The Jargon-Free Storage Services and Wholesale Award (MA000084) [2023 UPDATE]

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Everything you need to know about the Storage Services and Wholesale Award (without the complicated jargon!)


Everything you need to know about the Storage Services and Wholesale Award (without the jargon) + free payroll processing checklist and classification tables.

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The Storage Services and Wholesale Award 2020 is the Fair Work’s legal framework to regulate the storage services and wholesale industry in Australia. 

Unfortunately, for many employers, navigating the dense legal jargon and intricate provisions of such awards can be overwhelming, leading to unintentional oversights and potential non-compliance. 

So, recognising this challenge, this summary, along with our eBook and payroll checklist, aims to provide you with a clear and simple understanding of everything you need to know about this Award.


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.

Key Activities Covered

  • Receiving, handling, and storing produce, goods, or merchandise.
  • Freezing, refrigerating, and bottling.
  • Preparing items for sale.
  • Sorting, loading, dispatching, or delivering items.
  • Selling items by wholesale (defined as sales in large quantities to entities other than the final consumer).
  • Activities connected, incidental, or ancillary to the primary activities listed above.

Employee Classifications Included

  • Storeworkers
  • Steel distributing employees
  • Warehouse employees
  • Wholesale employees
  • Forklift or ride-on equipment operators

The Award also covers labour hire businesses and their employees placed within the storage services and wholesale industry.



  • Employers and employees covered by the Road Transport Award.
  • Those covered by other awards with classifications specific to storage services and wholesale employees.

For a detailed breakdown of specific classifications and further nuances, we encourage you to refer to our eBook.

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Full Time Employees

Full-time employees work regularly every week and typically clock in around 38 hours spread over four weeks.


Part-Time Employees

Part-time employees, on the other hand, work fewer than 38 hours a week. 

When they're hired, there's an agreed-upon work schedule. If there are any changes to this schedule, it's properly documented.

 It's also worth noting that part-timers are always scheduled for a minimum of 3 consecutive hours each workday. And if they end up working beyond their usual hours, that extra time is counted as overtime.


Casual Employees

Then we have casual employees. Their work schedule is more flexible, being called in as and when needed. However, there's a guarantee that they'll work for at least 4 hours each time they're called in. 

In recognition of the flexible nature of their employment, casuals receive what's called a "casual loading." This means, on top of their standard pay, they get an additional 25%. The casual-loading essentially covers the fact that they don’t receive benefits like sick leave, annual leave, or job security that full-time and part-time employees typically enjoy.

And just like part-timers, if casuals work beyond the usual hours, they're entitled to overtime. 

The National Employment Standards (NES) also has guidelines about casuals transitioning to full-time or part-time roles.


What is Casual Conversion?

"Casual Conversion" refers to the right of a casual employee to request a change in their employment status from casual to full-time or part-time, provided certain conditions are met. 

The purpose of the provision is to recognise the long-term and regular nature of some casual employment relationships and offers these employees the opportunity to access the benefits and security that come with permanent employment.

Here's a breakdown:

  • Eligibility: Typically, a casual employee becomes eligible for casual conversion if they have been working for the same employer on a regular and systematic basis for a specified period, often 12 months.
  • Request: Once eligible, the casual employee can make a written request to their employer to convert their employment status.
  • Employer's Decision: The employer can agree to or refuse the request, but any refusal should be on reasonable grounds and after consultation with the employee. Reasons for refusal might include, for example, that the employee's position will cease to exist in the near future or that the employee's hours of work will significantly change in the next 12 months.
  • Benefits: If the conversion is approved, the employee transitions to full-time or part-time employment and starts to enjoy benefits like sick leave, annual leave, and other entitlements that weren't available to them as a casual employee.
  • Notification: Employers are often required to inform their casual employees about the option of casual conversion after a certain period of employment.

It's worth noting that the specifics of casual conversion, including eligibility criteria and the process, can vary based on the relevant modern award or enterprise agreement or the National Employment Standards (NES).

