Some employees who work in NSW are covered by federal awards. Sometimes, both federal and NSW awards apply to the one workplace, although to different categories of employees.

The conditions of employment specified in NSW awards apply to all of the employees doing the type of work to which the award refers, unless covered by a federal award.

A federal award will specify the category of employee to which it applies and, in addition, will indicate which employers are covered (either individually or through their membership of an employer organisation).