7 Conditions Commonly Missed in the Storage Services and Wholesale Award (MA000084)

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The biggest pitfalls in the Storage Services and Wholesale Award (without the 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 (MA000084) serves as the governing framework for employers operating within the storage services and wholesale sectors in Australia, as well as their employees who fall under the award's classifications.

Navigating the Fair Work website to access and understand the Storage Services and Wholesale Award can be a daunting task. The document, dense with legal terminology, often becomes a maze for many, making it difficult to ascertain if a business is fully adhering to all compliance mandates.

Recent emphasis from the Fair Work Commission Australia on payroll compliance, coupled with media spotlight on businesses found guilty of wage discrepancies, underscores the criticality of ensuring complete adherence to stipulated pay rates and employment conditions.

For example, in a recent case highlighted by Fair Work, Sunpine Pluss, a business that manufactured and sold wooden furniture in southern Queensland, was identified to have overlooked several key entitlements under the relevant modern award. 

Recognising the challenges and the potential pitfalls, we've crafted a user-friendly eBook that encapsulates the core tenets of the Storage Services and Wholesale Award.

This eBook is complemented by a thorough payroll processing checklist, designed to empower businesses to ensure they remain on the right side of compliance concerning the award.

In this article, we spotlight specific conditions within the Storage Services and Wholesale Award that are frequently overlooked, providing clarity and guidance to ensure your business operates with 100% compliance.

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.

While the concept might seem straightforward, the eligibility criteria, request process, and employer's decision-making parameters are intricate. 

Employers must be aware of the conditions under which a casual employee can request this conversion and the grounds on which they can refuse.

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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While some workplaces offer one RDO every four weeks, the scheduling, swapping, and sudden changes due to unforeseen circumstances can be complex. Employers need to ensure they're providing adequate notice and adhering to the award's stipulations.

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However, the conditions under which this can be done, especially for shift workers, and the associated pay rates are areas employers might miss.

For example, an if 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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In addition to these, workers are entitled to two 10-minute paid rest breaks daily. You should also note that these short breaks shouldn't be scheduled too close to the beginning or end of the workday, or too near the meal break.

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Here’s the breakdown:



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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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 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

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Beyond perusing our eBook and this article, given the award's complexity, we recommend adopting cloud payroll software to automate compliance and manage labour costs effectively.

For further assistance with the Storage Services and Wholesale Award or any other modern award, feel free to reach out to us. We're here to help you navigate the complexities and ensure your business remains compliant.