2.5% increase to Award wages

2.5% increase to Award wages

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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

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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

Superannuation Guarantee increases coming

Superannuation Guarantee increases coming

Latest News & Events

 

Superannuation Guarantee increases coming

The Superannuation Guarantee (SG) is the minimum percentage of ordinary time earnings before tax that an employer has to pay an employee (or a contractor deemed to be an employee for superannuation purposes by the ATO). It is currently 9.5% and has been at that rate since 1 July 2014.

However, it is increasing to 10% from 1 July 2021 and further annual increases are scheduled as follows:

  • 10.5% from 1 July 2022
  • 11% from 1 July 2023
  • 11.5% from 1 July 2024
  • 12% from 1 July 2025

Currently, employees who earn less than $450 per month are excluded from eligibility for the SG but the Federal Government has recently announced its intention to remove that qualification with effect from 1 July 2022.

The Superannuation Guarantee is a statutory obligation – it is mandatory and failure to meet that obligation can result in prosecution for breach of the legislation and enforceable orders for back payment of unpaid superannuation contributions.

Need to update your employment contracts?

Need clarification on these changes?

Contact us at enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au if we can be of assistance.

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

Review of annualised wage arrangements

Review of annualised wage arrangements

Latest News & Events

 

Do you need to comply with modern award “Annual Wage” rules? 

About a year ago, the Fair Work Commission made variations to a number of modern awards to insert or change provisions on Annual (or Annualised) Wage Arrangements.

This really arose from widespread abuse of annualised wage arrangements most notably in the hospitality and retail industries where people have been paid on an annualised wage arrangement and been required to work hours well in excess of what they were actually getting paid for.

These new provisions took effect from 1 March 2020 and that means that it is coming up to time to do the first annual reconciliation.

Looking at the Clerks – Private Sector Award 2020 which has pretty broad application across industries, the relevant clause (Clause 18) sets out:

  1. The matters that can be included in an Annualised Wage Arrangement such as award minimum rates, allowances, penalty payments, overtime, shift and annual leave loadings and a few other items
  2. That the employer must advise the employee in writing of the amount of the annualised wage and how it was calculated, detailing each component and any penalty rate and overtime assumptions used in the calculation plus the outer limit of hours that the employee can work under the annualised wage arrangement without being entitled to additional payment of penalty rates or overtime rates under the award.
  3. That the employer must do a reconciliation of the employee’s paid wages against what they would have got under the award every 12 months and when they leave employment and, fort that to happen, the employer has to record the employee’s starting and finishing times and any unpaid breaks and have that signed off by the employee at the end of each pay period or roster cycle. 

On face value, that appears to tell us that these rules apply to any employee who would be covered under a modern award that contains such a clause – in this case, every receptionist, accounts clerk, order intake clerk, etc in most industries attract coverage under the Clerks – Private Sector Award 2020.

Sadly, for many employers and employees, that would not be a welcome addition to their working day or their compliance requirements. 

However, it seems that they might not necessarily have to. On their website, the Fair Work Ombudsman says: “Employers can still pay all employees an annual salary without using annual wage arrangements in an award as long as it covers all of their minimum entitlements. Employers should consider getting independent advice to make sure they’re paying their employees enough.”

That would suggest that you can just do a common law contract stipulating an annualised wage arrangement (call it a salary just to distinguish it from the award provisions) and not have to worry about the award clause of itself.

If you elect to do take the common law option, make sure that:

  1. You have accounted for all of the monetary provisions that would apply to the employee based on their real hours of work (when they are and how many they are) and that they really are better off monetarily under the contract than they would be under the award;
  2. There is a written employment agreement that sets out the terms of that contract including the specification of any set-off arrangements (eg where overtime payments or annual leave loading or other provisions have been provided and set off in total remuneration);
  3. The employee understands and accepts the contract on that basis and signs off on the employment agreement as evidence of that acceptance;
  4. You regularly review remuneration paid under the contract of employment to take account of any changes in award conditions (eg annual minimum wage reviews) and ensure that the employee stays better off under the annualised salary arrangement than they would be under award conditions: and
  5. You understand that, while you may be able to provide and set off monetary entitlements under the award against an annualised salary, you actually cannot contract out of awards. That may mean that, if the employee believes that the annualised salary is not adequate compared to award entitlements, the dispute settlement procedure in the award could come into play.

Because these matters are complicated, all employers should ensure that they have access to competent professional workplace relations advice. 

More information is available at  https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/website-news/past-website-news/new-rules-for-annualised-wage-arrangements#who-do-the-new-rules-affect

You can take advantage of our free first consultation if you would like to see whether we might be able to help – contact us on 0438 533 311 or at https://ridgelinehr.com.au/contact-us/

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

So what now in 2021?

