20,000 contract call centre workers have won a raft of entitlements and conditions under a new award hammered out over 18 months between the ACTU, employers and the Industrial Relations Commission.

Until now the contract call centre workers have been among the worst paid and worst treated of any employees working in Australia’s fastest growing industry (call centres now employ around 350,000 people.)

Under the award, contract workers will receive penalty rates for work performed between 7pm and 7am Monday to Friday. In one company, workers estimate they will be about $1,000 per annum better off.

The new award also includes:

  • casual loadings of 20% for the first 12 months of the award, then
  • rising to 25%
  • overtime rates and shift loadings
  • safe travel home allowance
  • notice of roster changes for employees
  • recognition of trade union delegates and training
  • a six level career structure
  • improved minimum wage rates linked to skills and qualifications
  • To date, Australia’s national contract call centre industry has been largely

    unregulated with contract workers receiving worse wages and conditions than their counterparts performing exactly the same work in-house.

    This award will provide a consistent national safety net of wages and conditions for all contract call centre workers across Australia.

    The new award is supported by the Australian Industry Group and will apply to three of seven major employers. The ACTU and unions will continue to negotiate with the remaining four employers over next few weeks.