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ADF Workplace Remuneration Arrangement ‑ 2014 – Frequently Asked Questions


1. What change was approved?

On 9 June 2015, the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal (DFRT) approved:

  • an increase in salary and related allowances of 0.5 per cent from 12 March 2015.
  • The two remaining WRA increases set for November 2015 and November 2016 will be increased from 1.5 per cent to 2 per cent.

2. When will I receive the increase?

ADF members will receive the increase from 30 July 2015 with the payment being backdated to 12 March 2015.

Due to end of financial year processing, the payroll and administrative systems require several weeks to make the necessary adjustments.

3. Who does the WRA apply to?

The WRA applies to all ADF members up to and including the rank of Lieutenant General (E). Statutory Office Holders such as the CDF, VCDF and Service Chiefs are excluded from the WRA as their pay is set by a separate body known as the Remuneration Tribunal and not the DFRT.


WRA Governance

4. Who is DMR?

The Directorate of Military Remuneration (DMR) is a part of People Policy and Employment Conditions (PPEC) Branch in the Defence People Group. The role of DMR is to develop and maintain pay structures for the ADF, categorise ADF work and manage its placement in the pay structures, develop and maintain salary related allowances and develop and maintain industrial policy. DMR is responsible for the development and implementation of the ADF Workplace Remuneration Arrangements.

5. Who is the DFRT?

The DFRT is an independent body responsible for the determination of military salary and allowances including the industrial pay arrangements. The Tribunal consists of three members, of which at least one must be a former member of the Australian Defence Force.  The DFRT operates under the authority of Section 58H of the Defence Act 1903 and is responsible for approving the ADF WRA.

6. Who is APSC?

The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) is the Government agency responsible for the industrial relations policies on behalf of the Commonwealth Government. APSC represents the Commonwealth Government in cases being considered by the DFRT.

7. What role does the CDF play?

The CDF represents the members of the ADF in the development of the WRA and its consideration by the DFRT.  The CDF and Government agreed the WRA package for presentation to the DFRT.

8. What is the ADF WRA?

The ADF Workplace Remuneration Arrangement is the means by which ADF members receive across-the-board pay rises over a specified period. The WRA is confined to pay and pay related allowances only.  In other words, those remuneration matters that fall under the jurisdiction of the DFRT.

9. Where are all our other conditions of service stated?

All other conditions of service applicable to ADF members are contained in the ADF Pay and Conditions Manual.

10. What is the DECA?

The Defence Enterprise Collective Agreement (DECA) is the primary document that delivers salary, allowance and all conditions of service applicable to Australian Public Service (APS) employees of the Department of Defence.  It covers pay rises and conditions of service for Defence APS employees. Some aspects are comparable to the ADF, some are not.

11. I have seen a lot of information regarding the DECA.  What is the relationship between the WRA and the DECA?

The DECA and the WRA are developed through separate processes and governance arrangements.

From time to time, there has been consistency in the salary increases of the ADF and the Defence APS under the WRA/DECA, but the employment frameworks have always been different.

This change to the WRA acknowledges the difference between ADF service and Defence APS employment.

12. Why doesn't the WRA state all our conditions of service like the DECA does?

The Defence Act 1903 Section 58B empowers the Minister for Defence, and through him his delegates, the authority to develop, monitor and review conditions of service to meet the needs of the ADF. If these were contained in the WRA, the CDF would not be able to seek changes in conditions of service until the expiry of the arrangement.

By continually monitoring ADF conditions of service, the CDF may seek to adjust conditions of service to meet the changing needs of the ADF.

13. Why can't we vote on the WRA like the public servants do on the DECA?

Members of the ADF do not have the right to vote because such a vote would be inconsistent with the power of senior leaders to command the ADF. Under the provisions of Defence Personnel Regulations, members of the ADF are not considered ‘employees’ in the same manner as other employees in the Australian workforce. Therefore members are not bound by the Fair Work Act 2009, which provides APS employees with a right to vote. Similarly, there is no union for ADF members who are subject to military discipline.



Last Updated: 17 June 2015