Many workplaces are now working under Enterprise Agreements. These enterprise agreements have pay rises built into them and have rates of pay that are higher than the award rates. The Wage Fixing Principle handed down by the Industrial Relations Commission allow award increases to be absorbed by the employer if they are paying rates higher than the award rate.

e.g. If you are being paid $38.00 above the award and the Commission increases the award by $18.00, then you will continue to be paid $20.00 above the award (unless your employer chooses to pass on the pay increase in full).