Leone Lorrimer, member of the National Committee for Gender Equity (NCGE), has put together a list of resolutions and guides to help us all make and keep good End of Financial Year Resolutions.
The National Committee for Gender Equity is asking all architectural firms to take the initiative of reviewing and reforming their remuneration policies this EOFY.
Resolution 1: Pay Employees According to the Law
The Fair Work Ombudsman sets the Minimum Wage and the pay rates contained in Modern Awards. Under the Fair Work Act 2009, the Architects Award 2010 sets out minimum wages for Students, Graduates of Architecture and Registered Architects. The progression from Graduate to Registered Architect and beyond is clearly set out and addresses annual reviews, target setting, training and prescribed competencies. The Act also sets ordinary hours and regulates payment for overtime and a casual loading. Other types of roles, such as clerical/administrative roles are covered by the Modern Award relevant to the role. All awards, along with the National Employment Standards are freely available on the Fair Work Commission’s website.
The Superannuation Guarantee Levy is also federally legislated. Superannuation information can be found on the Australian Tax Office (ATO) website.
The Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 requires all non-public sector employers with over 100 employees to report annually and offers advice and assistance to employers (including small practices) about improving gender equity in their workplace.
The Government, through Centrelink pays (means-tested) parental leave for primary caregivers (currently 18 weeks paid at the minimum wage) and secondary caregivers (currently 2 weeks paid at the minimum level). In addition, some companies have Paid Parental Leave policies, providing return to work incentives.
Resolution 2: Pay Employees Fairly
For employees remunerated at levels above those regulated by the minimum wage, some of the recruitment agencies conduct annual benchmark surveys relevant to the profession. These provide a guide to market levels of remuneration across a broad range of roles.
Good HR practice includes establishing clear organizational structures, role descriptions and articulation of career progression to every employee. Regular review and feedback to individuals is essential. Employees should be reviewed against development targets and each other and remuneration corrected for parity internally, and against external markets. Internal parity takes into account the size of the role, accountability, effectiveness, potential and possible gender bias. Any imbalances should be corrected by adjustment of remuneration and/or role.
The Australian Institute of Architects provides it’s A+ members with a range of HR services, together with a range of resources that include strategies, templates, policies and ‘everything you’ll need to deal with IR and ensure employee legal compliance’.
Parlour has published a series of world-class Guides.
Parlour Guide 2 – Long Hours addresses why the persistent long hours is damaging to individual architects, to businesses and to the viability of the profession.
Parlour Guide 6 – Career Progression provides guidance on how to promote equitably, conduct effective performance reviews and set transparent criteria for success. For employees the guides assist you to plan your career and articulate your skills.
Resolution 3: Pay Employees Equitably
The Gender Pay Gap is one of the biggest problems our industry is currently facing and is a major contributor to our inability to retain women in the profession. Parlour Guide 1 – Pay Equity addresses how to close the Gender Pay Gap. It explains why pay equity is good for business and why persistent pay inequity can have a big negative impact on the morale, commitment and productivity of employees.
Do an annual Pay Equity Audit. What better time than at the end of the Financial Year? The Guide takes you through a simple step by step process. Make sure that you factor in all types of payments, including bonuses and benefits. Reward output and productivity, not just visibility and volume. Treat full-time, flexible and part-time employees equally.
Resolution 4: If You Are an Employee
Parlour Guide 1 – Pay Equity outlines some great tips for employees as well:
- Do your homework: know your rights
- Check out potential employers
- Keep track of your own performance and development
- Learn to negotiate effectively
- Step up and be visible
- Look for opportunities
Facts and Figures
Minimum Annual Wages from 1 July 2016
Level 1 Student of Architecture $35,093 – 45,335
Level 1 Graduate of Architecture $47,721 – 52,765
Level 2(a) Experienced Graduate of Architecture $55,171
Level 2(b) Registered Architect $55,171 – $58,585
Minimum Weekly Wages for award / agreement free employees from 1 July 2016 is $672.70 per week or $17.70 per hour.
Casual loading is 25% (paid in addition to the minimum hourly rate).
Superannuation Guarantee Levy is 9.5%.
Additionally, benchmarking for wages can be sourced from employment agencies such as Bespoke, Hudson, and Hays to name a few of the larger organisations who both publish information on salaries.
The National Committee for Gender Equity was established by the National Council in December 2013 to implement the Institute’s Gender Equity Policy and to recommend actions, initiatives and programs required to give practical effect to that policy. See the website for more information on the committee and its members.