New Fair Work Information Statement
The Fair Work Ombudsman updated the Fair Work Information Statement (FWIS) in December 2019. The FWIS sets out information about the conditions of employment for new employees. Remember that the FWIS must be issued to all new employees in your business before, or as soon as possible after they start their employment.
Access the new FWIS here
Deadline for compliant Whistle-blowers policies
All public companies, large proprietary companies and corporate trustees of registrable superannuation entities must have a compliant whistle-blower policy in place as of 1 January 2020, which has now passed. If you are unsure if this applies to your business, or you need assistance in preparing a whistle-blower policy or reviewing a current employmentpolicy to assist in compliance, and to minimise the risk of financial penalties being imposed on your business, contact Rouse Lawyers for employment law advice and we can assist.
Variations to Modern Awards
From 4 February 2020, a number of Modern Awards will change – with new layouts and language. More changes will come throughout the year as well with a number of other Modern Awards being refreshed along the same lines. To see if a Modern Award applying in your business is changing, click on the below link:
At a minimum, if the Modern Award covering your business or your employees is changing on 4 February 2020, you should ensure you are familiar with the employment law changes and implement them, including by updating your employment contracts and policies as required. You should also ensure you make copies of the relevant Modern Awards applying in your business available to your employees on a noticeboard or electronically, including when they are updated.
Annualised Salary Clauses in Modern Awards
From 1 March 2020, there will be significant changes to a number of Modern Awards impacting employees being paid annualised salaries.
It will be important not to adopt a “set and forget” approach to employee salaries where the employee is covered by a Modern Award, and to ensure you are ready to comply with the new requirements that will be in place. This will include formulating a method to calculate the annualised salary in line with the new Modern Award requirements, setting outer limits on overtime and penalty rates, and keeping time and wages records.
If you don’t already, you will need to keep timesheets of start, finish and break times, that are signed off each pay cycle for all Modern Award employees engaged on annualised salary arrangements and set out the details of the annualised salary arrangement in writing.
Importantly, reconciliations will need to be undertaken by businesses to ensure that annualised salaries adequately compensate employees for their actual hours worked. Any underpayments identified through these reconciliations must be paid to the employee within 14 days.
Remember that employees must not be disadvantaged under an annualised salary arrangement, and they cannot be paid less than the amount they would have otherwise received under the relevant Modern Award for work performed over the year during which the annualised salary is paid. Your business should be reviewing and updating these arrangements now to ensure you are compliant with the new requirements come 1 March 2020.