With the start of a new financial year comes changes in the employment law arena. Here are 5 key things you need to know to get you off and running in 2015/16.
High Income Threshold
The Fair Work Commission has increased the High Income Threshold to $136,700 effective from 1 July 2015. This means that, for the purposes of unfair dismissal matters, an employee will be ineligible to bring a claim for unfair dismissal if the employee earns $136,700 p.a. or greater at the date of their dismissal. Importantly, in calculating an employee’s earnings, the personal usage value of non-monetary benefits may also be included.
Increases to the National Minimum Wage and to Modern Award rates took effect on 1 July 2015. Our earlier blog post explains the decision in more detail, however, as a reminder, the National Minimum Wage is now $656.90 per week, or $17.29 per hour, and Modern Award base pay rates have increased by 2.5%. Employers need to check that they are paying their employees the correct rates of pay from 1 July 2015.
The introduction of the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Penalty Units) Act 2015 (Cth) will see the value of a penalty unit increased from $170 to $180 from 31 July 2015. For employers, this means that the penalties under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) for underpayment of wages after 31 July 2015 will increase to $10,800 for an individual or $54,000 for a corporation.
Redundancy Tax Concession
The redundancy tax concession has increased from 1 July 2015 to $9,780 plus $4,891 per year of completed service. This change means that when receiving a genuine redundancy payment, an employee is entitled to $9,780, plus $4,891 per completed year of service, tax free.
Fair Work Information Statement
The Fair Work Ombudsman has updated the Fair Work Information Statement which is to be provided to all new employees on the commencement of their employment. If you have any new employees starting on or after 1 July 2015, you will need to ensure that you provide them with a copy of the latest Fair Work Information Statement, which can be accessed here.