There are a number of important changes that come into operation from 1 July 2019, including:
- Changes to applications for a Right of entry permit
- Changes to application fee, high income threshold and compensation cap from 1 July 2019
- Wage increases (including help and a warning from the Fair Work Ombudsman).
- Superannuation (No change).
- Tax on redundancy payments:
- WorkCover (Victoria) employer liability.
Changes to applications for a Right of entry permit
The Fair Work Amendment (Modernising Right of Entry) Regulations 2019 take effect on 1 July 2019. They require new entry permits to include a photo and signature of the permit holder. The Fair Work Commission is changing its processes to enable this.
As a result of the change, no applications for a Right of entry permit will be accepted under the existing system from Wednesday, 26 June 2019.
Applications under the new system can begin from Monday, 1 July 2019.
Changes to application fee, high income threshold and compensation cap from 1 July 2019
From 1 July 2019 the application fee for dismissals, general protections and anti-bullying applications made under sections 365, 372, 394, 773 and 789FC of the Fair Work Act 2009 will increase to $73.20.
High income threshold and compensation cap
Also effective from 1 July, the high-income threshold in unfair dismissal cases will increase to (a staggering) $148,700 and the compensation limit will be $74,350 for dismissals occurring on or after 1 July 2019.
The Fair Work Commission has announced a 3.0% increase to minimum wages.
The new national minimum wage will be $740.80 per week or $19.49 per hour.
The increase applies from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 July 2019.
The increases do not apply in the following circumstances:
- There is an EBA in place.
- The wages (including the increase) being paid are in excess of the modern award rate.
To ensure you are paying the correct rate, the Fair Work Ombudsman has a payment calculator tool: https://calculate.fairwork.gov.au/findyouraward.
Underpayment of wages has become a very political imperative with the Fair Work Ombudsman publishing the prosecutions of employers caught underpaying their workers, with the FWO issuing a press release for its 2019/2020 priories which included the following:
“The Prime Minister and the new Minister for Industrial Relations have also said that a priority for the Government is on law enforcement and adherence with Australia’s industrial relations laws.”
In 2019/20, the priority industries or issues the FWO will focus on are:
- Fast food, restaurants and cafes
- Horticulture and the harvest trail
- Supply chain risks
- Sham contracting.
Vulnerable workers will continue to be a priority for the agency, as will matters that are of significant public interest, demonstrate a blatant disregard for the law, are of significant scale or impact on workers or the community and can test the law or use new laws.
“We will use our new powers and publicly name employers who break the law to get the message out that it is not acceptable to underpay workers or deprive them of their entitlements. Employers who do this will get caught,” Ms Parker said.
The superannuation guarantee contribution rate remains at the rate 9.5%.
Tax on redundancy payments:
2019–20 the tax-free limit is equal to $10,638 (base amount), plus $5,320 (service amount) multiplied by the years of service.
The amount of the initial medical and like expenses representing the employer’s liability has increase to $721.00.
Greg Reiffel Industrial Relations & Human Resources Consulting has been providing the following services to businesses for over 30 years:
- General HR and IR advisory service.
- Fair Work Commission representation (eg unfair dismissals, adverse actions, etc.).
- Workplace investigations and mediations.
- Policies and procedures.
- Discipline & Termination.
- People Audits (are you at risk of prosecution?).
- Enterprise Agreements, Contracts of Employment, Individual Flexibility Agreements.
- On-site HR services.
Contact Greg on 0438 906 050 or mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org.