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HR Newsletter July 2022

HR Newsletter – July 2022

FWO Compliance Priorities Released

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) is the Australian Government body responsible for the education and enforcement of compliance with modern award requirements and the National Employment Standards.

Each year, the FWO releases their compliance and enforcement priorities, highlighting the industries, occupations and areas they will focus on for the current financial year:

  • Fast Food, Cafes and Restaurants
  • Agriculture
  • Sham contracting (engaging a worker as a contractor, knowing that the worker is an employee legally)
  • Large corporate and University sectors
  • Contract cleaning

In a press release, Sandra Parker (Fair Work Ombudsman) stated:

“The FWO continues to find high levels of non-compliance in the fast food, restaurants and cafe sector, with many requests for assistance coming from vulnerable workers. That is why we will continue to undertake proactive investigations in metropolitan food precincts across the year.” 

“The agriculture sector is a priority given its reliance on visa holders, who can be at greater risk of exploitation, and its often-complex labour supply chains. The Fair Work Ombudsman will also be playing a key role in both education and enforcement of the recent Horticulture Award changes.”

“We expect to take further high-level enforcement action against a range of large corporates this year.”

Updated Fair Work Information Statement

 Employers are required to provide ALL new employees with a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement (FWIS) before (or as soon as possible) after they have started with the business. Casual employees must also be provided with a copy of the Casual Information Statement.

The Fair Work Information Statement contains information on an employee’s rights including the National Employment Standards, modern awards, agreements, individual flexibility arrangements, general protections, termination of employment, right of entry and the role of the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) and Fair Work Commission (FWC).

The FWIS has recently been updated to reflect the 1 July wage increase. Download an updated copy below:

How do I know if I am paying staff correctly?

In Australia there are over 100 modern awards covering specific industries and occupations. Modern awards set out the minimum terms and conditions that you must apply for employees who perform work covered by the award.

Many employers incorrectly assume that their employees are award free (i.e. no modern award applies) or are paid an annual salary, therefore they don’t need to worry about modern awards. Even if your employee is paid an annual salary, there are still obligations for employers to ensure that the annual salary the employee is paid is equal to or greater than what the employee would receive if they were paid under the modern award terms and conditions.

So where do you begin?

Step one: Ensure all employees have a clear position description that outlines their role requirements and responsibilities.

Step two: Navigate to the Fair Work Ombudsman list of modern awards available here. Using the title of the modern award, narrow it down to possible awards that may be applicable to your industry or occupations performed at your workplace.

Step three: From the above list, review the coverage clause in each award to determine if it is applicable to your workplace. The coverage clause is normally clause 4 (for most awards). It describes the industry or occupation that the award covers. You can have more than one award that applies.

Step four: Using the position descriptions developed in step one, review the classification structure in the identified award/s (normally schedule B) to select the appropriate classification for the role.

Step five: Now you have determined the applicable award and classification, you can use the pay guide summary for your applicable award/s available here to determine the minimum rates of pay.

Note: The FWO has a Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT) which has been designed to help you identify award coverage and pay rates. You can access this tool here.

Liquid HR has a Modern Award Audit that we have developed where we undertake the above process for you, presenting you with a detailed audit report outlining your award coverage, classifications and minimum rates of pay. For further information on this audit, please get in touch via enquiries@liquidhr.com.au

Covid isn’t gone – a snapshot of key workplace requirements currently in each state

Whilst many of us could be forgiven for wanting to put the last few years of Covid behind us, it is important that you are still aware of the requirements in each state regarding vaccination, Covid-19 testing and isolation requirements.

Given this information is constantly updated we have shared links to the requirements so you can ensure you are referring to the most up to date information:

Vaccination requirements Employee tests positive for Covid-19 A Member of the employee’s household tests positive for Covid-19
N

S

W

https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/vaccination/requirements-for-workers https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/business/rules-guidance/linked-with-positive-worker-case https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/business/rules-guidance/managing-close-contacts
V

I

C

https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/worker-vaccination-requirements https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/case-workplace https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/checklist-contacts
Q

L

D

https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/business/vaccination-for-workers https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/business/managing-covid-19-in-workplaces https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/exposed-to-covid/close-contacts/first-steps-as-a-close-contact
SA

 

https://lawhandbook.sa.gov.au/ch29s05s07.php https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/conditions/infectious+diseases/covid-19/cases+and+contacts/covid-19+positive+advice/what+to+do+if+i+test+positive https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/conditions/infectious+diseases/covid-19/cases+and+contacts/close+contact+advice/close+contact+advice
W

A

https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Coronavirus/COVID19-vaccination-program/Mandatory-COVID19-vaccination https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Coronavirus/COVID19-information-for-business-and-industry/COVID19-in-the-workplace-Information-for-employers-and-employees https://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Coronavirus/COVID19-isolation
T

AS

https://www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/business-and-employees/vaccination-requirements https://www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/business-and-employees/covid-19-case-and-outbreak-management/preparing-for-and-managing-COVID-19-in-the-workplace https://www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/keeping-yourself-safe/contact-tracing/advice-for-contacts
N

T

https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/business-and-work/mandatory-vaccinations https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/stay-safe/living-with-covid-19/covid-19-positive https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/stay-safe/living-with-covid-19/close-contacts
ACT https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/vaccine/information-for-employees-that-require-vaccination https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/stay-safe-and-healthy/information-for-people-who-test-positive-for-covid-19 https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/stay-safe-and-healthy/exposed-to-covid19

Ask an Expert

“We have a full-time employee who has worked for us for 2 years. He has received a promotion to a new role. Can we apply a probationary period to the new position?”

 No, a new probationary period cannot be applied. A probationary period can only be used when the full-time employee commences employment. Should the employee not meet the expectations in his new role, the standard performance management process, ensuring procedural fairness should be followed.

For more information on the above, please contact us on 1300 887 458 and speak with one  of our HR Consultants. If you are interested in learning more about our HR services, including HR OutsourcingHR ConsultingHR Advisory Services, contact us at enquiries@liquidhr.com.au.