New Fair Work Information Statement

New Fair Work Information Statement

Latest News & Events

 

New Fair Work Information Statement

Fair work information statement

The Fair Work Ombudsman has recently published a new version of the Fair Work Information Statement (FWIS).

It has had a bit of an overhaul to better set out the different entitlements of full-time, part- time and casual employees and to add recent legislative amendments with respect to casual employees.

All employers are required to provide this to every new employee whether covered by an award or enterprise agreement or neither (ie award-free people including executive, professional and managerial staff) before or as soon as possible after commencement. You might want to include this in your offer of employment or onboarding processes.

To not do so is a breach of National Employment Standards and can result in a penalty.

You can download the new FWIS at here.

Also a reminder that there is now also a Casual Employment Information Statement (CEIS) that must be given to all casual employees. This clearly sets out what casual employment is, what rights for casual conversion apply and what options casual employees have if they are aggrieved by a decision by their employer not to agree to their request for casual conversion.

You can download the CEIS here.

If you fail to provide either of these to an employee who is supposed to receive them, that is a breach of National Employment Standards and can result in a penalty.

You might want to include these statements in your offers of employment or onboarding processes just to make sure that it happens.

CONTACT US

Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
Abn : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

Peter Maguire : 0438 533 311

PARTNER LINKS

TELL US WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH

New WorkSafe infringement notices

New WorkSafe infringement notices

Latest News & Events

 

New WorkSafe infringement notices

WorkSafe infringement

As from 31 July 2021, WorkSafe inspectors can issue infringement notices with penalties ranging from $90.87 to $363.48 for an individual and $1817.40 for a corporation.

What is an infringement notice?

An infringement notice is a fine given by a WorkSafe inspector to a person who has committed an infringement offence (as prescribed under Schedule 20 of the OHS Regulations from 31 July 2021). The notice requires the person to pay a fixed penalty.

An infringement notice will include information about:

  • the alleged offence
  • how much is owed
  • options for resolving an infringement, including options to pay the infringement penalty, requesting a review of the infringement notice, or electing to have the infringement offence heard and determined in Court, and
  • the payment due date which will give you at least 21 days to pay from the date the notice is served

What are infringement offences?

An infringement notice can be issued for an infringement offence as an alternative to prosecution.

There are 54 offences under the OHS Act and Regulations that are prescribed as infringement offences.

In summary, the offences relate to:

  • undertaking work without a required licence, registration, qualification, experience or supervision
  • using plant that is not licensed or registered as required
  • failing to meet various duties relating to the removal and storage of asbestos
  • failure to keep various required records

Can I appeal an infringement notice?

You can elect for the infringement to be reviewed by the Internal Review Unit or elect to have the infringement offence heard and determined in court.

If you want WorkSafe to review your fine, you can apply for internal review at any time before the due date for payment listed on your infringement notice or your penalty reminder notice, or within 14 days of becoming aware of a notice if you were unaware of it.

After the due date on the penalty reminder notice, if your fine has not been paid WorkSafe will register the infringement offence with Fines Victoria and you will not be able to apply to WorkSafe for review.

The grounds you can request a review include if you believe:

  • there were exceptional circumstance which applied at the time
  • the decision was contrary to law
  • you are a person who has special circumstances
  • there has been a mistake of identity
  • you were unaware of the notice

The above information has been sourced from www.worksafe.vic.gov.au

If you require assistance with this or any workplace health and safety matter, we encourage you to contact our specialist associate, Bevan Smillie at Smilsafe – see www.smilsafe.com.au.

 

CONTACT US

Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
Abn : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

Peter Maguire : 0438 533 311

PARTNER LINKS

TELL US WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH

High Court overrule on casual employment

High Court overrule on casual employment

Latest News & Events

 

High Court overrule on casual employment

Court Casual employent

Yesterday, the High Court handed down a unanimous landmark ruling overturning recent decisions of the Federal Court to award nominally casual employees leave entitlements.

