Changes in pay rates have recently come into effect, including increases in wages and some changes to penalties. There are also some updates concerning labour hire licensing. You should be across these, especially if you are a labour hire provider or use a labour hire service. This article sets out the 2018 employment law changes to pay rates and labour hire licensing.
Changes in Pay Rates
The Fair Work Commission’s Annual Wage Review happens each year. The changes then apply from the next financial year. These changes affect employers of both award-covered employees and award-free minimum wage employees.
National Minimum Wage
The minimum wage has risen to $18.93 per hour, or $719.20 per week. You should ensure that even your award-free covered employees are:
- being paid at least the minimum wage;
- receiving their entitlements; and
- receiving their 25% casual loading if they are a casual employee.
If an award covers your employees, you should check your relevant pay guide to ensure you are complying with any new rates and allowances under the Annual Wage Review.
There are some changes to Sunday penalty rates. You should ensure you are up-to-date with these if any of the following awards cover your employees:
- Fast Food Industry Award 2010;
- General Retail Industry Award 2010;
- Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010; or
- Pharmacy Industry Award 2010.
New Labour Hire Licensing Schemes
New labour hire business licensing schemes have been introduced in Queensland, South Australia and Victoria. Businesses that provide or use labour hire services should be aware of the new requirements, which have the purpose of:
- protecting workers and employees; and
- improving compliance within the labour hire industry.
What Does the New Legislation Require?
If you provide labour hire services in Queensland, South Australia or Victoria, you need to have a licence. Under the new legislation in these states, your labour hire business should meet requirements as a business and a key person. For example, you must be a fit and proper person.
Who Are the Governing Bodies?
Queensland’s licensing scheme is managed by the Queensland Office of Industrial Relations, while South Australia’s is managed by SA Consumer Business and Services. Victoria will establish a new licensing body to manage its labour hire licensing.
What if I Use Labour Hire Services?
If you use labour hire services within these states, you need to ensure the business you are employing has an appropriate licence. Each governing body has an online directory you can access to see if this is the case.
Am I a Labour Hire Company?
You may not consider your business to be a ‘labour hire company’. However, even if you do not provide manual labour services, you may be captured by the new changes, especially in Queensland. Therefore, you should seek advice to ensure you are complying with your licensing requirements if the definition applies to you.
Is There a National System?
No, there is not. Just because you are licensed in one state, this does not mean you are automatically covered in other states. You may need to satisfy additional requirements to obtain a licence in those states.
What is the Timeframe for Compliance?
The new Queensland system is already in effect. Therefore, you should receive urgent legal advice if you have any concerns. At this stage, the South Australian system will not be enforced until February 2019. Finally, the Victorian legislation has just passed, so it will likely come into effect later this year.
This year, a few employment law changes have come into effect. As an employer, you should be aware of changing pay rates that happen every financial year. It is crucial you comply with your legal requirements and update your accounting processes.
If you are a labour hire provider, you should be across the new changes concerning labour hire licensing schemes in Queensland, South Australia and Victoria. As a labour hire provider, you also need to comply with your employer obligations relating to superannuation and tax under the Fair Work Act 2009. If you have any questions, contact LegalVision’s employment lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.
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