Workplace Law

Workplace Law News and Articles

Nov 202020
 

Employers should be alert to current worker entitlements: 

Unfair Dismissal High Income Threshold;

  • Compensation Cap for Unfair Dismissal;
  • Redundancy Tax Free Amount;
  • Employment Termination Payments (ETP) Lower Tax Rate Cap;
  • Superannuation Maximum Contribution Base; and
  • Civil Penalties for Breaches of the Fair Work Act.

Unfair Dismissal High Income Threshold

From 1 July 2020, the High Income Threshold increased from $148,700 to $153,600.

Employees earning more than $153,400 cannot make unfair dismissal claims unless they are covered by a modern award or an enterprise agreement.

The following are included in the High Income Threshold calculation:

  • Wages;
  • Superannuation;
  • Money paid on behalf of the employee (e.g. salary sacrifice); and
  • The agreed monetary value of non-monetary benefits (e.g. company car or mobile phone).

The High Income Threshold calculation does not include:

  • Payments which cannot be determined in advance (e.g. commissions, incentive-based payments and bonuses);
  • Overtime (unless the overtime is guaranteed); and
  • Reimbursements.

Unfair Dismissal Compensation Cap

The maximum compensation for unfair dismissal applications is the lesser of 6 months pay or the equivalent of half the Unfair Dismissal High Income Threshold, $76,800.

Redundancy – Tax Free Amount

The Tax Free Amount for genuine redundancy payments is indexed annually.  From 1 July 2020 the TFA increased from $10,638 to $10,989. 

The additional amount per completed year of service increased from $5,320 to $5,496.

Employment Termination Payments (ETP)

The cap for the lower tax rate on ETPs is $215,000.00 for the 2020-21 income year.

Superannuation

The Superannuation Guarantee Contributions Rate will remain at 9.5%.

From 1 July 2020 the maximum quarterly contribution base increased from $55,270 to $57,090; and the maximum annual contribution base increased from $221,080 to $228,360.

The maximum contribution bases are the maximum salary amounts for which an employer must contribute superannuation guarantee amounts, unless the employer has agreed to pay superannuation contributions on the total salary paid.

Civil Penalties for Breaches of the Fair Work Act

From 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021, the civil penalty unit for single breaches of the Fair Work Act is $222.00.

The maximum penalty is, for:

  • a company: $63,000.00 for a non-serious contravention, $66,600 for a serious contravention.
  • an individual: $12,600.00 for a non-serious contravention, $13,320 for a serious contravention.

Multiple breaches can result in multiple penalties being imposed.

Contact Peter McNamara today for your workplace law advice.

Jul 242020
 

Although Israel Folau recently reached a confidential settlement with Rugby Australia, the termination of Folau’s contract reinvigorated debate about religious freedom for employees and their contracts. Intuitively, perhaps, employers should only be able to restrict employees’ conduct within the workplace, whether that be an office or a rugby pitch. However, this simply is not the case! The rise of social […]

May 052020
 

Employers can now subscribe to industry specific COVID-19 Safety Updates at the link here. Employers should direct those responsible to subscribe to the updates for their industry sector. The initiative arises from the National Cabinet decision to develop nationally-consistent, industry-specific work health and safety (WHS) guidance on COVID-19 through Safe Work Australia, who will have […]

Feb 182020
 

Employment lawyers are often faced with this complex legal question: do post-employment restraints survive termination if an employer breaches or repudiates a contract of employment? This issue was settled in a recent Victorian Supreme Court case that held that post-employment restraints do not survive the termination of an employment contract where an employer breaches or […]

Feb 142020
 

  Employers are responsible for making and keeping accurate employee records. Record-breaking fines have been issued to employers for contraventions of employee record-keeping obligations, such as details of overtime hours, penalty rates and loadings. A Caltex franchisee and its owner were fined $80,190 and $16,038 each for falsifying employee records of the wage rates paid […]

Jul 262019
 

In NSW, media companies are now “publishers” on Facebook. They were not until last month, when Justice Rothman handed down his decision against News Corp in the Dylan Voller case (now on appeal).  The media companies deny that they are publishers on Facebook because they don’t create or control posts on their websites, so they […]

Jul 012019
 

Employers should be alert to current worker entitlements:  Unfair Dismissal High Income Threshold; Compensation Cap for Unfair Dismissal; Redundancy Tax Free Amount; Employment Termination Payments (ETP) Lower Tax Rate Cap; Superannuation Maximum Contribution Base; and Civil Penalties for Breaches of the Fair Work Act. Unfair Dismissal High Income Threshold From 1 July 2019, the High […]

Mar 192019
 

The issue of whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor is relevant for many business risks.  These include the risk of employee-type claims for unfair dismissal or award wages, of the obligation to remit PAYG withholding tax amounts to the ATO, and of claims by revenue collectors in the states and territories for […]