So what now in 2021?

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So what now in 2021?

Did you stay up on New Year’s Eve just to make sure that 2020 left?

It was a hell of a year, wasn’t it?

So what does 2021 hold for us?

Compliance is the first priority

If you haven’t made sure that you are compliant with Fair Work and all of those employment laws and regulations, get compliant!

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s 2019/20 Annual Report tells us that they: 

  • Recovered $123,461,548 in underpaid wages and entitlements for 25,583 workers
  • Resolved 22,000 workplace disputes between workers and businesses
  • Had 21.8 million visits to its website
  • Answered 422,455 calls

So the odds are that, if you aren’t doing the right thing or you are not able to show your people that you are (even if you think you are), you might get that call.

There are big fines and the Fair Work Ombudsman does publicly report stuff and you don’t want that. Check it out at https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/default.

Sorry…. but that compliance stuff is ramping up

Last year, the Victorian Government passed legislation making wage theft a criminal offence (that takes effect from no later than 1 July this year) and the federal government has also introduced a bill that would make wage theft a criminal offence. 

Businesses and organisations are now being held to account to make sure that their contractors and supply chains are compliant with workplace laws….and that contractors are really bona fide independent contractors.

If you happen to be in the construction industry and work on major civil projects or otherwise supply to government, a finding of non-compliance could result in disqualification and really hurt your business.  

Added to all of that, if you are in Victoria and you use labour hire, you must ensure that the firm you are using is a registered labour hire provider or run the risk of prosecution for using an unregistered provider. Find out more at https://labourhireauthority.vic.gov.au/host/.

COVID has changed the rules and the expectations

We all have to have COVID safe workplace plans and to ensure that everyone understands and complies with the rules for your workplace.

Then there are the people who have been working from home. Some will have enjoyed that and want to do more of it even as the restrictions relax. Then again, some are delighted to be getting back to the old workplace.

The important things here are to work out what can work in balance for your business and your people and respect the fact that one size does not fit all. So sit down and have a chat with each of them individually and work out what works best for both of you. 

Positive leadership is more important than ever

In ordinary times, the way that you lead your people is a major factor in their wellbeing and performance and, guess what……really critical for your wellbeing and performance too.

So when we have been through what we have over the past year and with what we have ahead of us, this quality of leadership is even more important.

Science tells us that having a positive leadership mindset and a positive workplace culture centred on gratitude can make remarkable differences to organisational performance and the happiness and wellbeing of your people.

We use a platform called ShareTree to support that culture and encourage other businesses to have a look at this. See www.sharetree.org.

About us

Ridgeline HR is a boutique People and Culture consulting practice based in Croydon.

We have been Helping PEOPLE in BUSINESS with PEOPLE BUSINESS like all of this stuff since 2000.

We offer a free first consultation if you have a HR issue that you need some advice on.

We are happy to come to you or shout you a cuppa over a chat at a local café.

If you would like to take up that offer, call us on 0438 533 311 or email enquiries@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

Federal workplace relations changes

Federal workplace relations changes

Latest News & Events

 

Federal workplace relations changes up for debate in 2021

Recently, the federal government introduced the Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Economic Recovery) Bill 2020 to the House of Representatives with expectedly mixed reactions from employer and union groups.

The bill proposes significant changes in a number of key areas:

  • The definition of a casual employee in an attempt to dispel confusion about what constitutes a casual employee and what their entitlements are (recent Federal Court decisions have extended rights of permanent employees to some who had been designated as casual and paid a casual loading by their employer)
  • A legislated obligation on an employer to offer conversion of a casual employee with
    12 months service qualified by an exemption in certain circumstances
  • Simplification of the processes and tests required to make an enterprise agreement
  • Variations to award provisions to allow part-time employees in certain industries (predominantly retail and hospitality awards) to agree to work additional hours at ordinary rates of pay
  • Provisions enabling employers to give flexible work directions under those same awards in relation to the work to be performed and the location at which work is to be performed including at home
  • Extension of the operating period for greenfields agreements for new projects to up to 8 years (currently 4 years)
  • A new criminal offence for wage theft with penalties of up to 4 years imprisonment and $1.1 million for an individual and $5.55 million for a corporation
  • The ability for Courts to refer small claims to the Fair Work Commission for conciliation and arbitration
  • Outlawing the advertisement of jobs with wages below the level of the federal minimum wage

The ACTU and the federal opposition have already signaled their opposition to some of the proposed changes and a lively debate possibly supported by a union campaign can be expected in the New Year.

More to come in 2021…..

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