Get set for a 3.0% wage increase!
The Fair Work Commission has announced a 3.0% increase to minimum wages. The new national minimum wage will be $740.80 per week or $19.49 per hour. The increase applies from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 July 2019.
Who does the increase apply to?
The 3.0% increase applies to employees that get their pay rates from:
- the national minimum wage
- a modern award
The national minimum wage applies to employees who aren't covered by an award or agreement. For employees covered by an award, award rates will increase by 3.0%.
If you're covered by a registered agreement, you should check it to see whether this increase affects you. The increase doesn't affect employees who already get paid more than the minimum wage.
Good News For Employers Employing Casuals
DID YOU KNOW?
The Federal Government has introduced the Fair Work Amendment (Casual Loading Offset) Regulations 2018 in response to the recent Workpac v Skene (2018) decision.
The Casual Loading Offset Regulation provides that an employer can make a claim to have the casual loading payments made to the employee taken into account when working out the entitlements owing to the employee for the relevant National Employment Standards (NES) entitlements.
This can occur where the following criteria are successfully met:
- The employee is employed on a casual basis;
- The employee is paid a casual loading which is 'clearly identifiable as an amount paid to compensate the person for not having one or more relevant NES entitlements' (for example, annual leave or personal leave);
- Despite being classified by the employer as a causal, the employee was in reality a full-time or part-time employee for some or all of their employment for the purposes of the NES;
- The person makes a claim to be paid for one or more of the relevant NES entitlements that they didn't receive for all or some of the time they were incorrectly classified as a casual.
This regulation came into effect on 18 December 2018. However, it applies to all employment periods including those that occurred wholly or partly before that date.
Please contact us if you have any queries relating to your employment contracts at firstname.lastname@example.org
HEAT OF THE MOMENT RESIGNATION
DID YOU KNOW?
Under the Fair Work Act 2009 ('Act') a person has been dismissed if that person resigned and was forced to do so because of conduct of the Employer.
This means that an Employee who resigns in the heat of the moment may actually be deemed to have been dismissed and therefore is protected by the Unfair Dismissal provisions of the Act.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Although the Employee has 'indicated' that they are resigning from their employment, it does not mean that they intended to do so. The resignation may simply be an impulsive reaction and therefore the Employee has not had the opportunity to consider the implications of the resignation.
It is important that the Employer is certain with their interpretation of the circumstances surrounding the termination. The steps below are a guide as to how certainty can be achieved:
- Conduct a close review of the events leading up to the resignation including the conduct of managers and supervisors.
- Allow the Employee a reasonable time to consider the resignation.
- Have a follow-up discussion with the Employee to confirm their intention regarding resignation.
- Once termination is confirmed, set out terms in writing and provide a copy to the Employee.
- Finalise the employment, which includes payment of the termination entitlements in accordance with the Modern Award / Fair Work Act 2009.
- With any termination / dismissal, it is open to the Employee to lodge an application for an Unfair Dismissal Remedy with the Fair Work Commission.
In a dispute, a 'heat of the moment' resignation would likely be seen as a 'special circumstance' and therefore the termination is not a result of the Employees resignation but is in fact a dismissal.
Where the termination is a 'dismissal' considering the conduct of the Employer, likely outcomes will be compensation or reinstatement. Compensation in this jurisdiction may be up to 26 weeks pay.
In order to ensure that the termination is a resignation and not a dismissal the Employer should:
- Take all reasonable steps to clarify the intention of the Employee.
- Always confirm the clarification of the intention in writing, along with the terms of the termination.
Should you be unsure of the circumstances regarding an Employees resignation, please seek our advice.
ALCOHOL & HIGH RISK WORK
The person conducting a business or undertaking (employer or principal contractor) has a primary duty to ensure that risks in the workplace are eliminated so far as is reasonably practicable and if it is not reasonably practicable
to do so, the risks must be minimised so far as is reasonably practicable.
Health and safety risks exist in all work environments and work practices. However, high risk tasks by their nature, present significant risk to health and safety and therefore will often require more stringent controls in order to adequately minimise the risks so far as is reasonably practicable.
The most effective way to demonstrate that you take reasonably practicable action towards meeting your WHS / OHS obligations is to have clear, documented policies and procedures that outline the management of the risks associated with drugs and alcohol in your business.
To assist you with the management of Drugs and Alcohol we have uploaded a template policy that you can customise to reflect your business practices. We also provide an Advice Line where we can answer any questions you may have.
Click here to download the latest Fitness for Work Policy - Drug and Alcohol Management.
Click here to download the full Article.
If you need our assistance, please Contact Us.
FWA Compliance Check
Preparation is not only for the Company's who may be audited. It is important for all Company's to have peace of mind that all their employment practices are in accordance with the Fair Work Act.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Fair Work Inspectors will select businesses at random within the areas and investigate whether Employers are providing entitlements to their employees in accordance with the applicable Modern Award or legislative instrument. The Spot Check will include an investigation to assess compliance around:
- Minimum hourly rates;
- Overtime and penalty rates;
- Loadings; and
- Meal breaks.
The Spot Check will also include a review of your compliance to record-keeping and pay-slip obligations. This means that you must be able to produce records of this nature, if requested.
We feel it important to highlight that should your business be included in this Spot Check campaign, they will request certain records as evidence of your conformance.
You are required to provide these records as requested and may also be asked to provide a formal response should any non-conformance be identified.
This process can be time consuming and it is open to the Fair Work Ombudsman to use this information for further action against the Employer.
If your business gets Audited and you need our assistance, please Contact Us.
We recommend that you invest the time to develop a comprehensive induction program for all your workers, now!
One benefit of an organised and efficient induction program is that your new worker is likely to achieve the maximum level of productivity as early as possible. Secondly, the treatment the new worker receives on the first day often influences their perceptions of you as their employer and your business.
The Company has specific obligations under State health and safety legislation to provide adequate information, instruction, training and supervision to all workers. A good induction process not only demonstrates that you have taken reasonable steps to meet this obligation, but also provides workers with the information they need to operate within the work environment safely, which consequently reduces the overall risks associated with having new/untrained worker.
When done correctly, the information you present at the start of employment should also provide the worker with a clear understanding of the expectations and terms associated with their employment. This information can prove to be fundamental when having to approach the worker in future performance or behaviour related discussions.
To assist your Company in preparing and delivering an efficient induction program, Business Savvy have made the following documents:
1. Company Induction Policy
2. Company Training and Development Policy
3. Pre, During and Post Induction Checklist
4. First Day Induction Checklist
Need help? HR/OHS advice? Business Savvy Risk Management advisors are available to assist you with all your HR and OHS needs. Contact Business Savvy Risk Management on (02) 8076 6067 or email email@example.com