The Storage Services and Wholesale Award specifically references the rules set by the NES

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Ordinary Hours of Work and Rostering Arrangements

Day workers typically work up to 38 hours a week, spread over four weeks. These hours are usually between 7:00 am and 5:30 pm from Monday to Friday. However, there's some flexibility:

  • Employees can work on 4 or 5 days, with each day not exceeding 8 hours.
  • With mutual agreement, an employee might work up to 10 hours in a single day.
  • Sometimes, workdays can include weekends, but only if both the employer and the majority of employees agree.
  • There are also arrangements where employees might work fewer hours on some days or even get a full day off during a work cycle.

The start and end times of shifts can be adjusted by an hour, either earlier or later. This can be decided between the employer and the majority of employees or even individual employees. If there's a need to change the usual start and finish times, employers need to give a week's notice.


Let’s say you run a warehouse where employees usually start work at 8:00 am and finish at 4:00 pm. If there's a big shipment arriving earlier than usual, you  might propose starting at 7:00 am and finishing at 3:00 pm instead. 

Before making this change, however, you would need to discuss it with the team. If most of the team (or a specific employee) agrees, the shift time can be adjusted. However, you would need to inform everyone about this change at least a week in advance.


Rostered Days Off

A "rostered day off" (RDO) is a day within an employee's usual work cycle when they don't have to work, but still receive their regular pay. It's a way to compensate for the extra hours an employee might work on other days, ensuring they don't exceed the standard number of work hours over a period.

Some workplaces have a system where employees get one RDO every four weeks. This means that over a year, an employee can expect up to 13 of these rostered days off.

Employers are required to let their employees know which weekday will be their RDO, and they need to give this notice at least four weeks in advance.

But life is unpredictable, and sometimes plans need to change. If an employee wants to swap their RDO for another day, they can discuss it with their employer and make the switch.

There are also situations where the employer might need to change the RDO. This could be due to unexpected events like machinery breaking down, power shortages, or sudden large orders that need immediate attention. In these cases, with the agreement of most employees, the scheduled day off can be moved to accommodate these urgent needs.


Make-up Time

Sometimes, employees might choose to take time off and then work those hours later. This is called "make-up time." It's a mutual decision between the employee and the employer. If an employee is on shift work and chooses make-up time, they get paid the shift penalty rate for the hours they took off.

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Meal Breaks

Employees get a break after working for 5 hours. This break is between 30 minutes to an hour. If they're about to work overtime, this break won't be longer than an hour.


Rest Breaks

Apart from meal breaks, employees also get two 10-minute paid rest breaks every day - one paid rest break in the morning and one in the afternoon. These breaks shouldn't be too close to the start or end of the workday or near the meal break.

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Minimum Rates

Each year, the standard pay rates can adjust. The Storage Services and Wholesale Award outlines the least amount you should pay for different roles. The exact amount can vary based on the specific job and the employee's experience.

For a clearer understanding of pay rates in this sector, you can refer to the Pay Guide for the Storage Services and Wholesale Award. 

If you're finding the different job classifications a tad complex, our Storage Services and Wholesale Award eBook simplifies it for you.


These allowances are additional payments on top of the standard wage, designed to cover specific expenses or conditions of work.



First Aid Allowance

Employees trained to a St John Ambulance standard or equivalent, when asked to act as the first aid attendant. If the employer wants an employee to get this qualification, they'll cover the costs of approved books/manuals and other related expenses.

Cold Temperatures Allowance

Employees working in specific cold environments. The allowance varies depending on the exact temperature range they work in:

Meal Allowance

Given to employees who work more than an hour of overtime past their usual finishing time. However, if they can reasonably go home for a meal, this allowance doesn't apply.

Travelling, Transport, and Fares

Employees working away from their usual location get compensated for the extra travel time and any additional fares. Travel time on Sundays and public holidays has a different rate.

Provision of Tools

If employees need specific tools for their job and the employer doesn't provide them, the employer will cover the cost of purchasing these tools.

Protective Clothing and Uniforms

Employers either provide or reimburse for overalls and other protective clothing if the job demands it. If a job is unusually dirty, wet, or obnoxious, the employer provides suitable protective clothing or reimburses the cost.

Damaged Personal Effects Allowance

If an employee's dentures or prescription glasses get damaged or destroyed during their regular duties (and it's not their fault), the employer will cover the cost for repair or replacement.


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Up until 1 July 2022, you only had to contribute to an employee's superannuation (often called "super") if their monthly pay was over $450. But from 1 July 2022, this changed. Now, for all eligible employees, you need to contribute a percentage of their salary each year. 

For the 2023/24 financial year, the percentage is 11%.

However, this will continue to increase to 12% by 2025. So, you need to make sure you’re always up to date with the correct percentage. If you don’t meet your super obligations, you’ll be subject to the super guarantee charge which is, essentially, a penalty that employers must pay for not meeting their superannuation responsibilities.

This charge includes the super amounts not paid on time, an interest charge, and an administration fee. So, employers should take caution to stay informed and compliant to avoid these additional costs.

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Shift Type


Early Morning

Shift starting between 2:00 am and 7:00 am.


Shift ending after 6:00 pm and at or before midnight.


Shift ending after midnight and at or before 8:30 am.


  • Note: The timing for afternoon shifts can be adjusted by up to one hour, either earlier or later, based on agreements with employees.
  • Day shift employees aren't required to work afternoon shifts unless they specifically agree to.
  • Shiftworkers' ordinary hours average 38 per week and have specific limits on consecutive days worked.
  • Special rates apply for shift workers working on weekends, with 150% of the minimum hourly rate for Saturdays and 200% for Sundays.

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Overtime is any work done outside the regular working hours. The rates for overtime vary based on the employment type and duration of the overtime.

Overtime Scenario


Overtime Payment

Payable for all time worked beyond the ordinary hours. Rates differ for full-time, part-time, and casual employees.


Each day or shift stands alone for overtime calculations, with specific definitions for days and weekends.

Time Off Instead of Overtime

Employees can opt for time off instead of overtime payment, with specific conditions and agreements.

Rest After Overtime

Ideally, employees should have at least 10 consecutive hours off between workdays. If not, specific rates apply.


Overtime Rates

Employee Type

Overtime Rate for First 2 Hours

Overtime Rate After 2 Hours

Full-time & Part-time

150% of the minimum hourly rate

200% of the minimum hourly rate


175% of the minimum hourly rate

225% of the minimum hourly rate

Penalty Rates for Weekends and Public Holidays

Working on weekends and public holidays often comes with additional pay rates.





150% of the minimum hourly rate

For all ordinary time worked.


200% of the minimum hourly rate

For all time worked.

Public Holidays

250% of the minimum hourly rate

For all work performed on public holidays.


Sometimes, employees might be called back to work after their shift ends.




Monday to Friday

Appropriate rate

Minimum of 4 hours’ work for each call-back.

Saturday (after 12 noon)

200% of the minimum hourly rate

Minimum of 4 hours’ work.


200% of the minimum hourly rate

Minimum of 4 hours for the first call-back. Subsequent call-backs are paid for actual time

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Annual Leave

The provisions for annual leave are in line with the National Employment Standards (NES), but there are specific rules and rates that apply based on the award.


Basic Entitlement

  • Annual leave is provided as per the National Employment Standards (NES).
  • Employees are generally entitled to 4 weeks of paid leave per year.
  • Shiftworkers, who are regularly rostered to work on Sundays and public holidays, get an additional week, making it 5 weeks in total.

Payment for Annual Leave

  • Before starting their annual leave, employees must be paid for their leave period at their current minimum rate of pay.
  • Additionally, employees should receive the greater of:
  • A loading of 17.5% of their pay during the leave.
  • The weekend penalty rates they would have earned if they were working.
  • For shift workers, the shift penalty rate they would have received.

Alternative Leave Arrangements

Leave in Advance



Employers and employees can agree in writing for the employee to take paid annual leave before they've accrued it.


The agreement should specify the amount of leave and the start date.

Termination Condition

If an employee hasn't accrued the leave they took in advance by the time their employment ends, the employer can deduct the equivalent amount from their final pay.

