Cashing out Annual Leave.

If you are a business owner, small, large, or in between, annual leave can be a major liability. If you do not manage it properly, it can become a problem. When wage rates go up every year, so does your annual leave liability. It makes good business sense to manage it. The recent Fair Work decision enabled employees covered by 122 Awards to cash out their annual leave – a great result for business owners.  Previously, only employees covered under an enterprise agreement were able to.   The decision has taken effect from 29 July 2016. The four main points of change are Cashing out annual leave; Taking leave in advance; Managing excessive leave, and; When to pay annual leave. #1. Cashing out annual leave Employees are now able to cash out annual leave as long as the balance after taking leave is 4 weeks.  The agreement must be in writing. You may not cash out more than 2 weeks in a 12-month cycle. #2. Taking leave in advance This clause enables employees to take leave before they are entitled to the leave and is only allowed if the employee and the employer have an agreement signed by both parties.  In addition, the agreement must state how much leave is to be taken and when it will commence. #3. Managing excessive leave This change comes into effect on 29 July 2017. It enables employers to direct their employee to take leave – provided they meet certain requirements prior to that direction. Fair Work describes excessive leave as more than 8 weeks’ worth, or 10 weeks for a shift worker....

Underpayments!

You would be aware of what’s going on in the news with regards to the underpayment of wages.  Some of the biggest brand names have faced the Fair Work Ombudsman’s scrutiny with regards to this topic and some of these include; Coles, Woolworths, McDonalds and 7-Eleven.   7 –Eleven has been in the news for months now about how it has underpaid its workers and it continues to be caught up in this underpayments scandal. Overall, the majority to business try and do the right thing, and navigating the maze of employment legislation can be complex. Some examples of why companies are heading to the Commission are: underpayments of international students, falsification of records, intimidation and threats Underpayment of working holiday visa holders excessive working hours and overcrowded, overpriced accommodation for employees holding working visa’s Sham contracting   To read further details on recent cases refer to the Fair Work Ombudsman site. It is also good to be aware of the fact the Fair Work Ombudsman is now not only focusing on businesses but individuals who may be responsible.  Presently, failure to comply with Modern Award clauses can be costly, penalties can be imposed on companies of up to $54,000 per contravention and $10,800 for individuals.  The impact to a business for a visit to Fair Work is not only financial it can have a significant negative impact on your brand image and reputation. The one way to avoid this type of attention by your employees and the media is to ensure you are paying the correct entitlements to your employees and remember the wage increase handed down from...

What the minimum wage increase means to your business.

The Fair Work Commission’s has announced its seventh annual wage review under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).   Australia’s minimum wage workers are now entitled to be paid $672.70 (this is an increase of $15.80) a week, or $17.70 per hour. What you will need to consider as a SME is how this decision will impact on my business? Tip 1. – If you are paying the minimum wage under an Award, you will need to ensure that you increase wages by 2.4%. Tip 2 – Review the allowances under the award to ensure you are aware of any changes such as first aid or leading hand as these may be increased at the same time. The wage increase impacts on one in five workers whose  workplace who are currently covered under a Modern Award.. An Award sets out minimum rates of pay and working conditions, and as a business it is a good idea to be familiar with the Award you are covered under and the particular clauses which may impact on your employees. Another factor you should consider, if you are paying an Award based employee a salary or have an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement, now is a good time to reconcile this amount to ensure that employee is no worse off under conditions. The 2.4% increase to minimum wages will apply from the first fully pay period starting on or after 1 July 2016.  So if you have missed the increase in the first pay run of the new financial year, please be aware and ensure that you back pay your employee’s so you are compliant with...

Who can help you?

I ask the question, when you don’t know the answer to a taxation question, you call you accountant, when you have a question about your lease you call you lawyer. So how do you call when you have an issue with managing one of your employees? Most people are stumped over this question; the first answer is usually your lawyer. This response will get you the required outcome if they specialise in employment law, however there will also be significant billable hours coupled with your enquiry. So what can an outsourced human resources professional help you with? Firstly, the majority of the time we come into a company it is because someone has opened Pandora’s box.