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3 things to look out for in a flat-rate contract

October 12, 2020

Have you ever worked in a salon which had a great hourly rate on the surface, but when you start to dig deeper isn’t such a good deal after all?

The Hair and Beauty Award is the minimum you can be paid as a trained industry professional, and has heaps of different rates, allowances, and entitlements. Some employers will roll all of these up into a single hourly rate to make it easier to calculate your pay.

At HSA, we’ve seen quite a few contracts that claim to be better than the Award, but just don’t stack up! If you’re on the lookout for a new gig, or your current job has a flat-rate contract, here are three things you NEED to be aware of:

Are you working weekends?

Under the Hair and Beauty Award, you should be paid at 133% on Saturdays and 200% on Sundays.

If you regularly work weekends, but you’re on a flat hourly rate, you might be short-changed – a full-time senior stylist who regularly works a Sunday would need to be paid $27 an hour just to be even with the Award.

What about overtime?

If you need to work extra hours, or on your RDO, are you paid extra? With penalty rates of 150% to 200%, these entitlements can add up to a lot of money!

Some contracts will specify that you can get time in lieu instead of overtime rates – this is fine, but under the Award, you have to receive hours that equal the money you would have earned. For example, 2 hours of overtime should equal 3 hours of time in lieu.

Are you entitled to allowances?

Another entitlement under the Award that doesn’t always make it into a flat contract is allowances. The most common ones are:

  • Tool allowance (if you use your own scissors): $8.99 per week.
  • Manager’s allowance (if you run the salon all week): $43.13 per week.
  • Meal allowance (if you work 1hr+ overtime with less than 24hrs notice): $18.99

While these don’t apply to everyone, and seem pretty small, they can definitely add up over 6-12 months. There are also allowances for travelling costs, if you have to drive between multiple salons, or to a clients’ house.

It’s important to remember that no matter what your employer says, no contract can leave you worse off than if you were paid under the Hair and Beauty Award. What we’ve listed above are just some of the entitlements that you need to think of when it comes to your hourly rate.

If you’re not sure whether your contract is fair, HSA can help! Our team of legal and industrial experts can review all the paperwork, including your payslips, and figure out if you’re being paid fairly. And if something is wrong, then we can also help you reclaim lost wages. If you need help at work, become a member today and make sure your rights are respected.

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