Workplace Employment Law Changes 2020

March 2020

There are some key changes to workplace laws this year that will impact a wide variety of businesses, including medical practices.

Employment law covers matters that relate to the employer / employee relationships such as wages, working conditions, dismissal and discrimination.

Medical practices have a responsibility to stay informed and be aware of these new obligations and how they will impact existing employee entitlements.

Six Major Updates to Australian Employee Awards and Legislation

  1. From 1 January 2020 – employers are required to pay superannuation on their employee’s gross pay. This also includes any salary they have sacrificed.
  2. From 1 January 2020 – salary sacrificed amounts cannot contribute to compulsory super contributions. Employers will longer be able to use a salary sacrifice to make up their mandatory superannuation guarantee contributions.
  3. From 1 March 2020 - employers will have a responsibility to provide written notice to their employees to notify them of their annual salary and maximum ordinary hours outside of the 38-hour working week. 
  4. Employers must now keep records of when their employees start and finish work, and when they take their breaks. 
  5. As of 1 March 2020, employers are required to pay employees for any overtime worked if their salary does not include overtime. 
  6. Under the newly passed Super Guarantee amnesty, employers will now have the ability to self-correct any unpaid superannuation for their employees. 

Annualised Wage Arrangements

From 1 March 2020, new annualised wage arrangements clauses will be introduced into a limited number of the modern awards such as the Health Professionals & Support Services Award (MA000027).  This has come about as part of the Fair Work Commission’s four-yearly review of the modern award regime.

There will be three model annualised salary clauses which replace existing clauses that already appear in many modern awards or which will be inserted into other awards which did not previously have annualised salary clauses.

The new annualised salary model clauses will introduce new notification, record-keeping and wage reconciliation obligations on employers whose employees are covered by the relevant modern awards and who may choose to utilise these arrangements.

Paid Parental Leave

From the 1 January 2020, the government has broadened the pool of eligible new parents who are able to access the existing 18 weeks’ leave. This will affect parents whose child is born or adopted on or after 1 January 2020.

This change will impact on any employer that has a policy / process that ‘tops up’ or provides entitlements in relation to the Paid Parental Leave Scheme.

The ‘work test” will also be amended and with this change will result in more working mothers being able to access Government Paid Parental Scheme.

Practice managers and practice owners should take steps to ensure they are compliant with all the changes and self-correct any errors to avoid potential fines for breaches.

We always recommend seeking independent legal advice for any workplace law matters.

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Topics: Human resource management, hr management, Employees, Employment

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