FWC lifts Minimum Wage by 5.2%

FWC lifts Minimum Wage by 5.2%

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FWC lifts Minimum Wage by 5.2%

great resignation

This morning, the Fair Work Commission announced its decision in the 2021-2022 Annual Wage Review. This has been the most anticipated annual wage review for some time given the recent commentary from our new Federal Government about ensuring that wage increases keep pace with inflation which is tracking at 5.1%.

This year, the decision has a few different elements in that FWC decided to:

  • Award a $40 per week increase in the national minimum wage and award wages that are currently below $869.60 per week
  • Award a 4.6% increase to award wages that are currently $869.60 per week or more
  • Defer the operative date for a few industries (those in aviation, tourism and hospitality industries) to 1 October 2022
  • Apply the increases for all other Awards from the normal date of 1 July 2022.

The $40 per week increase in the national minimum wage equates to 5.2% and increases it to  $812.60 per week or $21.38 per hour.

The new rates are payable from the commencement of the first pay period occurring one or after the relevant operative date.

For employers, the different scenarios that can apply are:

  1. If you have employees who are covered by a modern award and you otherwise apply all of the terms and conditions of the award, you must ensure that employees are paid at least the award rate for their classification as adjusted for this decision.
  2. If you have employees who are award free and not covered by an enterprise agreement, you must ensure that they are paid at least the National Minimum Wage as adjusted for this decision.
  3. If you have employees who are covered by an award and you pay them on an annualised wage basis or on a salary or all purpose rate which sets off certain monetary employment conditions such as annual leave loading, overtime and shift loadings, penalty payments and allowances, you need to recalculate the rate of pay to ensure that the employee remains better off overall against award entitlements and comply with any award provisions that might apply to annualised wage arrangement.
  4. If you have employees who are covered by an enterprise agreement which provides for annual adjustment of wages in line with Annual wage Review decisions of the Fair Work Commission, you need to adjust wages by the designated amount or percentage from the operative date for the relevant award.
  5. If you have employees who are covered by an enterprise agreement but the agreement does not provide for annual adjustment as per 4, you need to ensure that wages paid are at least equal to those applying to the underpinning modern awards or the National Minimum Wage as applicable from the relevant operative date.
  6. You need also to have regard to any provisions in employment contracts which might provide an obligation to pass on any increases separate from or additional to any of the above scenarios.

Please also note that there have been a number of changes to the Fair Work Act and modern awards since the last Annual Wage Review.

This likely also means that you will need to review your employment contracts, something that we recommend that you do at least once a year in any case.

If you need assistance in understanding and applying the effects of this decision in your business, we are happy to assist. We offer a free initial phone consultation if this is of interest to you. Contact us at 0438 533 311 or 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

What’s Labor’s Workplace Relations Agenda?

What’s Labor’s Workplace Relations Agenda?

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What’s Labor’s Workplace Relations Agenda?

great resignation

 There hasn’t been a lot of talk about workplace relations in the lead up to the federal election and it hasn’t really been put forward as an election issue. However, if you look at the workplace relations/employment policies on the ALP website, there are some big changes in the wings.

Even if the ALP is not successful in obtaining a majority in the House of Representatives in its own right, there are plenty of worker friendly partners in both Houses of Parliament for them to get their legislation through. 

So what do they have in mind?

The central themes are around security of employment, equal pay and security of worker’s legal entitlements.

Specific changes proposed include the following:

  1. Inclusion of job security as an Object of the Fair Work Act so that the Fair Work Commission would have to consider job security in all of its decision making
  2. Extending the powers of the Fair Work Commission to make orders for minimum standards for new forms of work such as gig workers.
  3. Restoring the common law definition of a casual worker to undo recent Court decisions that placed primacy on the employment contract entered into at the start of an employment relationship rather than the character of the employment relationship during  the relationship.
  4. Introducing a requirement for employees engaged through labour hire to be paid the same as workers directly engaged by the host to do the same work.
  5. Limiting the use of fixed term contracts for the same job to a maximum of 2 back to back contracts for a maximum aggregate term of 2 years. 
  6. Including superannuation as a National Employment Standard so that workers’ superannuation entitlements are better protected and  can be pursued as a workplace right if underpayment occurs.
  7. Making wage theft a crime but not overriding current legislation in States of Territories (it is currently a crime in Victoria).
  8. Consulting on the development (where practical) of portable entitlement schemes for Australians in insecure work.
  9. Legislating 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave for full-time employees (pro rata for part-time employees) extending the recent decision by the Fair Work Commission to award-free employees.
  10. Legislating to require employers with 250 or more employees to publicly report on their gender pay gap and to abolish pay secrecy clauses and implementing all 55 recommendations of the Respect@Work Report
  11. Strengthening the ability of the Fair Work Commission to order pay increases for workers in low paid, female dominated industries.
  12. Reforming employment practices in the federal public service by only using non-permanent employment where it is essential and reducing the incidence of labour hire, outsourcing and back to back contracts. 
  13. Introduction of a Secure Australian Jobs Code as a criteria for performing government funded work and government procurement.
  14. As expected, Labor will abolish the Registered Organisations Commission and the Australian Building and Construction Commission which were both primarily established to regulate unions and penalise unlawful behaviour by unions and officials.

So, there is a lot in all of this and there are major structural and commercial implications for businesses in a number of areas. In the months ahead, we will unpack these policies in more detail and keep you posted on developments.

Any questions can be addressed to us at enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au or on 0438 533 311.

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 Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee Trial

New Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee Trial

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New Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee Trial

doctor with clipboard

The Victorian Government has launched a two year trial of a new scheme to provide casual and self-employed workers with access to up to 38 hours of personal and carer’s pay.

