New year’s resolutions for employers

Posted by December 24, 2019 | Articles | No Comments

By Madeleine Brown, Associate

The new year is the perfect time to set out your business priorities. By setting priorities early in the year, employers can avoid cost, time and stress managing common issues down the track. Additionally, employers can use the new year as an annual business health check-up reminder: familiarise yourself with new legislation, and make sure you are compliant with any new requirements.

Understand new award obligations

From 1 March 2020, new model clauses will start operating in a range of modern awards including the Clerks – Private Sector Award 2010, Health Professionals and Support Staff Award 2010 and Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2010.

Depending on which award applies to your business and employees, you may be required to:

  • keep records of the maximum number of overtime hours employee may be required to work in a pay period or roster cycle without being entitled to an amount in excess of their annualised salary
  • conduct yearly reconciliations to ensure staff on annualised salaries are not worse off than if they had been paid all applicable penalty rates, allowances and overtime
  • keep weekly records of employees’ start, finish and unpaid break times, which are to be signed by the employee
  • set out the method by which the employee’s annualised salary has been calculated in a written agreement

Make sure your records, contracts and policies are compliant

According the Fair Work Ombudsman’s 2018-19 Annual Report, the overall compliance rate for (2018-19) yearly audits was 45%, with the most common issues relating to award compliance (43%) and failure to comply with record-keeping requirements (23%).

With high-profile underpayment and record-keeping cases receiving more media and legislative attention than ever, new higher penalties for serious contraventions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and an evidentiary presumption against employers who fail to keep employee records, it is now more important than ever to ensure you are meeting your legal requirements.

The new year is the perfect time to ensure your policies, contracts and employee records are not only legally compliant but tailored to meet your business needs. The start of the year can be quiet, providing a good opportunity to schedule training for the year ahead. MDC Legal can provide you with the following services and training to get your new year off to the best possible start.

Introductory Audit

MDC Legal has experience assisting both employees and employers, which gives us a unique perspective and a keen eye for common areas of risk. Our introductory audit service provides your business with a high-level, two-hour review of your employee records, contracts, policies and procedures that will help to identify areas of risk and suggest tailored business solutions.

Course length: 2 hours

Cost: $999 (incl. GST)

Locations: Available for delivery in Perth metro areas.

New Year Essentials Refresher Training

MDC Legal has developed a new year’s refresher training package that covers the essentials of sexual harassment, workplace bullying and discrimination. By investing a few hours and a small cost, you can ensure you, your managers and staff understand the legislation and requirements around these important topics.

Course length: 2 hours

Cost: $999 (incl. GST)

If your organisation is interested in the above services and training, contact our team of specialist employment lawyers and let us help you in 2020.