15 Dec ‘Tis The Season…..
- Pinnacle HR Office Closure
- Payment of wages over the Holiday Season 2022/2023
- Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Act 2022
Firstly, to all our valued clients, we would like to sincerely thank you for your custom and support during 2022 – it’s been our pleasure to have supported you during the past year and look forward to continuing to do so in the new year!
We wish you and your families a happy and safe holiday season.
Now, to ‘business’….
PHR Office Closure: Our office will be closed from Friday, 23 December 2022 to Tuesday, 2 January 2023, inclusive, open again on Tuesday, 3 January 2023. If you do have an urgent matter during this period, please email us on email@example.com and one of us will respond as soon as we can.
Payment of Wages over the Holiday Season: To avoid confusion as to how wages need to be paid when employees work through the holiday periods, below is a quick reference to ensure everyone is paid correctly:
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS (SA, VIC, NSW) – to be paid at Public Holiday rates:
- Sunday 25 December – Christmas Day
- Monday 26 December – Additional public holiday for Christmas Day
- Tuesday 27 December – Boxing Day (Vic/NSW) / Proclamation Day (SA)
- Sunday 1 January 2023 – New Year’s Day
- Monday 2 January 2023 – Additional public holiday for New Year’s Day
- Thursday 26 January 2023- Australia Day
SA ONLY – to be paid at Public Holiday rates:
- Saturday 24 December – Christmas Eve (from 7pm to 12 midnight)
- Saturday 31 December – New Year’s Eve (from 7pm to 12 midnight)
AWARDS – Awards may differ in how public holidays must be paid so Employers should check the Award/s that cover their workplaces to ensure the correct penalties are applied.
ENTERPRISE AGREEMENTS – Employers covered by enterprise agreements MUST look at their Public Holiday provisions to determine how public holidays and Christmas Day need to be paid as this may be different from the above.
Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Act 2022 (the Act) and other upcoming legislated changes:
On 6 December 2022, by Royal Assent, the following amendments to the Act were enacted:
Fixed Term Contracts: From 6 December 2023, fixed term contracts cannot be for a duration exceeding two years. There are some exceptions, for example, training contracts, to complete projects wholly government funded, among others. PHR will explore these ‘exceptions’ in more detail and as more information comes to hand and advise our clients further during 2023.
Pay Secrecy: Effectively immediately, non-disclosure of pay clauses in contracts of employment no longer binding. Where a “Severance” clause is included in your contracts, current employees with a pay secrecy clause will no longer be bound by that clause while the remainder of the contract will remain binding. However, if you do not have a Severance clause you should seek to amend your current contracts accordingly and remove any pay secrecy clause/s from your contract template/s for future use.
This essentially makes it a ‘workplace right’ for an employee to discuss his/her pay with anyone, including other employees and any attempt to dismiss someone for doing so will be a breach of the General Protections provisions of the Act.
Flexible Working Arrangements: From 6 June 2023, if a request for a flexible work arrangement is ignored or not responded to within 21 days of receipt, an employee may enter into a dispute with their employer and if not resolved at the workplace level, can be decided by the FWC.
OTHER UPCOMING CHANGES:
- Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave (FDVL):
- From 1 February 2023, employers other than “small business employers” will need to provide employees with 10 days of paid FDVL per 12 month period. This applies to full-time, part-time and casual employees and will not be pro-rated for part-time or casual workers.
- From 1 August 2023: the above entitlement will commence for employees of small business employers (under 15 employees).
- This is a change to the current National Employment Standard for FDVL and therefore applies to ALL employees, whether covered by an Award/Agreement or not.
There are a number of other amendments under the Act that we will provide details on early in the new year, some that may affect how employers can bargain for new enterprise agreements in the future. Watch this space……..