FWC introduces loaded rates into the Hospitality Award

FWC introduces loaded rates into the Hospitality Award

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FWC introduces loaded rates into the Hospitality Award

bar fair work loaded rate

On 3 September 2021 the Fair Work Commission introduced loaded pay arrangements into the Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2020. These arrangements allow employers to pay certain employees a higher base rate of pay in lieu of employees receiving payment for overtime, penalty rates and the split shift allowance. The change was brought about after a submission to the Fair Work Commission from the Australian Hotels Association, who claimed that it would simplify Award compliance for employers.

What are the rates and who can be covered?

There are 6 tiers of loaded rates that range between 110.20% and 131.05% of an employee’s ordinary hourly rate. The rates vary depending on how many days of the week the rates apply to, which can be Mon-Fri, Mon-Sat or Mon-Sun, and the maximum amount of weekly hours an employee can work under the arrangement which can be either 40 or 45 hours per week.

It is important to note that the loaded rates can only be applied to employees who are full-time, over the age of 21, are level 3 or above in the Award, not receiving supported wage rates, and do not work on a roster with an RDO.

At this stage employers do not need an employee’s agreement to institute a loaded pay arrangement, however they must give employees at least 7 days notice of their intention to introduce the change. Arrangements must be made in writing and in accordance with Schedule L of the Award which you can view here.

Limitations

The loaded rate does not mean that employees have no entitlement to overtime, penalty rates or allowances. It just limits the circumstances where they will be payable.

The following list contains the parameters for a loaded rate and all time worked outside ranges specified or scope of the arrangement will still attract overtime/penalty rates:

  • Monday to Friday: a maximum of 11.5 hours (excluding meal breaks) per day / shift rostered between 7:00am and 12:00am (midnight);
  • Saturday: a maximum of 10 hours (excluding meal breaks);
  • Sunday: a maximum of 10 hours (excluding meal breaks); and
  • if the period between shifts is 3 hours or less, a split shift allowance must be paid

Additionally public holidays payments are excluded from these arrangements and must be paid per the Award.

If you have any queries, please contact us on 0421 592 541 or at 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

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Increase in weekend wages in hair and beauty industry

Increase in weekend wages in hair and beauty industry

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Increase in weekend wages in hair and beauty industry

award rate Fair work casual loading

The Fair Work Commission recently decided to increase penalty rates for weekend work performed by casual employees under the Hair and Beauty Award.

Casual weekend penalty rates will increase in 5 instalments starting from 31 January 2022 and finishing on 31 December 2023. From 3 November 2021 to 30 January 2022, casuals will continue to be paid their usual weekend penalty rate.

The penalty rate applying to ordinary hours worked on Saturdays inclusive of the casual loading is:

  • From 3 November 2021: 133%
  • From 31 January 2022: 138%
  • From 30 April 2022: 143%
  • From 31 December 2022: 148%
  • From 30 April 2023: 153%
  • From 31 December 2023: 158%

The penalty rate applying to ordinary hours and overtime hours worked on a Sunday inclusive of the casual loading is:

  • From 3 November 2021: 200%
  • From 31 January 2022: 205%
  • From 30 April 2022: 210%
  • From 31 December 2022: 215%
  • From 30 April 2023: 220%
  • From 31 December 2023: 225%

It should also be noted that award rates in the Hair and Beauty Award 2020 have been increased by 2.5% effective from 1 November 2021 in line with this year’s Annual Wage Review decision by the Fair Work Commission. This was delayed from 1 July 2021 due to the impact of COVID.

Further increases in award rates as a result of Annual Wage Reviews can be expected to apply from 1 July each year in line with the provisions of the Fair Work Act.

If you have any queries, please contact us on 0421 592 541 or at 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

New casual rule deadline is here

New casual rule deadline is here

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New casual rule deadline is here

casual conversion running out of time

27 September 2021 is just about here and that is when the new rules on casual engagement and conversion come fully into effect.

The Federal Government made amendments to the Fair Work Act back in March. The purpose of the amendments was to provide greater surety about what casual employment is, what entitlements casual employees have and when a casual employee can be offered or apply for conversion to full-time or part-time employment. See our post on 12 May on the legislative changes: https://ridgelinehr.com.au/new-standards-on-casual-employment/

Since then, the Fair Work Commission has been reviewing award provisions relevant to casual employment and casual conversion to align them with the revised provisions of the Fair Work Act.

The changes to Award provisions that it has decided on will also take effect from 27 September 2021. In most cases, the FWC has simply decided to scrap the existing Award provisions for clauses that really just reflect or refer to the new Fair Work Act provisions.

There are some exceptions so you need to check the particular Awards that cover your operations and employees.

