1 July 2014: Staying on track with the employment law changes

Now that you have settled into the new financial year, a reminder about the recent changes that took effect from 1 July so that you can stay on track. 

 Photography / David Collier

Photography / David Collier

  • Minimum wage increase

The Fair Work Commission recently handed down its annual Federal Minimum Wage Decision, which mandated a 3% increase to the national minimum wage and Modern Award minimum rates of pay (rounded to the nearest 10 cents). This decision took effect on the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2014.  You should also consult your enterprise agreement and/or contracts (if applicable) to ensure that you have complied with any wage increase clauses contained therein if they’re also tied to the new financial year.

  • 9.5% superannuation

Employers must now pay 9.5% superannuation on an eligible employee’s “ordinary time earnings” to eligible employees (up from 9.25%).

  • High income threshold now $133,000

Unless an employee is covered by a Modern Award or an enterprise agreement applies to their employment, if they earn $133,000 or more in “earnings” (i.e. wages, superannuation top-ups or salary sacrifice and the agreed monetary value of non-monetary benefits such as company phone or laptops) they will not be eligible to bring an unfair dismissal claim. (The corresponding compensation limit for a successful applicant in an unfair dismissal claim is therefore now $66,500).

  • Transitioning complete

The 5 year transitioning process (which formed a part of almost all Modern Awards) is now finally complete. I can hear you all rejoicing as things have become far simpler and the published Modern Awards are now a true reflection of the wages and penalties that must be paid to applicable employees. The Modern Award review process continues nonetheless so we will keep you informed of any material changes as a result of that process.

  • Restaurant Industry Modern Award penalties reduced

The Sunday penalty rates for casual Introductory, Level 1 and Level 2 employees employed under the Restaurant Industry Award 2010 have now decreased to 150% (of the permanent rates, inclusive of casual loading) whilst the Sunday penalty for all other casual classification levels will remain at 175% (of permanent rates, inclusive of casual loading).

If your business needs any help with workplace compliance, contact THE WORKPLACE.

The copyright in this blog is owned by The Workplace – Employment Lawyers Pty Ltd.  The content is general information only and is not intended to constitute, or be relied upon as, legal advice.  The use of this blog by any person or company does not create any solicitor-client relationship between the person or company and The Workplace – Employment Lawyers Pty Ltd.