CHANGES TO NATIONAL EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS (NES) EMERGE IN BUDGET
The Federal Government’s 2022-23 Budget has revealed plans to discuss changes to the National Employment Standards (NES) to boost Redundancy Payouts for women and to extend Unpaid Leave Entitlements to foster and kinship carers.
IR Minister Michaelia Cash said in a statement that the Government will consult with key stakeholders on amending the NES. She said the changes would aim to “ensure fairness and equity in redundancy payouts, particularly for women”, and to recognise the contribution made by foster and kinship carers to vulnerable children.
The NES redundancy provisions largely deal with entitlements accrued by years of service and says the government will consider changes to redundancy payment calculation methods to “ensure that redundancy payments more fairly reflect average working hours over the course of a person’s employment”.
CHANGES TO PAID PARENTAL LEAVE (PPL)
In his Budget speech, Federal Treasurer John Frydenberg said that an extension of Paid Parental Leave (PPL) would mean that more families would be able to access 20 weeks of PPL, including single parent families, and decide how they share it.
“Families, not government, are best placed to decide what works for them,” he said. The Government will spend about $346 million over 5 years to establish Enhanced Paid Parental Leave for Families, but it indicates that most of this funding will flow from 2023-24 onwards.
The paper says the changes will roll “Dad and Partner Pay” into Parental Leave Pay to create a single paid entitlement of up to 20 weeks, which would be fully flexible and shareable for eligible working parents.
“The Paid Parental Leave (PPL) can be taken any time within 2 years of the birth or adoption of their child,“ it says. “The income test will also be broadened to have an additional household income eligibility test. These changes will not result in any existing eligible claimants being worse off.”
SUPER TO COVER MORE EMPLOYEES
From 1st July 2022, Employers will need to pay Super to their Employees who earn less than $450 per month, provided they meet other eligibility requirements.
This change expands Super Guarantee eligibility, so that Employees can receive super regardless of how much they earn.
Refer to ATO link.
$182,596 BACKPAY AFTER AUDIT BY FAIR WORK
When an audit of 2 locations of a sandwich franchise identified record keeping and underpayment issues, a broad audit program was launched. The broader audit program investigated all 39 locations across 4 States and uncovered $182,596 in underpayments of 214 workers along with extensive record keeping breaches.
This latest case of underpayments highlights the need to actively review compliance status in your business, and to seek advice and support when required.
REST BREAKS AND MEAL BREAKS
A Paid Rest Break allows an Employee to rest for a short period of time during Working Hours.
An Unpaid Meal Break is a longer period of uninterrupted rest that allows an Employee to eat a meal.
Awards and Registered Agreements provide for Rest Breaks and Meal Breaks in relation to:
– the length of the breaks
– when they need to be taken
– the rules about payment.
Please note that some Awards incur Penalties if breaks are not taken within the prescribed time.
We recommend you check the relevant Award or Registered Agreement to ensure you are compliant.
Unions seek 5% rise in minimum rates
The ACTU will pursue a 5% increase across all award rates in this year’s minimum wage review, arguing it is needed to compensate workers for cost of living pressures.
South Australia’s new Premier, Peter Malinauskas, takes office on a platform that includes introducing jail time for the worst cases of Wage Theft, creating an offence of industrial manslaughter and extending labour hire regulation across all Industries.
Victorian casuals to get paid sick leave
A Government funded trial providing Sick Pay to some Casuals has kicked off in Victoria. The Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee Scheme allows some Casual Employees to apply to the Government for payment if they meet certain criteria.
IF YOU NEED ANY ADVICE REGARDING THE CONTENTS OF THIS NEWSLETTER OR ANY OTHER WORKPLACE RELATIONS MATTER, PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT US.