Key points in terms of your obligations and exposures as an employer are:

  • You must provide all current and future casual employees with a Casual Employment Information Statement which you can access at https://www.fairwork.gov.au/employee-entitlements/national-employment- standards/casual-employment-information-statement
  • If you have 15 or more employees and you have a casual employee who has been on with you for 12 months and on a consistent work pattern for the last 6 months, you are required to assess them for conversion to ongoing employment by 27 September 2021 or, in future, within 21 days of the employee’s 12 month anniversary of commencing employment.
  • Regardless of how many employees you have, eligible casual employees can request conversion to ongoing employment, you have to respond to that request in writing within 21 days and, if the employee is dissatisfied with your response (eg you refuse the request), the employee can take the matter to the Fair Work Commission for determination.
  • What is really critical is that there is no firm commitment to an ongoing pattern of work in your contract of employment and other terms of the contract are consistent with the requirements and definition of casual employment now prescribed in the Fair Work Act.

What should you be doing:

  1. Assess the status of your casual employees re potential for conversion.
  2. Get your employment contracts professionally reviewed plus things like any position descriptions or job ads you use to ensure that they don’t have compromising content.

If you need a hand with that, give us a call on 0421 592 541 or email us at enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au.

If you haven’t the benefit of professional advice on your workplace relations compliance situation or you just want to make sure, you might want to take advantage of our Lockdown Special Offer on a Fair Work Compliance Assessment. Pay just $600 plus GST in lieu of the regular price of $750 plus GST. Check it out.

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

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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

Federal workplace relations changes

Federal workplace relations changes

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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

Our 4R Recovery Roadmap

Our 4R Recovery Roadmap

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Our 4R Recovery Roadmap

Relating, reflecting, recalibrating and reconditioning

In Melbourne, as we have been emerging gradually from lockdown and business activity
picks up again, there is a need to have a think about what the COVID-19 situation has meant
for our own business and people and what that means for our people strategies going
forward.

In doing that, it is important not to take a “one size fits all approach” because there are so
many differences in the needs of our people, their respective experiences during the
pandemic and their preferred way of working.

Some had to work from home, some had to go to work and some had no work at all.

Some had to home school, some suffered from social disconnection and loneliness and
many had challenges with maintaining physical fitness and/or mental health.

For some, having tasted it, working from home will have its attractions and for others, the
opposite will be true and the social environment of the office will be the clear preference.

Many will want a bit of both and this hybrid model of working is one that will become very
common in the years ahead.

Some will decide that they want to do something different altogether from what they have
done professionally for many years while some will be happy just to be back doing what
they know and are comfortable with.

So how do you work all of that out and come up with a reasonable approach for your
business and your people? We suggest the following 4 steps.

Relating

Talk to your people and ask them where they are at.

What do they each (individually) want their personal future work situation to look like – the
job that they will do and when, where and how they will do it.

By all means, talk about what might be possible in the context of business needs but don’t
make promises that you can’t keep and don’t discard ideas without really giving them
proper consideration.

That is just really about having a genuine and respectful and open conversation.

Reflecting

Take some time to have a think about what each of your people has said about their
experiences and their preferences going forward.

There could be genuine opportunities that could present in honestly thinking about
different ways of doing things and providing flexible or remote working opportunities.

Are there things that have worked OK or perhaps even better during lockdown?

How can you structure things in ways that are going to work better for the business and
your people?

Recalibrating

The recalibration is about resetting the work experience for people based on what has been
learned from the pandemic situation in the context of the needs of your business and your
people.

The first part of that recalibration is getting your COVID-19 safe workplace plan in place and
ensuring that everyone understands it, is equipped to play their part and does so.

How do you embed the use of technology ongoing where that has reaped benefits during
lockdown and offers opportunities for the future?

Many businesses are reporting higher levels of employee satisfaction with the support they
received from their managers – probably because the need for timely communication
became a priority and more communication activity occurred as a result. Put simply, more
conversations occurred.

How can you maintain a culture of continuous conversations and coaching that will
engender greater employee wellbeing, engagement and higher performance.

Reconditioning

As with any process of change, people take time to adapt.

Many people who have been without work or working from home for months on end will
take time to adjust back to the routine of coming to work.

People need reconditioning – physically, socially, with their use of time and with personal
and family commitments. As noted above, some will want to make adjustments to their
working arrangements to get better balance in their lives.

There are also those who are still concerned about the COVID-19 threat and who therefore
may be reluctant to return to the normal workplace. Education on how you will keep people
safe at work (ie your COVID-19 safe workplace plan) will help this situation.

Then of course there is yourself. What are you doing to ensure your own wellbeing and the
optimal performance of your business for yourself, your family and your people?

If you need any help in answering that question, please feel free to give us a call for a free
consultation.

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