The following are various changes that may affect your workplace and have come into effect today (1 July 2019).
Union officials right of entry scheme
Recent changes to the Fair Work Regulations 2009 (Cth) stipulate that from 1 July 2019 right of entry permits held by union officials must include a photo and signature of the permit holder.
The notices of entry given to employers must also include the rules which must be complied with by both union officials and employers whilst the union officials are on site.
Industrial relations Minister Kelly O’Dwyer MP expressed that the changes intend to provide clarification statutory rights and responsibilities, preventing abuse of the right of entry scheme.
“No longer will people be able to misrepresent their identity or falsely claim to be authorised permit holders.”
High income threshold and compensation cap
The high-income threshold for unfair dismissal cases will increase to $148,700 in addition to the compensation limit being $74,350 for dismissals that occur on or after 1 July 2019.
Annual Wage and Modern Award Review:
The Fair Work Commission has announced a 3% increase in the national minimum wage and modern award wages commencing 1 July 2019.
The new minimum wage will increase weekly wages by $21.60, to a total of $740.80 per week (or $19.49 per hour).
Accordingly, the minimum modern award wages will also increase by 3%.
Employers must implement the increased rates from 1 July 2019.
New Fair Work Information Statement:
A new Fair Work Information Statement will be published on the Fair Work website on or before 1 July 2019. We remind employers that they are legally obliged to provide an up to date copy of the Fair Work Information Statement each time a new employee commences employment. This can be downloaded by following the link below.
New federal whistleblower laws take effect on 1 July 2019
The whistleblower legislation applies to public companies and to companies with:
- consolidated ‘group’ revenue in excess of $50M;
- consolidated gross assets of more than $25M or more; or
- 100 or more employees at the end of the financial year.
The new laws impose various obligations including the implementation of a whistleblower policy which must be in place before 1 January 2020 or else companies may face fines of up to $12,600.
If you have any queries about whether any of these changes affect you or how to implement them, please do not hesitate to contact Nick Stevens, Jane Murray or Angharad Owens-Strauss.
New Fair Work Information Sheet: https://www.fairwork.gov.au/employee-entitlements/national-employment-standards/fair-work-information-statement