Cashing Out Annual Leave



With a written agreement, employers and employees can cash out a specific amount of accrued paid annual leave.


The payment for the cashed-out leave should be at least the amount the employee would have received if they took the leave.

Minimum Accrued Leave

An employee's remaining accrued annual leave after cashing out should not be less than 4 weeks.

Maximum Cash Out

A maximum of 2 weeks of accrued paid annual leave can be cashed out in a 12-month period.

Excessive Leave Accruals



An employee has excessive leave accrual if they've accrued more than 8 weeks of paid annual leave (or 10 weeks for shift workers).


If an employee has excessive leave accrual, both the employer and employee can discuss and agree on how to reduce or eliminate it.

Employer's Direction

Employers can direct employees with excessive leave accrual to take paid annual leave, but there are specific conditions to this.

Employee's Request

Employees can also request to take paid annual leave if they have excessive leave accrual, subject to certain conditions.


Other Types of Leave

In addition to annual leave, the National Employment Standards (NES) provides provisions for various other types of leave to support employees during different circumstances in their lives. Here's a brief overview of each:

  • Personal/Carer's Leave: This leave allows employees to take time off due to personal illness or injury or to care for an immediate family or household member who is sick or injured or due to an unexpected emergency.
  • Compassionate Leave: Employees can avail of this leave when an immediate family or household member passes away or is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness or injury.
  • Parental Leave: This is a provision for employees to take time off work to care for a new child, whether by birth, adoption, or surrogacy. It includes both maternity and paternity leave.
  • Community Service Leave: Employees can use this leave for certain community service activities, including jury duty or voluntary emergency management activities.
  • Family and Domestic Violence Leave: This leave is designed to support employees who are experiencing family or domestic violence and need time off to deal with its impact.

Each of these leave types has specific conditions and entitlements, and the NES provides detailed guidelines on how they can be availed and under what circumstances.


Public Holidays

  • Employees have the right to be absent from work on public holidays
  • Special penalty rates apply for work performed on public holidays
  • These entitlements are in line with the National Employment Standards (NES) and are in addition to those provided by the NES.

Substitution of Public Holidays

  • Employers and employees can mutually agree to substitute another day for a day that would otherwise be a public holiday under the NES.
  • Similarly, a part-day can also be substituted for a part-day public holiday.

Rostered Day Off Falling on a Public Holiday

  • If an employee's rostered day off coincides with a public holiday, the employee is entitled to an alternative day or part-day off.
  • The alternative day or part-day off should be determined through mutual agreement between the employer and the employee.
  • If an agreement cannot be reached, the dispute resolution clause will apply.

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These oversights can lead to severe penalties.

You can also download a FREE copy of our Storage Services and Wholesale Award eBook with a BONUS payroll processing checklist to ensure you maximise your payroll compliance.

But, if the manual payroll processes still feel overwhelming, there's a streamlined alternative. Many of our clients have transitioned to Employment Hero Payroll. This system is designed to automate and simplify the payroll process, ensuring compliance with the Storage Services and Wholesale Award. 

By partnering with us, we can facilitate a seamless transition for your business.

Here's a glimpse of what Employment Hero Payroll offers:

  • Time and Attendance: Integrated with NoahFace time and attendance software, employees can clock their hours, with all data automatically synced to Employment Hero Payroll.
  • Live Timesheet Approval: Eliminate manual entries and paper timesheets. With Employment Hero Payroll, supervisors and managers can approve time and attendance on-the-go.
  • Automated Modern Awards Compliance: Employment Hero Payroll's pre-built modern Awards, tailored for the Storage Services and Wholesale sector, ensure accurate and compliant payments every pay run.
  • Automated Payslips: Design and offer Fair Work compliant payslips that are easily accessible in the Employment Hero Payroll cloud.
  • Efficiency with Employment Hero Payroll: Experience the future of payroll. With Employment Hero Payroll, complete your payroll in under an hour, ensuring compliance with the Storage Services and Wholesale Award without the usual hassles.

If you're ready to embrace the future of payroll and transition from a manual system to Employment Hero Payroll, reach out to us today for a free demo.