There were quite a few changes to legislation this year. To prompt your memory here is a quick recap of some of the developments that impacted small business in 2018. HR Central are available for you to contact, should you need clarification as to whether or not these changes impact on your business.
1. Changes to Long Service Leave (LSL) provisions (Victoria)
The new Long Service Leave Act 2018 (Vic) took effect from 1 November 2018. Some of the key provisions include:
* LSL is now available to employees after seven years continuous service with one employer
* Employees can now take LSL one day at a time instead of in one period or by negotiation
* Unpaid parental leave of up to 52 weeks now counts as continuity of service. Periods of longer than 52 weeks are not counted in the calculation but do not break continuity.
2. Domestic Violence Leave introduced
All industry and occupation awards are now being updated by the Fair Work Commission to include a new clause allowing employees to take unpaid leave to deal with family and domestic violence. All employees covered by an award with the new clause will be entitled to five days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave per year.
Family and domestic violence means violent, threatening or other abusive behaviour by an employee’s family member that:
* Seeks to coerce or control the employee
* Causes them harm or fear
Employees will be able to take this leave to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence, for example to attend court hearings or access police services.
This new clause took effect from the first full pay period on or after 1 August 2018.
In addition, the Fair Work Act 2009, now includes this entitlement as part of the National Employment Standards (NES) and applies to all employees (including part-time and casual employees) from 12 December 2018. Read more
3. Changes to entitlements of casual workers
As of the 1 October 2018, 85 modern awards which did not already contain a clause allowing casuals to request to convert to permanent employment, were varied to insert a model conversion clause. The model conversion clause includes a requirement that:
‘An employer must provide a casual employee, whether a regular casual employee or not, with a copy of the provisions of this sub clause within the first 12 months of the employee’s first engagement to perform work’. In respect of casual employees already employed as at 1 October 2018, an employer must provide employees with a copy of this provision of this sub-clause by 1 January 2019.
If you would like a template to send to your casual employees regarding this information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Single Touch Payroll
Single Touch Payroll is a change to the way that Australian employers report their Employee’s tax and superannuation information to the Australian Tax Office. Employers use a payroll or accounting software that offers STP to send the employees’ tax and super information to the ATO each time they run the payroll. As of July 1 2018 this was a mandatory requirement for Australian businesses with more than twenty employees. Read More