Changes to Employment Entitlements
July 2015 | Opinion | Prolegis Lawyer Review
A number of important changes relating to employment entitlements will occur in the new financial year. New tax year changes from 1 July 2015.
A number of important changes relating to employment entitlements will occur in the new financial year.
New tax year changes from 1 July 2015:
- The Minimum Wage increases by 2.5% to $17.29 per hour. This applies to all employees (excluding some employees in WA, juniors, trainees, and employees on disability wages) not covered by an Award or Enterprise Agreement (EA). So no matter what work an employee is performing in Australia, it is unlawful to pay less than the minimum wage. A 25% loading applies for casual employees (making the new casual minimum wage $21.61 per hour).
- The redundancy tax-free threshold increases to $9,780 plus $4,891 for every year of service. This is relevant for any permanent employees made redundant, as the Fair Work Act introduced a universal minimum redundancy pay entitlement in 2009.
- Employees earning over $136,700 p.a. cannot make an Unfair Dismissal claim, unless they are covered by an Award or EA.
- The Fair Work Information Statement, which all new employees must receive from their employer, is updated in July each year. Therefore employers should download a current copy from the Fair Work Ombudsman website to attach to new employment contracts.
Awards and Annual leave rules are changing
- All modern Awards are being reviewed and award conditions are changing over 2015. Employers should know which awards cover their employees and subscribe to the FWC Award subscriptions service so they get notified of variations in relevant awards.
Most employers have award covered employees (e.g. Clerical/ Administrative employees are award covered - so Secretaries, Receptionists, Clerks, Accounts Payable, Payroll etc. staff are covered by an Award) and employers need to be aware of relevant award conditions (e.g. Clerical award only allows payment of annual salaries under certain conditions, and there are hours of work and consultation requirements).
- Annual leave rules for Award covered employees will change as part of the four yearly review of Awards by the Fair Work Commission (FWC). Changes include employers requiring employees take excess leave, cashing out leave, taking leave in advance, payment and deductions on termination, and paying leave per normal pay cycles. So employers leave policies/procedures and employment contracts should be reviewed.
If you'd like to discuss any of these issues and how they may impact your organisation please contact Peter Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 02 9466 5022.