Those Federal Court decisions involved labour hire employees on fly in fly out back-to-back contracts with rostered hours and pre-booked accommodation of 6 to 12 months aggregating to over 2 years of continuing employment in each case. The Federal Court
formed the view that that sort of arrangement was not characteristic of casual employment and that the employees in question would have had a reasonable expectation of continuing employment. They also decided that the employees were entitled to annual leave, because of those facts and because of deficiencies in the employment contracts (not separately
identifying the amount of the casual loading so as to demonstrate the adequacy of the loading to set off leave entitlements).

These decisions were the stimulus for the amendments to the Fair Work Act passed earlier this year in relation to casual employment. See our previous article on these changes at https://ridgelinehr.com.au/new-standards-on-casual-employment.

One of the elements that the legislative amendments introduced was that a casual employment arrangement could not include a “firm advance commitment to ongoing work with an agreed pattern of work”.

In yesterday’s decision, the High Court determined that a reasonable expectation of continuing employment on the part of the employee was not a firm advance commitment to continuing employment on the part of the employer.

The High Court also found that, notwithstanding the length of continuity of employment and the presence of a regular and consistent roster for the period of each contract, it did not mean that there was a commitment between the employer and employee to continuing employment beyond each limited term contract that they entered into.

What does this mean for employers?

On face value, it might appear that an employer can just engage people as casual on limited term contracts and, provided the contract is properly constructed, that would be the end of it.

However, we mustn’t lose sight of the facts that:

  • After a qualifying period of 12 months employment and subject to certain conditions a casual employee can request conversion to full or part time employment and, in the case of businesses with 15 or more employees, the employer must offer conversion or provide reasons as to why not.
  • Conversion disputes can be taken to the Fair Work Commission for conciliation and arbitration.
  • Awards also have casual conversion provisions which are different to those in the Fair Work Act but these are currently under review by the Fair Work Commission (indications are that they will likely conform with the new legislative provisions from 27 September 2021).

  • Casual employees can make unfair dismissal claims if they are regularly and systematically employed for a continuous period of 6 months for businesses with 15 or more employees or 12 months for those with less employees.
  • Casual employees can make General Protections claims for adverse action taken by an employer against an employee trying to exercise a workplace right such as the right to convert from casual to full-time or part-time. We can expect that the question of an employer taking adverse action by deliberately contracting someone for short periods in what is really an ongoing job so as to avoid casual conversion obligations will be tested at some point.
  • A casual employee can still claim WorkCover……….and we know that insecurity of work plays a significant part in the mental health challenges that we have in our community today.

Don’t cut off your nose…..

Currently, one of the biggest challenges that businesses have is attracting and retaining staff.

For a number of reasons, there is a serious shortage of quality candidates across most industries.

So, if you have someone that you value and you want to keep, look after them and let them know you value them by offering them the opportunity to convert (or employ them on a continuing basis in the first place).

The legislation just sets out the minimum obligations – smart employers who really value their people will do better than that.

CONTACT US

Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
Abn : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

Peter Maguire : 0438 533 311

PARTNER LINKS

TELL US WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH

Wage Inspectorate Victoria up and about

Wage Inspectorate Victoria up and about

Latest News & Events

 

Wage Inspectorate Victoria up and about

Wage inspectorate Victoria

Wage Inspectorate Victoria has been in the news lately as the body that will be responsible for administering and enforcing Victoria’s new Wage Theft law which came into effect from 1 July 2021.

Under that legislation, employers who deliberately underpay employees can be fined close on a million dollars and be imprisoned for up to 10 years. But the Inspectorate has been around for a number of years looking after its other regulatory responsibilities in relation to long service leave, child work permits and owner drivers and forestry contractors.

Recently, the Inspectorate undertook the first prosecution for underpayment of long service leave entitlements under the Long Service Leave Act 2018.

The prosecution was against Coles who pleaded guilty to seven criminal charges filed by the Wage Inspectorate, conceding it underpaid 24 former employees $53,710 between October 2019 and April 2020.

It has been reported that the ongoing investigation has since identified underpayments totalling nearly $700,000 to 4,096 employees. So perhaps there might be more to come here.

