With the new financial year already underway, now is a good time for businesses to ensure they are fully compliant with various practices and procedures relating to employment law.
Failing to adhere to aspects of employment law can lead to major problems for businesses, whether this is intentional or not – e.g. underpayment of wages.
We’ve compiled a checklist outlining some key areas of employment law (including the minimum wage, superannuation and record keeping) to make sure your business is on the right track.
The minimum wage and Modern Awards
Are you aware of recent changes to the minimum wage and Modern Awards?
If you’re a business owner or manager, you should already know that as of 1 July 2022: the Australian minimum wage increased by 5.2%; bringing it to $21.38 an hour ($812.60 per week); most Modern Awards wage rates increased.
Where an employee earns more than $869.60 per week, there is a 4.6% increase. Where employees earn less than this, there is a flat $40 per week increase. The increase to some Modern Awards does not occur until 1 October 2022. However, the allowances and other wage related entitlements increase as of 1 July 2022.
The Modern Awards where the wages increase is scheduled for 1 October 2022 are the Air Pilots Award 2020, Aircraft Cabin Crew Award 2020, Airline Operations – Ground Staff Award 2020, Airport Employees Award 2020, Airservices Australia Enterprise Award 2016, Alpine Resorts Award 2020, Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2020, Marine Tourism and Charter Vessels Award 2020, Registered and Licensed Clubs Award 2020 and Restaurant Industry Award 2020.
Did you know that there have been several important changes to superannuation on 1 July 2022?
- the superannuation guarantee rose from 10.0% to 10.5%. This will continue to rise incrementally over the next several years, peaking at 12.0% in 2025.
- the superannuation minimum threshold was also removed. This means that employers are now legally obligated to pay superannuation for all workers – regardless of how much they earn.
Previously, an employee had to earn at least $450 per month to be eligible for superannuation from their employer.
It is critical to ensure you are paying all employees the correct amount of superannuation reflective of these recent changes.
Are your employment agreements, policies and records up to date.
When it comes to record keeping, it is important that you regularly check to ensure all employment agreements are up-to-date. Where there have been agreed changes to employment agreements, an addendum should be issued to reflect that change.
Workplace policies and procedures should be reviewed at no than two year intervals, revised as needed and those changes communicated to your workforce.
It is also crucial to ensure your record keeping processes are in place and up-to-date. This means ensuring employee time-sheets, payslips and leave entitlements are current and accurate.
If you’re not sure when employment agreements, policies and records were last updated and revised, now is probably a good time to check and plan any updates where that is necessary.
Do you have longer-term casual employees?
If an employee has worked for your business on a casual basis for at least 12 months with a reasonably predictable pattern, you may be required to offer them the option of converting to permanent full-time or part-time employment.
Now is a good time to review the employment status and history of your casual workers to ensure you are adhering to casual conversion laws where they are applicable.
WH&S and working from home
Now is also a good time to review your Workplace Health and Safety practices and procedures. Make sure you understand your WH&S obligations and are on top of them.
Do you have employees who work from home (WFH)?
If the answer is yes, you should also make sure you have sufficient processes in place to ensure WH&S compliance for employees who work from home in any capacity. For example, does their working space at home comply with WH&S requirements; remembering that this WFH space is covered by your WorkCover policy.
Akyra’s key takeaways
- Employers should be cautious about extending probation, with the possible intention of dismissing an employee during the extension.
- Minimum employment periods outlined by the Fair Work Act mean that, after a specific period, workers are entitled to file unfair dismissal claims – regardless of any specified probation.
- The minimum employment period is 6-months where the business employees more than 15 people and 12-months where the business employees less than 15 people.
NEED MORE INFORMATION?
If your business is interested in beginning the journey into supporting the financial wellbeing of your workforce, or would like some further information on the topic, please contact Akyra on 07 3204 8830 or book a free 30-minute consultation for an obligation-free conversation.
Disclaimer – Reliance on Content
The material distributed is general information only. The information supplied is not intended to be legal or other professional advice, nor should it be relied upon as such. You should seek legal or professional advice in relation to your specific situation.
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https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=f5440d6b-7303-4c4f-949c-b6f30b572645&l=9SMFS7A, https://www.fairwork.gov.au/starting-employment/types-of-employees/casual-part-time-and-full-time/casual-employees/becoming-a-permanent-employee, https://business.gov.au/news/changes-for-business-coming-on-1-july-2022