The motivation for introducing the system was the risks that COVID created with people who don’t have access to paid leave entitlements opting to work rather than isolating when they had COVID exposure.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the Sick Pay Guarantee, a worker must meet all of these criteria:

  • Age – be 15 years or over
  • Type of employee – be a casual employee or self-employed with no other employees (such as a sole trader or an independent contractor)
  • Leave entitlements – not be entitled to paid personal, sick or carer’s leave in any of their jobs
  • Workplace – work physically in Victoria, no matter where they live
  • Right to work – have the right to work in Australia
  • Occupation – work in an eligible occupation
  • Average hours worked – on average you work at least 7.6 hours per week in an eligible occupation(s).

Eligible occupations

Under the trial, the following occupations are eligible for the sick pay guarantee:

  • hospitality workers
  • food trades workers and food preparation assistants
  • supermarket workers
  • retail and sales assistants
  • aged and disability care workers
  • cleaners and laundry workers
  • security guards

The payment
The amount of the payment is based on the average hours of work over the period of engagement and the rate payable is the national minimum wage applying at the time.

Accessing the payment

Workers have to register online at https://service.vic.gov.au/services/sick-pay-guarantee/apply and submit evidence which is acceptable in a variety of forms so as to establish their identity, employment status, eligibility for the payment and bank details for payment.

More information on the sick pay guarantee can be accessed at https://www.vic.gov.au/sick-pay-guarantee-program-guidelines.

 

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 hourly rate guarantee for horticulture workers

New hourly rate guarantee for horticulture workers

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New hourly rate guarantee for horticulture workers

superannuation ATO

Piecework is where employees are paid on the basis of the quantity of work that they do as reflected in for example the number of garments sewn in clothing trades or the quantity of fruit or vegetables picked in the horticultural industry.

Under the Horticulture Award 2020, workers can be paid on a piece rate basis which “must enable the average competent employee to earn at least 15% more per hour than the minimum hourly rate prescribed in this award for the type of employment and the classification level of the employee”.

The Award (as it stands today) states: “Nothing in this award guarantees an employee on a piecework rate will earn at least the minimum ordinary time weekly rate or hourly rate in this award for the type of employment and the classification level of the employee, as the employee’s earnings are contingent on their productivity.” So, the Award clearly recognises the potential for workers with lower productivity levels to be paid below Award hourly rates.

However, on 28 April 2022, that is all going to change because the Fair Work Commission has decided that all horticulture workers have to be paid at least the equivalent of the ordinary hourly rate for all hours that they work.

Employers who are paying workers on a piece rate, have to maintain records of hours of work and ensure that what they each earns equates to at least the ordinary hourly rate for the classification in which they are employed for all hours worked on any day.

They also have to provide pieceworkers with a written pieceworker agreement before they commence employment. That agreement has to include: 

  • when (date and time) the piecework is to start 
  • a description of the task or tasks for which piece rates will be paid 
  • the piece rate amount 
  • the minimum hourly rate for the pieceworker’s classification level (plus, for casual pieceworkers, the 25% loading)
  • the following statement: “Under the Horticulture Award 2020, a pieceworker must be paid for each day on which they work, no less than their hourly rate under the award (including the 25% casual loading for a casual pieceworker) multiplied by the number of hours worked on that day.”

More detailed information can be accessed from the Fair Work Ombudsman @ https://www.fairwork.gov.au/newsroom/news/new-minimum-hourly-wage-guarantee-pieceworkers#main-changes.

If you need a hand in working out how to comply with the new rules, give us a call on 0438 533 311. Take advantage of our first free consultation offer.

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 changes keep coming

Superannuation changes keep coming

Latest News & Events

 

Superannuation changes keep coming

superannuation changes

It isn’t long ago that we had some big changes in superannuation requirements with the new superannuation stapling rules that came in on 1 November 2021 – see more on that here. Now there are more changes coming in from 1 July 2022.

Removal of $450 threshold

Currently, the superannuation guarantee does not apply to an employee who earns less than $450 in a month.

That threshold is abolished so superannuation is payable on all earnings with one qualification – if you are under the age of 18, unless you are covered by a workplace agreement that states otherwise, you need to work more than 30 hours in a week.

Increase in compulsory superannuation contribution rate

Additionally, in line with the annual increases of 0.5% announced some time ago, the compulsory superannuation contribution rate increases to 10.5% from 1 July 2022.

Got any questions on this or any other employment matter? Give us a call on 0438 533 311 and take advantage of our offer of a free first 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

New minimum payments for part-time employees under Social and Community Services Award

New minimum payments for part-time employees under Social and Community Services Award

Latest News & Events

 

New minimum payments for part-time employees under Social and Community Services Award

Social services

The Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 covers employers in the:

    • crisis assistance and supported housing sector;
    • social and community services sector;
    • home care sector; and
    • family day care scheme sector.

Currently, there is no minimum period of engagement for part-time workers under that Award which is quite unusual. Employers and employees could agree to work less than the new minimum payment period.

The Fair Work Commission has decided that, from 1 July 2022, there will be a “minimum payment” provision which requires that the minimum engagement/payment for a shift or period of work in a broken shift of a part-time employee will be:

    • 3 hours for social and community services employees (except when doing disability services work) and
    • 2 hours for all other employees.
There is a transitional period that runs from 1 February 2022 to 1 October 2022 to enable consultation between employers and employees who have an Agreement for less than the new minimum payment periods made prior to 1 February 2022.
 
 
If you need assistance, please feel free to give us a call on 0438 533 311. Take advantage of our offer of a free first 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