Correcting Award Classification – F&B Grades 2 and 3

On 23 January, 2020, a number of variations to the Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010 (‘the HIGA’) came into effect. This included a change to the classification definitions for food and beverage (‘F & B’) attendants grades 2 and 3.

‘Taking reservations, greeting and seating guests’, which was one of the indicative duties of an F & B grade 3 employee, was moved to the list of indicative duties performed by an F & B grade 2 employee. In some cases, this means pre-existing employees who do not perform any of the other duties associated with F & B grade 3 should now be correctly re-classified as F & B grade 2. New employees who perform these duties and none of the other duties associated with F & B grade 3 should be classified as F & B grade 2.

We have been asked about this situation and its impact on existing employees.  Our advice is that an employee should be re-classified, however the affected employee’s hourly rate should not be reduced. Instead, the difference between the F & B grade 2 and 3 rates should be used to offset future increases to the minimum F & B grade 2 base rate. In doing so, an employee will not suffer an immediate reduction in their hourly rate, and it will only be necessary to increase the employee’s hourly rate when the hourly rate for an F & B grade 2 (found in clause 20.2 of the HIGA) surpasses the existing rate.

We suggest that members discuss with affected employees the change to the classification definitions for F & B grades 2 and 3, and discuss the approach that will be taken in relation to re-classification and the employee’s hourly rate of pay.  We would also suggest some written documentation outlining the classification change. 

Updated Apprentices Wage Rates Guide Now Available

The ER Department has updated the QHA's Apprentice Wage Rates Guide to include the competency based progression arrangements that were inserted into the HIGA on 23 January 2020.

Where an apprentice has been engaged by an employer after 23 January 2020, the relevant State or Territory legislation allows for competency based progression and the training contract does not specify otherwise, competency based wage progression will apply to apprentices under the HIGA. To access the updated Wage Rates Guide, click HERE.

Wage Health Check

Let the QHA’s ER Department lend a hand - give us your time and wages data and we’ll do the hard work and check whether it’s compliant. There is at least a two week turnaround on any wage health check. To learn more about our Wage Health Check, click HERE.

Further Information

Financial QHA members can seek assistance with reference to employment matters by phoning the ER Team on 07 3221 6999 or emailing