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Get Ready The Employment Landscape is about to Change

By Bryan Wilcox CEO at the Real Estate Employers Federation

After three long years of negotiations, submissions and representations, the Fair Work Commission has handed down its final decision following the review of the Real Estate Industry Award.

The new Real Estate Industry Award will commence operation on 2 April 2018. With D Day fast approaching, every real estate employer needs to be aware of the changes and understand what they need to do before the new award kicks in.

The new Real Estate Industry Award will introduce a number of important changes. Here’s a quick summary of the main things to note.

New broad-band classification structure

The introduction of a new broad-band classification structure is a significant change that will make classifying employees much easier for real estate employers. Gone are the old job titles. There will now be a four-tiered classification based on skills, duties and responsibilities.

New minimum rates of pay

The new Real Estate Industry Award will introduce increases to most minimum rates of pay under the various classifications.

New commission-only arrangements

The rules relating to commission-only arrangements have undergone a great deal of change as a result of the award review process. For an employee to be engaged on a commission-only basis from 2 April 2018, they must:

  • Be 21 years of age or older
  • Have a Real Estate Licence or Certificate of Registration
  • Be employed as a salesperson
  • Agree in writing to be employed on a commission-only basis
  • Have worked in the industry as a salesperson for at least 12 months in the last three years
  • Satisfy the new Minimum Income Threshold Amount (MITA) qualification test.

There will be an ongoing obligation for an employer to assess existing commission-only employee’s remuneration at the end of every 12-month period. If the assessment reveals that the employee received commission less than the MITA over the previous 12 months, the employee can no longer continue to be employed on a commission-only basis.

Other review outcomes

There are also a number of other notable changes under the new Real Estate Industry Award that employers should be aware of, including a new mobile phone allowance, a new motor cycle allowance and a modest extension to post-employment commission calculations.

Be prepared

The start date for the new Real Estate Industry Award is fast approaching, so it’s essential for employers to ensure they fully understand all the changes and make the necessary changes to their employment practices from 2 April 2018.

If you’re an employer and need clarification about any of the changes under the new Real Estate Industry Award, REEF is your best source for information and advice.

The Real Estate Employers’ Federation (REEF) is the real estate industry’s leading not-for-profit employer and workplace relations advisory association, with more than 1,500 members and subscribers across Australia. Each year, REEF receives more than 15,000 calls from real estate employers needing help and guidance on matters affecting the employment relationship.

For more information about joining REEF, go to or call 1300 616170.


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