Coles pleaded that the underpayments were the result of an error but the Wage Inspectorate Commissioner said there was no excuse for Coles' non-compliance, particularly given its access to HR and legal functions.

We can understand the Commissioner’s view – there have been so many underpayment of wages cases involving some of Australia’s largest and/or high profile employers.

So now there are a couple of officers on the block – the Fair Work Ombudsman and Wage Inspectorate Victoria.

So here are a few questions for you:

  1. Are you paying your people correctly and providing them with the correct leave entitlements?
  2. Are you otherwise compliant with National Employment Standards, modern awards, superannuation and long service leave legislation?
  3. Are you keeping the right employment records?
  4. Do you have access to competent advice?

If you have trouble saying “yes” to any of those questions, you might want to take advantage of our free first consultation.

Or perhaps invest in our very affordable Workplace Relations Compliance Assessment ($750 plus GST).

Contact us online at https://ridgelinehr.com.au/contact-us/ or by phone on 0421 592 541.

 

CONTACT US

Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
Abn : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

Peter Maguire : 0438 533 311

PARTNER LINKS

TELL US WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH

2.5% increase to Award wages

2.5% increase to Award wages

Latest News & Events

 

2.5% increase to Award wages

The Fair Work Commission has handed down its decision in the 2020-2021 Annual Wage Review.

The result is a 2.5% increase in the National Minimum Wage taking it to $772.60 per week or $20.33 per hour. This increase flows on to modern awards effective from 1 July 2021 except for the following awards where the Commission has decided to delay the implementation of the increases:

  1. For the General Retail Industry Award 2020, the increases will come into effect on 1 September 2021.
  2. For the following modern awards and modern enterprise awards, the increases will come into operation on 1 November 2021:
  • 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
  • Amusement, Events and Recreation Award 2020
  • Dry Cleaning and Laundry Industry Award 2020
  • Fitness Industry Award 2020
  • Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010
  • Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2020
  • Live Performance Award 2020
  • Mannequins and Models Award 2020
  • Marine Tourism and Charter Vessels Award 2020
  • Nursery Award 2020
  • Racing Clubs Events Award 2020
  • Racing Industry Ground Maintenance Award 2020
  • Registered and Licensed Clubs Award 2020
  • Restaurant Industry Award 2020
  • Sporting Organisations Award 2020
  • Travelling Shows Award 2020
  • Wine Industry Award 2020.

Please also remember that the Superannuation Guarantee Charge increases by 0.5% to 10% effective from 1 July 2021 as well.

So here are 4 things that you need to do:

  1. Review rates of pay to ensure that all employees are being paid at or above award rates
  2. If you currently have annualised wage or salary arrangements in place with any employees, review those to ensure that they are compliant with minimum requirements and that both minimum award rates and any setoff award provisions are adequately covered by the annualised wage or salary
  3. Make the required adjustment to superannuation guarantee contributions; and
  4. Review your employment contracts to ensure that they reflect the new minimum rates and superannuation guarantee and that they have picked up on any variations to the Fair Work Act (such as the recent casual employment variations) and modern awards that have occurred in recent times (there have been quite a number of variations to modern awards in the last 12 months as part of the modern award review process).

If you need assistance with any of this, please do not hesitate to contact Liam Maguire on 0421 592 541 or at liam@ridgelinehr.com.au.

CONTACT US

Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
Abn : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

Peter Maguire : 0438 533 311

PARTNER LINKS

TELL US WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH

Choosing the right HRM software

Choosing the right HRM software

Latest News & Events

 

Choosing the right HRM software

Smart businesses are investing in cloud-based HRM software solutions to optimise efficiency, enhance employee connectivity and engagement and to assure legal compliance with Fair Work and other employment laws.
 
We went on a journey to find the best system and ended up choosing Employment Hero as ticking pretty well all of the boxes we were looking for.
 
Here is a guide that they have produced on how to choose the right HRM software. We encourage you to take a look and, if you want to explore it further, contact us.
 
Download the checklist here.

CONTACT US

Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
Abn : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

Peter Maguire : 0438 533 311

PARTNER LINKS

TELL US WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH