A REFERENCE POINT to Learn Changes in Australian Law.
- Issues that Affect Your Business.
- Keeping Employers Up-to-Date.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LEAVE INCLUDED IN NATIONAL EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS
On 6 December 2018, the Fair Work Amendment (Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2018 (Bill) passed both Houses of Parliament. The Bill will come into effect on a date to be announced. The Bill amends the National Employment Standards (NES) in the Fair Work Act, to create an entitlement for Employees, to receive 5 days of Unpaid Family and Domestic Violence Leave, in a 12 month period.
Since 1 August 2018, all Employees covered by a Modern Award have been entitled to receive Unpaid Family and Domestic Violence Leave. This clause, inserted into all of the Modern Awards, is largely equivalent to the Terms inserted in the NES.
Employers need to keep in mind, they may need to revise Contracts of Employment and Policies to reflect this change.
TASMANIAN PUBLIC HOLIDAYS FOR 2019
Please find attached a list of Public Holidays in Tasmania for 2019 for your attention. The NES protects an Employee’s right to reasonably refuse to work on a public holiday.
Requesting and Refusing to Work on Public Holidays
Employees don’t have to work on a public holiday. However, an Employer can ask an Employee to work on a public holiday, if the request is reasonable. An Employee may refuse a request to work if they have reasonable grounds.
The following needs to be taken into account, when deciding if a request is reasonable:
- the Employee’s personal circumstances, (eg. family responsibilities)
- whether the employee will get more pay (eg. penalty rates)
- the needs of the workplace
- the type of work the employee does
- whether the employee’s salary includes work on a public holiday
- whether the employee is full-time, part-time, casual or a shift worker
- how much notice the employee was given about working
- the amount of notice the employee gives that they refuse to work.
Employers who have Registered Agreements
Unless your Registered Agreement states specific dates for Public Holidays the attached list of Public Holidays will apply.
Ensure you follow the Terms and Conditions of your Registered Agreement in relation to pay rates, penalties and preferred hours of work.
Registered Agreements are to be read in conjunction with, and must not be less favourable, than the NES.
WORK RELATED SOCIAL EVENTS
I have prepared an information sheet for Employees on the standards of behaviour expected of them at work organised functions.
It is also important that Employers have reliable arrangements to ensure alcohol is served responsibly and employees properly supervised.
Please contact me if you wish to discuss further or if you require a copy
TAKING OF ANNUAL LEAVE DURING CLOSE DOWN
The right of an Employer to send an Employee on Annual Leave during a close down, depends on the Terms in their applicable industrial instrument (e.g. Modern Award or Registered Agreement).
In some industries, an Employer may be required to give extended notice to Employees, to close down the business.
It is common for Employers in many industries, to close their business down over the Christmas-New Year period – because of a seasonal slowdown or business suppliers or customers are also closed down, or the majority of staff may wish to take Annual Leave during this period.
TOO MUCH ANNUAL LEAVE – DIRECTING AN EMPLOYEE TO TAKE EXCESS LEAVE
Employers sometimes find Employees have accrued large amounts of Annual Leave and do not seem inclined to reduce the accumulation of Leave.
What can Employers do?
In certain circumstances, an Employer can direct an Employee to take Annual Leave.
Refer to the applicable Modern Award or Registered Agreement for Terms that require an Employee to be directed to take Annual Leave.
The requirement must be reasonable.
Reminder that, the Registered Agreement’s Terms cannot be less favourable than the NES.
TASMANIAN LONG SERVICE LEAVE ACT
From 1st July 2012, the Long Service Leave Entitlement is 8 and 2/3 weeks of Paid Leave after completing 10 years ‘continuous employment’.
Casual Employees are entitled to Long Service Leave Entitlements, once they have completed 10 years ‘continuous employment’.
An Employee may have an Entitlement to pro rata Long Service on Termination of Employment, after completing 7, but less than 10 years of ‘continuous employment’.
I have prepared an information sheet on Long Service Leave for Casual Employees – contact me if you require a copy.
LEAVE ENTITLEMENTS ETC.
Minimum Leave Entitlements for Employees come from the NES.
Please contact me if you have any queries in relation to:
- Annual Leave and Annual Leave Loading
- Personal/Carer’s Leave
- Rostered Days Off
- Time off in lieu
An Award, Registered Agreement or Contract of Employment can provide for other Leave Entitlements, but they cannot be less favourable than the NES.
I recommend Employees are provided with a Leave policy to ensure they are clear about how your business deals with Leave and to avoid confusion.
Contact me if you require Assistance in preparing a Leave Policy.
Please contact me if you require any Assistance or wish to check your Processes are Compliant.
TANIA HARRIS | WORKPLACE RELATIONS CONSULTANT
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The material contained in this Newsletter is comment of a general nature only. The effectiveness or accuracy of any professional advice depends upon particular circumstances of each case. Before acting on the basis of any material contained in this Newsletter, Tania Harris recommends that you seek Advice on your particular circumstances. Tania Harris does not accept responsibility, for any acts or omissions resulting from reliance upon the content of these Newsletters.