Minimum Wages Increase
Federal Minimum Wage and Award wage rates increase by 2.5%
The new adult minimum wage is $20.33 per hour (FT/PT) and or $25.42 per hour (casuals)
Mostly Award rates increase from 1 July. However, the General Retail Award rise starts on 1 September and some specific awards (related largely to travel, tourism & covid19 affected industries) are delayed until 1 November.
Employers with award employees must increases wages in accordance with these changes. For employee’s covered by award but paid above award rates, it is important to ensure that any rates of pay still meet the minimums. It is not uncommon for employers to review others wages for employees not strictly affected at this time.
Increases in Superannuation
Super contributions increase from 9.5% to 10% on 1 July.
Superannuation contributions will then increase by 0.5% each year until 12% applies.
At the lower end, the requirement to earn more than $450/month before super kicks in has been scrapped and will apply to everyone. At the upper end, the concessional cap of contributions has increased to $27,500 per year.
- Requirements have been introduced to provide casual employees with an Information Statement from the FWO (available on its website).
- Casual employees who work regular and consistent hours for 12 months are to be offered permanent full-time or part-time employment unless specific, and narrow, exceptions apply. After 12 months, a casual employee can make request to transfer to permanent employment at any time.
- Changes in the law provide greater clarity around who is a casual which applies from the point of engagement.
- Litigation (including class actions) continues in relation to the status of casuals and entitlements.
Safety News – Going to Jail in WA
A WA company director has been jailed for 26 months (with 8 months to be served and the rest suspended) following the death of a worker and serious injury to another worker. This is the longest jail sentence for a safety matter in Australia and the first time a director has been ordered to serve time.
Updates and Changes in Awards
Awards are regularly reviewed and updated. This occurs as a result of specific changes that flow to all awards (such as the pandemic leave and domestic violence leave and casual employment changes). They also occur as a result of specific applications for amendments and then general reviews to update, modernise, clarify and where relevant uphold consistency. It is appropriate time to recheck your applicable award to ensure you are compliant.