8 Conditions You Didn't Know Existed in the Hospitality Award

Author Image Written by Garth Belic

The biggest pitfalls in the Hospitality Award (without the jargon).

The Hospitality Award (MA000009) is one of the more complex modern awards in the Australian employment landscape due to a large number of businesses it covers and the nature of work within the industry.

This includes employers and employees in:

  • Hotels and resorts
  • Motor inns and motels
  • Health or recreational farms
  • Caravan parks
  • Ski lodges
  • Holiday flats or units, ranches or farms
  • Hostels or any other type of residential or tourist accommodation
  • Caterers
  • Bars and restaurants 
  • Casinos
  • Function areas
  • A range of other related businesses

Recently there has been a push in media coverage and attention from Fair Work Australia regarding payroll compliance. Therefore, it’s critical to understand how many obligations and potential problems there are if employers aren’t fully aware of their responsibilities in meeting the Hospitality Award (MA000009) requirements.

While everyone does have access to industry awards on the Fair Work website, they can be tricky to understand as they’re jammed full of legal jargon.

Here we’ll cover some of the conditions that you might not have heard about from the Hospitality Award that are commonly missed.

You can also read our Ultimate Hospitality Award (MA000009) Summary that covers all key areas of the Hospitality Award in detail (without the jargon) as well as downloading our eBook which includes a bonus payroll processing checklist to ensure your business is compliant with all of the award requirements.


Please note that every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this guide is accurate. You should note, however, that the information is intended as a guide only, providing an overview of general information available. This guide is not intended to be an exhaustive source of information and should not be seen to constitute legal or tax advice. You should, where necessary, seek a second professional opinion for any legal or tax issues raised in your business affairs.

Before this request can be made, a casual employee needs to be employed for at least 12 months and have regular hours. 

Employers can only refuse this request if there are reasonable grounds such as:

  • The needs of the workplace
  • The type of work being done
  • The qualifications and skills of your employee
  • The employee’s personal circumstances

However, it’s up to your employees if they want to make this request, and as an employer, you cannot require your casual employee to make the request. 

Back to top

If an employee does work more than ten consecutive days, they must be paid at the appropriate overtime rates for every day beyond ten worked in a row.

Back to top

It’s also important to remember that any changes to the roster need to be made with mutual agreement from both the employee and employer or by giving at least 7 days notice. 

Back to top

If they don’t have a break within these first 6 hours, they are then entitled to be paid an additional 50% of their ordinary hourly rate from the end of these 6 hours until they get a break, or their shift is over. 

Back to top

A minimum break of 8 hours for the changeover of rosters must also be given to employees. 

Back to top

These rates apply to all employees, regardless of their type of employment. 

Back to top

It’s also important to remember that you cannot make any deductions from the wages of an employee that’s under 18 years old if they haven’t been agreed on in writing by a parent or guardian. 

Back to top

If you want your employees to take paid annual leave while you temporarily close down, the affected employees must be given at least 4 weeks notice of the close-down period. 

With this notification, you can then require employees to take a period of paid annual leave. 

Back to top

In our experience, given the complexity of the award, many of our clients have opted to adopt cloud payroll software such as Roubler as a solution to automate compliance and to help with labour cost control. Get in contact with us at Pay Cat if you’re interested in considering this option with the Hospitality Award (MA000009) or any other modern award.

You can also read our Ultimate Hospitality Award (MA000009) Summary that covers all key areas of the Hospitality Award in detail (without the jargon).