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How to Install and Configure a Pre-built Award or Employment Agreement

SOLVEDby QuickBooks7Updated September 15, 2023

This article is a checklist that will guide you through the steps to install and implement your pre-built award or Employment Agreement.

Note: Pre-built Awards and Employment Agreements are only available on the Advanced subscription of QuickBooks Payroll powered by Employment Hero.

Also, read this article in conjunction with the article relevant to the Award or Employment Agreement you wish to install.

  1. Go to Payroll.
  2. Select Payroll Settings, then select Manage Awards.
  3. Select the All tickbox, then select Install next to the Pre-built Award.
  4. Select Install to begin installing the award package. (This may take 5-10 minutes depending on the complexity of the award you are installing).


  • Once installed, you will receive a new set of pay categories, leave categories, work types, rule sets, pay rate templates, leave allowance templates, expense categories and employment agreements. All of these can be found by reviewing the payroll settings area. 
  • Each separate screen will generally have a drop down box where you may select to review the award based pay categories as separate from your own custom pay categories.

Configure a State for each Location

  1. Go to Payroll.
  2. Select Payroll Settings, then select Locations.
  3. Select your location’s name, then select the state from the State drop-down menu. 
  4. Select Save.

How to add a custom public holiday

  1. Go to Payroll.
  2. Select Payroll Settings, then select Public Holidays.
  3. Select the date of your public holiday on the calendar.
  4. Enter the Description, Notes, State/s and Specific Locations of the public holiday.
  5. Select Save. 


  • Check for all government and regional public holidays not listed and add them in manually if required.
  • Refer to this article for further customisation of public holidays.

In some situations, there may be some rules in the rule sets which don't apply to your business. A common example is the auto meal break rule, which automatically adds in a meal break after a certain length of time without a meal break. If you would like employees to enter their own breaks during their shift, you may want to disable this rule.

To disable specific rules:

  1. Go to Payroll.
  2. Select Payroll Settings, then select Rule Sets.
  3. Select your award from the dropdown menu.
  4. Select the rule name.
  5. Select the box under Disabled Rules, then select the rule you wish to disable.
  6. Select Save.

This can be used to decide different shift periods, e.g. if you calculate overtime over a four week period, you can set the date for when the period should end. If you pay weekly, you can set the day of the week that the rule is set based on the number of hours worked in a week (the same could be said for a fortnightly pay period).

To customise this:

  1. Go to Payroll.
  2. Select Payroll Settings, then select Rule Sets.
  3. Select the award from the dropdown menu.
  4. Select the rule set name. 
  5. Select the appropriate option from the Rule Set Period dropdown menu.
  6. Select the ending date accordingly.
  7. Select Save.


  • The rule set period does not have to be the same as your pay schedule, e.g. you can pay weekly but overtime can be assessed over four weeks as per the award. The appropriate setting, in this case, would be four weeks rather than weekly. Refer to the relevant award or employment agreement for the appropriate setting. 
  • Where there is flexibility on this, it is best to keep the date or day that the rule set period ends to be the same as your pay schedule, to avoid, e.g. overtime being applied half-way through your working week.

If you would like to modify some settings in the award template, such as paying a higher rate or adding and removing existing pay conditions, it is recommended to create a new employment agreement that incorporates these new templates. Here is an article that will help you with creating a new employment agreement.

Note: Any new templates created for internal purposes will not be updated when there are updates to an award package, e.g. annual rate increases.

  1. Go to Payroll.
  2. Select the employee’s name, then select Pay Run Defaults.
  3. Select the name of the award from the Award dropdown menu.
  4. Select the name of the Employment Agreement you’d like to apply.
  5. Enter the number of hours per week the employee normally works.
    • Note if you are unsure, enter in 38 hours, as entering zero hours may cause all shifts to be recorded as overtime as all are above ‘standard hours’.
  6. Select the Leave Allowances Template.
  7. Select Save.

Note: Refer to a copy of the award or agreement to ensure you are assigning the correct level to the correct role.

Employee tags can be used to represent pay conditions specific to certain employees, e.g. a first aid officer may receive an allowance under an award, and when tagged, the employee will receive that allowance based on a pay condition in the rule set.

Here’s how to add a tag to an employee:

  1. Go to Payroll.
  2. Select the employee’s name, then select Details.
  3. Select the box under Tags at the bottom of the page.
  4. Enter a name for your tag. 
  5. Once you have added all tags, select Save.

Work types and shift conditions are a way of describing the kind of shift being worked, or conditions specific to that shift, e.g. if an employee has a work type called “working outside in heavy rain”, you can set them to receive an allowance in the rule set for working in these circumstances. 

To configure work types for the employee:

  1. Go to Payroll.
  2. Select the employee’s name, then select Work Types.
  3. Select the work types specific to the employee. 
    • Once the work type is enabled, the employee can choose it if they enter a timesheet, or clock on and off using Clock Me In.
  4. Select Save.

Note: If the work type is greyed out and you want to be able to deselect the work type, you will need to modify the work type to set it as not automatically enabled for a particular employment type. To do this:

  1. Go to Payroll.
  2. Select Payroll Settings, then select Work Types.
  3. Select the award from the Your work types dropdown menu.
  4. Select the tick-boxes that are relevant in the Automatically enabled for section. 
  5. Select Save.

Once these steps have been completed, you are now ready to have very streamlined and automated payroll while maintaining your compliance. Award templates will be updated from time to time in accordance with the Fair Work Ombudsman and you will be notified to install these updates on the Employees page.


Content sourced from Employment Hero

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