Award Wage Calculator

Award Wage Calculator for Nurses in Australia: After the world suffered a huge COVID pandemic, one good thing was that we all got to know the importance of nurses.

Nursing is one of the biggest professions in Australia. Currently there are more than 303,000 registered nurses in Australia. 54% of Australians are in the healthcare sector. These figures clearly prove the importance of nurses.

However, paying them correctly is as important as having them among ourselves!

In this article, we will cover all about award wages for nurses in Australia and calculating it.

Award Wage Calculator for Nurses in Australia:

What are Award Wages?

Award wages refer to the minimum amount of payment given to employees in any sector which has been officially decided by the law.

An award is termed as legal documentation defining specific employment terms and conditions, which also include minimum wages. 

There are more than 120 awards in Australia ranging from the Hospitality Industry Award 2020 to the Nurses Award 2021, covering almost all workers in Australia. These awards are set by the Fair Work Commission in Australia and they are reviewed consistently.

As of 1 July 2023, the national minimum wage for Australians is $23.23 per hour and $882.80 per week ( before tax). But these rates are applicable to adult employees who do not fall under the award category.

However, if we talk about the employees covered by awards or agreements, they have a higher national minimum wage and depend upon varying professions and industries. There are various award wage calculators that will help you calculate your wage in seconds.

The Nurses Award

As we’ve mentioned above, these awards decide the pay rules and rates for different industries. Similarly, for the nurse sector, it’s the Nurses Award which decides everything to make it fair. These pay rates are decided by the Fair Work Commission each year.

The nurses award was first introduced on 1 January, 2010 and was updated in 2020.

The nurses award is the basic paying standard for nurses in Australia. However, in some sectors, these awards are not followed, such as in the public sector, nurses can negotiate their pay. 

And sometimes the pay is also decided on the basis of Enterprise Bargaining Agreement, not the award.

Similarly some major hospitals also don’t follow awards and negotiate the pays with the union. Primary and secondary schools which employ nurses are also not covered by the awards.

However, following these awards is good because they act as a guide to all your necessities as a nurse. They set the pay rates, entitlements and conditions for you. If you fail to follow these, it can cost you a fortune. It can ruin your business reputation and fine you with huge penalties.

How to calculate Award wage for Nurses?

These complex calculations have now become super easy with the invention of online calculators. You can calculate your award wage as a nurse in Australia through a calculator. It’s a super easy and user friendly tool. 

Award Wage Calculator
Award Wage Calculator

You just have to add a little details they’re asking for and you can get your accurate figure in a snap. Here’s an accurate calculator

This tool is designed by the Fair Work Ombudsman. It is a time saving and free to use tool. Such online calculators also save you from the expenses of tax advisors and agents.

Who does the Nurses Award Cover?

The nurses award basically covers employers and their workers in the health sector and also the employers who employ nurses and midwives.

However, a few examples of the employees covered by the nurses award are as follow:

  • Registered Nurses: This includes general and specialist nurses like practitioners and clinical nurses. In order to be covered by the award, they should be employed and provide services.
  • Enrolled Nurses: Nurses with a diploma qualification are termed as enrolled. They should be employed and provide healthcare services in order to be covered.
  • Nursing Assistants: This includes unlicensed nursing assistants providing standard clinical and non clinical roles and services.
  • Midwives: This category includes registered midwives employed and providing nursing services to women.
  • Dental Nurses: Employed dental nurses also cover in awards.
  • Student Enrolled Nurses: Enrolled nurses employed in a school or hospital are also covered by awards.

One thing we can say is that the coverage of the nurses award is broad yet complicated. You need to research in order to comply.

Who is not Covered by the Nurses Award?

The following categories are not covered by the nurses award:

  • Registrars
  • Medical practitioners such as doctors.
  • Administration employees.
  • Healthcare professionals such as managers, therapists for physiotherapists.
  • Clerical employees.
  • Nurses working in primary or secondary schools.

Employees Classification Under the Nurses Award

The three major types of employees covered by the nurses award are as follow:

  1. Full Time Employees: The full time nurse employees work for an average of 38 hours per week. They are permanent or on long-term contract employees. They are open to all award conditions, including a paid leave.
  1. Part time Employees: The part time nurse employees work only regular hours and work for less than 38 hours per week. Their conditions and entitlements are calculated on pro-rata.
  1. Casual Employees: Casual employees have no committed working hours or agreements. However, due to the lack of paid leave, they are paid a casual loading

( an additional 25% to their hourly wage).

With the above information, you must’ve judged that there is very minimal engagement for part time or casual nurses. 

For nurses who are employed for part time, before starting their work, they must agree and contract for guaranteed minimum working hours and schedules with their employer.

However, nurses employed on a casual basis have no guaranteed working hours.

Penalty rates for Nurses

Penalty rates are included by all types of awards under different circumstances. Penalty rates are applied when an employee has to work overtime or at unamiable times such as on weekends or late night. 

For this inconvenience, they will receive a higher pay rate per hour to compensate.

Award Wage Calculator
Award Wage Calculator

 And if an employee works longer than the hours they are allocated, that’s termed as overtime. This also increases the basic hourly pay rate of an employee. It is only applicable during the extra hours an employee works.

Allowances for Nurses under the Nurses Award

Allowances are the basic benefits additional pay given to the nurses in order to compensate for the inconveniences related to their job.

Here are the allowances for nurses under the nurses award:

  • Uniform Allowance: Gives you allowance for purchasing and maintaining your uniform.
  • Tools and Equipments: Allowance for all sorts of tools and equipment required for your work.
  • Higher duties: If you temporarily have to perform a duty that’s higher than your grade, you’ll also be paid for that.
  • Meal Allowance: If you are working overtime or on irregular hours without being notified, you’ll be paid for a meal.
  • Travel Allowance: You will also be paid for any travel or transport related expenses related to your work.

Leave Rights Under the Nurses Award 

The nurses award is subjected to the same leave entitlements as all other major awards. These entitlements are decided by the National Employment Standards. Here are the rights for different categories of employees:

  • Full-time Employees: They are entitled to paid leave including annual leave. They are also given a sick and compassionate leave.
  • Part-time Employees: They are entitled to paid leave including annual leave. They are also given a sick and compassionate leave.
  • Casual Employees: They are not entitled to leaves but they are paid additional 25% per hour in compensation.


An employer has to make a superannuation contribution on the behalf of their workers. This is termed as Superannuation Guarantee (SG).

The superannuation rate is currently set at 11% of an employees OTE(ordinary time earnings) for the year 2023-2024. However it will keep increasing 0.5% each year until it stops at 12% in 2025.

The awards have made it mandatory for the employers to add the SG percentage in the employee’s pay for a superannuation contribution.


Understanding the complexities of the awards can be hard. Therefore, we’ve written this article for you to understand what the nurses award is all about. Also how you can calculate the award wage for nurses using a calculator.

We hope these key points have cleared all your doubts and now as a nurse, you know what you’re getting.