Loaded rates approved under Hospitality Award

By Angela Kelly, Helen Donovan
COVID-19 Employment & Safety

In brief 2 min read

Since 7 September 2021, employers have had the option under the Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2020 (the Hospitality Award) to pay certain employees a loaded rate in satisfaction of overtime, penalty rates and the split shift allowance.


In late 2020, the Minister for Industrial Relations asked the Fair Work Commission (the FWC) to amend several priority modern awards applying to employees in sectors hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The FWC received a loaded rates proposal from the Australian Hotels Association (AHA), together with submissions from interested unions.

On 3 September 2021, the FWC inserted a loaded rates schedule in the Hospitality Award.1 For further details, see our Insight: Locked and loaded? COVID-19 may have cleared the way for loaded rates in the Hospitality Award.

Key takeaways

  • Under the Hospitality Award, the payment of a loaded rate involves paying an employee a percentage amount above their ordinary hourly rate in satisfaction of the requirement to pay overtime (except overtime worked on a RDO or accrued day off), penalty rates (except public holiday penalty rates) and the split shift allowance.
  • Payment of a loaded rate is only permitted under the Hospitality Award for certain employees and only if specific rostering requirements are satisfied. An employee under a loaded rates arrangement will still be entitled to overtime and penalty payments in certain circumstances, including work on public holidays.
  • Employers must engage in consultation with employees at least seven days before introducing a loaded rates arrangement. The arrangement may be terminated by the employer with two weeks' notice, or at any time by written agreement between the parties.
  • If an employer elects to pay an employee a loaded rate, the employer must provide the employee with a written loaded rate arrangement in accordance with the form set out in the Hospitality Award.
  • Any disputes regarding the loaded rates arrangement may be settled by the FWC through arbitration.