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Introduction

New financial year, new changes. This report provides an overview to the changes to:

  • 1 July 2020 Paid Parental Scheme changes.
  • Superannuation rule changes.
  • Wage rises from 1 July 2020.
  • ATO Redundancy treatment.
  • 1 July 2020 Paid Parental Scheme changes.
  • Penalty units.
  • Fair Work Commission (filing fees and high-income threshold).

1 July 2020 Paid Parental Scheme changes.

The federal government has announced changes to the Parental Pay Scheme.

Currently, you can get Parental Leave Pay for a continuous block of up to 18 weeks. This is 90 payable days.

If your child’s birth or adoption is on or after 1 July 2020, you may still get up to 90 days. However, your payment will include both:

  • a continuous Paid Parental Leave period of up to 12 weeks which is 60 payable days
  • 30 Flexible Paid Parental Leave days.

You can still get your Parental Leave Pay in a single continuous 18 week block. To do this, we’ll connect your 12 week Paid Parental Leave period to your 30 Flexible Paid Parental Leave days.

Alternatively, you can choose a shorter block of between 12 and 18 weeks. You can then take your remaining Flexible Paid Parental Leave days at a later time, when it suits you. You must take the Flexible Paid Parental Leave days before your child turns 2.

What you need to do

For now, there’s no change to what you need to do. The best time to claim is still before your child’s birth or adoption.

From 14 September we will use your child’s date of birth to work out if the changes will affect you. We will send you more information if both of the following apply:

  • the changes affect you
  • you claim Parental Leave Pay before 14 September.

This will tell you how you can manage your Flexible Paid Parental Leave days.

From 14 September, we’ll ask both of the following if you claim Parental Leave Pay:

  • how you want to get your Flexible Paid Parental Leave days
  • when you want to get your Flexible Paid Parental Leave days.

If your child’s birth or adoption is before 1 July 2020, this change does not impact you.

Next steps

Find out more about changes to family payments.

Superannuation rule changes

The ATO has announced a number of changes to rules relating to superannuation and has set up a “FAQ” page at https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/In-detail/Super-changes—FAQs/.

Wage rises from 1 July 2020

As I have previously reported, for those employees not covered by an enterprise agreement or the terms of the enterprise agreement are tied to the FWC’s wage review decisions some employees will be entitled to a wage increase.

From 1 July 2020, the national minimum wage (for non-Modern Award covered employees) will increase by 1.75% to $19.84 per hour ($753.80 per week). Modern Award covered employees will also receive a 1.75% increase but the date the increase will take effect is staggered depending on the award.

To determine when your employees are entitled to the pay rise, see my full report here.

ATO Redundancy treatment

From 1 July 2020, the ATO treatment of bona fide redundancy payment will be increased

From 1 July 2020, the ATO treatment of bona fide redundancy payment will be increased as follows:

  • The base limit will increase to $10,989; and
  • $5,496 for each year of service.

Penalty units

The way the government has dealt with fine and penalty amounts changed many years ago.

Previously, each and every statute and act needed to change to increase such penalties. With the advent of the “penalty unit”, the Victorian state government’s Department of Treasury and Finance simply increases the penalty unit on 1 July each year.

For the 2020/2021 financial year, the value of a penalty unit will be $165.22.

Fair Work Commission

From 1 July 2020, the application fee for dismissals, general protections, and anti-bullying applications have increased; as has the high-income threshold and maximum payouts for unfair dismissals.

From 1 July 2020, the application fee for dismissals, general protections, and anti-bullying applications has increased to $74.50.

Also effective from 1 July, the high-income threshold in unfair dismissal cases has increased to an amazing $153,600, meaning the maximum compensation limit is six month’s pay or a $76,800.