also provide employees with pay slips that show their gross wages, deductions, and net pay.

Employers need to keep accurate records and provide pay slips to their employees as they may be required to produce these records in the event of an audit or dispute.

Penalties and Compliance

Employers not complying with the Hospitality Industry General Award may be penalised and fined. Penalties can range from simple warnings to significant fines and legal action. Employers who breach the award may also face reputational damage and loss of business.

To ensure compliance with the award, employers should regularly review their practices and procedures to ensure they are meeting their obligations. Employers should also seek advice from industry associations, legal professionals, or Fair Work Australia if they need clarification on their obligations under the award.

Communication with Employees

Communication is key to compliance with the Hospitality Industry General Award. Employers must ensure their employees know their entitlements and conditions under the award. Employers should provide employees with written contracts for their entitlements and conditions.

Employers should also ensure that their employees know their rights to join a union, make a complaint to Fair Work Australia, or seek legal advice. Employers should encourage open communication with their employees and provide them with opportunities to provide feedback and raise concerns.


Compliance with the hospitality award is essential for employers in the hospitality industry. Employers must understand the award, pay rates and allowances, record keeping and payslips, penalties and compliance, and employee communication. By following these tips, employers can ensure they meet their obligations under the award and provide their employees with a safe and fair workplace. Employers should also strive to create a positive workplace culture to improve employee satisfaction and retention.

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