A NEW DEFINITION OF CASUAL EMPLOYMENT IS COMING SOON
Employment Minister Tony Burke this week revealed some details of a new pathway for Casual Workers to seek Permanency. He said that the Labor Government is ready to ‘close the loophole that leaves people stuck as Casuals when they actually work permanent regular hours’ and to legislate a fair, objective definition to determine when an Employee can be classified as Casual.
He stated that ‘no one will be forced to convert from casual to permanent’.
He said consultation is continuing and the timeframe for introducing the legislation is ‘in the hands of the drafters’.
It will be interesting to see how many Casuals wish to convert, as most long-term Casuals cannot afford to or do not feel they want to. Will Employees prefer to get Paid Leave Entitlements instead of the Casual Loading of 25%?
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT …
National Minimum Wage Increase
The Fair Work Commission handed down a decision for the National Minimum Wage to be increased by 5.75%.
Pay rates increased by 5.75% from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2023.
Annualised Salary Arrangements
Review Annualised Salary Arrangements to ensure that the Salary is sufficient to meet or exceed Employees’ Minimum Award Entitlements, taking into account the 5.75% increase.
Pay Secrecy Terms
Pay Secrecy Clauses are now prohibited and cannot be included in Employment Contracts or other written Employment Agreements.
In practice, this means Employees are allowed to freely discuss and compare their Pay and Working Conditions, if they wish to do so.
Please ensure your letters of Engagement/Contracts of Employment do not include Pay Secrecy Terms or mention private and confidential.
Fair Work Information Statements released
It is a requirement that all Employees are provided with a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement (FWIS), and for Casuals both the FWIS and the Casual Employment Information Statement. Refer to this link for copies.
Superannuation Guarantee rate increases
The Superannuation Guarantee contribution rate has increased to 11% from 1 July 2023. This change is part of incremental increases that will see the rate increase by 0.5 per cent annually until it reaches 12 per cent on 1 July 2025.
The rate of 11% applies to all wages paid on or after 1 July 2023, even if some or all of the pay period it relates to is before 1 July 2023.
Superannuation to be included in the National Employment Standards (NES)
All Employers are already required to pay Minimum Superannuation Contributions on behalf of Employees, and nothing has changed in this regard. However from 1 January 2024, it will be included in the NES. Employees will have simpler, quicker and cheaper ways to bring claims against Employers when Superannuation is not paid.
Paid Parental Leave Changes
From 1 July 2023, the existing Government Paid Parental Leave Entitlements (18 weeks) will be combined with the Dad and Partner Pay Entitlement (2 weeks), to provide partnered couples with the ability to claim up to 20 weeks of Paid Parental Leave between them.
Single parents can access the full 20 weeks of Paid Parental Leave.
Flexible Unpaid Parental Leave
From 1 July 2023, changes to Unpaid Parental Leave (UPL) will provide Employees greater flexibility on how they choose to utilise their Entitlements to UPL. The amendments strengthen Employees’ Entitlements by:
– Allowing Employees up to 100 days of flexible UPL
– Allowing Employees to commence UPL at any time in the 24 months following the birth of their child; and
– Allows Employees to take flexible UPL before and/or after a period of continuous UPL.
Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave
From 1 February 2023, Employees of non-small business Employers, can access 10 days of Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave.
From 1 August 2023, Employees of small business Employers (less than 15 Employees), can access 10 days Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave. This includes full time, part time and casual Employees. Employees must be experiencing Family and Domestic Violence to be eligible to take Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave.