Changes are coming for commission-only agents. Last year, The Fair Work Commission introduced a number of changes to the real estate award, with big changes coming for commission-only agents. These changes – which applied from the first full pay period on or after 2nd April 2018 – affected wages and employment classifications, commission-only employment eligibility, minimum commission-only rates and more.

The big changes for commission-only agents – which (for arrangements made before 2nd April 2018) must need to have their arrangement reviewed before 2nd April 2019 – are about to come into effect. Those made on or after 2nd April last year must have their arrangement reviewed no later than 12 months after the arrangement started.

What are the changes?

There was a host of changes to commission-only employment, award pay rates, classifications, payment terms and annual leave entitlements as part of last years award changes. For commission-only agents, in summary:

  • Commission-only agents need to be a Real Estate Employee Level 2 or above, need to have worked in property sales or commercial, industrial or retail leasing at this level for at least 12 consecutive months over the previous 3 years, and meet the new minimum income threshold amount rules
  • A new minimum commission-only rate of 31.5% of an employer’s gross commission (replacing the previous rate of 35% of an employer’s net commission)
  • Commission-only employees are still excluded from getting paid annual leave loading under the award – However, the award has been changed to confirm that annual leave needs to be paid at the employee’s base pay rate for their classification at the time of taking leave, and also now allows for an annual leave payment to be accumulated as a debit on an employee’s account if certain criteria are met
  • Arrangements need to be reviewed every 12 months, and those that don’t meet the minimum income threshold amount rules have no legal effect and can’t be enforced.
How can I find out more?

To find out more about the changes to the Real Estate Award, visit the Fair Work website, and seek your own advice to ensure you are compliant with these changes.

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