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On 12 February 2021, ABSIA shared a letter of support for the Modern Awards Pay Database API with the Fair Work Commission to assist in securing funding for the project. 

Following the completion of the API consultation with our members and industry stakeholders, ABSIA worked with members to produce letters of support for the MAP database API. Please find the letter from ABSIA on behalf of the business software industry below. 
 

Business Software Industry Support for the Fair Work Commission's Modern Awards Pay Database API

Letter of support sent to the Fair Work Commission on 12 February 2021

The Australian Business Software Industry Association (ABSIA) was introduced to the Fair Work Commission's Modern Awards Pay (MAP) database in mid 2020 where discussions with industry about creating an Application Programming Interface (API) enabled version of the database began. 

More recently, ABSIA and our members have been working with the Fair Work Commission to identify the data and functionality requirements that accounting, payroll and time attendance software would need from an API to provide maximum benefits to their customers. This process has shown that there is enormous industry support and excitement for the release of this API. What has also become evident is that the scope of work required to produce an API that provides maximum benefits to all stakeholders is potentially larger than originally participated. ABSIA Members would also prefer for the API to be delivered sooner rather than later with most wanting a release by late 2021 to mid 2022. 

After the initial consultation, the potential uses and benefits that the MAP database API will provide include (but are not limited to):

  • Assisting employers with employee onboarding and making sure employees are under the right classifications and their applicable pay rates. 
  • Ensuring that the payroll run for each employee conforms to the applicable Modern Award criteria including hours worked, penalty payments, leave and holidays. 
  • Allowing employers to ensure that the final settlement for a terminated employee is based on the applicable Modern Award criteria including termination and redundancy. 
  • Ability to utilise the MAP database to optimise roster planning.
  • Enabling employers to model and/or forecast the cost of hiring a new employee in accordance with Modern Award entitlements. Essentially giving employers a more simplified way of determining whether they can afford taking on a new employee. 
  • Providing employees with information that allows them to determine if they are being correctly paid in accordance with the Modern Award outlined in their employment contract and current duties. 

We understand that the release of the API has the potential to bring about more use cases and benefits as software developers integrate this data in to their platforms. 

With the MAP database being the single source of truth from the Fair Work Commission, it will give employers more confidence that they are consistently paying their employees the correct wages. Further, with accounting, payroll and time and attendance software consuming this data, employers will be able to access and manage this information straight from their usual software. Having this information regularly updated and provided straight from the Fair Work Commission will remove much of the guessing work in wage calculations and potentially be a solution to decrease cases of wage theft that had a lot of media attention in 2019 and 2020. 

ABSIA wholly supports the work of the Fair Work Commission here and believe that the MAP database API will bring a multitude of benefits to employers and the economy as a whole. For this API to be secure, robust and fit for purpose and for the Fair Work Commission to undertake the additional work required to update the data in line with industry needs, we understand that additional funds are needed to support this work.  

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