1 JULY 2018 UPDATES

1 JULY 2018 UPDATES

RATE INCREASES

As you may be aware, the Fair Work Commission has announced that the minimum wage is increasing by 3.5% from $694.90 per week or $18.29 per hour to $719.20 per week or $18.93 per hour from 1 July 2018. This means $24.30 more per week. Modern Award minimum rates will also increase by 3.5%.

If any of your employees are covered by a Modern Award and you are unsure what Modern Award minimum rate now applies, contact the HR Law team for assistance.

A reminder for Enterprise Agreement covered employers – if you have an Enterprise Agreement covering any of your employees, the rate increase may also affect you. Specifically, Enterprise Agreement based employees cannot be paid less than the minimum base rate that they would be paid under an applicable Modern Award.  Accordingly, you should conduct a review of the base rates under your Enterprise Agreement and compare this to the rate each employee would receive under the applicable Modern Award.  You should also check if the Enterprise Agreement contains an increase mechanism for rates that applies in the new financial year.

 

HIGH INCOME THRESHOLD INCREASE

Do you employ employees paid over the high-income threshold?  Do your contracts contain a guarantee of annual earnings?  If so, you need to be aware of the increase to the high-income threshold and take action now.

From 1 July 2018, the income cap that determines both access to the unfair dismissal jurisdiction and eligibility for guarantees of annual earnings (for the high-income threshold) will increase from $142,000.00 to $145,400.00.

What is the high-income threshold?

Employees who earn over the high-income threshold are considered “high income employees” under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and if they receive guarantee of annual earnings by their employer (which must be very clearly and carefully drafted in an employment contract):

  • no modern award will apply to that employee; and
  • the employee cannot bring unfair dismissal proceedings against their employer following the termination of their employment.

Employers who have already entered into a guarantee of annual earnings with one or more of their employees should undertake a review of their employee/s salary to ensure that their salary exceeds the new high-income threshold (i.e. $145,400.00), or will be increased to be in line with, if not more than, the high income threshold.

 

CAP ON UNFAIR DISMISSAL

The maximum amount that an employee may recover if their unfair dismissal application is successful, will increase on 1 July 2018 from $71,000.00 to $72,700.00. This is the upper limit for compensation in this jurisdiction, meaning that an employee will only be entitled to up to six months of their pay capped at $72,700.00.

For example, an employee who earns $60,000.00 per annum would only be entitled to compensation of up to $30,000.00 (i.e. six months’ pay) if their unfair dismissal application was successful.   However, an employee who earns $150,000.00 per annum (if still eligible to make an unfair dismissal claim) would only be entitled to compensation up to $72,700.00 rather than six months of their actual pay.

 

FILING FEE INCREASE

The filing fee for unfair dismissal, general protections and anti-bullying applications made under sections 365, 372, 394, 773 and 789FC of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) will also increase from 1 July 2018 to $71.90.

If you have any questions about the changes effective from 1 July 2018, contact the team at HR Law for advice.

 

COMPANY MERGER

We have a very exciting anew to announce…

Workplace Law Group is merging with HR Law!

Sarah Lock and Workplace Law Group will be join the HR Law team from TODAY.

Sarah has over 17 years’ experience in the industrial arena advising private and public-sector employers throughout Australia.  She is well versed in all areas of workplace law. She has served as a partner and director of the employment law division of her own firm and a national law firm. Her skills and expertise will be a fantastic addition to the team.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and we welcome Sarah Lock and Workplace Law Group.

We would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Sarah Neideck back from Maternity after have her second little boy earlier this year.

 

HR BUSINESS ASSIST

Through my many years partnering with businesses to deal with their legal HR needs, Jill Hignett saw firsthand the needs businesses have to obtain practical and cost-effective HR advice.

We are therefore pleased to introduce to you, HR Business Assist, a specialist human resource firm which sits alongside HR Law.

HR Business Assist identified the need to provide Australian businesses with practical, effective and affordable human resource support.  Throughout Jill’s 20 years’ experience as an Accredited Specialist in Workplace Relations, she found that each business requires a different level of human resource involvement, specific to their individual HR needs.

HR Business Assist aims to provide quality and efficient human resource advice and assistance to businesses of all sizes through a range of subscription-based plans, each inclusive of unlimited generalist HR telephone and email support and more.  Our services are staffed by qualified HR professionals with experience over a broad range of industries and business types.

HR Business Assist’s model has been designed to be agile and dynamic, so they can respond to the exact needs of their clients.  Beyond their subscription plans, they offer tailored solutions, run special HR projects and professional placements, when and where their clients require.

For more information on HR Business Assist’s services and subscription plans, visit our website www.hrbusinessassist.com.au.  Alternatively, contact a member of our team on 1300 138 551 or amyd@hrbusinessassist.com.au.

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