Are you ready for annualised wage obligations next week?

From 1 March 2020, new annualised wage provisions come into operation in many modern awards. They impose new and significant obligations on employers which in many cases will not be welcomed by employees. For example, you will be required to ensure that your employees record their starting and finishing times and their lunch breaks even if that is counter to your workplace value of trusting your people to do the right thing or something that you do not see as appropriate in your professional office. See our previous article for more details on the new obligations here.

The good news is that the Fair Work Commission has left the door open if you want to take an alternative approach via a common law contract. Here is what it said: “Employers may, pursuant to private contractual arrangements, pay employees in accordance with a salary arrangement that compensates for or “buys out” identified award entitlements without engaging with the annualised wage arrangements provision in the applicable award.” 

Of course, you still need to ensure that your employees are better off overall than they would be if they were paid strictly in accordance with all award conditions (not just the minimum rates). If that is true in your case and there is no potential for your employee’s annualised salary (whether expressed as a fixed annual or weekly or fortnightly or monthly amount) to fall below that total award entitlement, properly drafted set off clauses in your employment contracts will enable you to legally avoid “engaging with the annualised wage arrangements provision in the applicable award.

We can help you with that at a very affordable price – just $250 plus GST per contract. Of course, we will need you to show us that you are not in danger of underpaying people against award entitlements first – after all, we don’t want to be an accessory to an underpayment of wages.

If you want to engage us to assist with this, contact us here or call Peter Maguire on 0438 533 311.

Extension of coverage of Victorian Portable Long Service Leave Scheme

On and from 1 January 2020, National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and certain children’s services providers come under the Portable Long Service Benefits Scheme.

From that date, an activity funded by the NDIS, as well as services provided by licensed children’s services and approved providers under the Education and Care Services National Law, are included in the scheme as community services work.

This means that eligible employers, with workers undertaking these types of work, will need to register with the Portable Long Service Authority by 31 March 2020.

More information is available at https://www.vic.gov.au/portable-long-service-community-services-sector

FWO recovers over $40m in underpaid wages

The Fair Work Ombudsman has been very busy in 2018/19 and that is only likely to ramp up further this year and in the future.

Here are all the numbers direct from www.fairwork.gov.au

infographic of 2018-19 annual report

Need help in understanding and complying with your obligations as an employer – contact us for a no obligation and free chat