Gemma Wheeler Carver, Associate, and Murray Thornhill, Director in our Employment and Dispute Resolution teams, share their EOFY Employment Law Checklist 2021 that outlines the main issues that employers should check during this time of year.
The end of the financial year is an extremely busy time for all businesses, but it’s important you don’t neglect your employment law obligations during this period. We’ve put together a quick checklist of the main issues you should check on before 30 June 2021.
- Superannuation: From 1 July 2021, the superannuation guarantee percentage increases from 9.5% to 10%. This is the first increase since 1 July 2014. For employees paid on the basis of a salary exclusive of superannuation, employers will need to ensure that they commence paying an additional amount of superannuation into the employee’s superannuation account from 1 July. For employees paid a salary inclusive of superannuation, employers will need to re-calculate the portion of an employee’s salary that is paid into their superannuation account, rather than into their payroll account.
- Minimum wage: The Fair Work Commission has announced on 16 June 2021 that the minimum wage will increase by 2.5% to $772.60 per week (or $20.33 per hour) from 1 July 2021. Increases to rates under the federal Awards will be made in three stages, the first on 1 July 2021, the second on 1 September 2021 (including retail industry), and a limited number of Award in highly COVID-effected industries such as aviation and tourism on 1 November 2021. The WAIRC will announce the State increases shortly. Read more about this here.
- High-income threshold: From 1 July 2021, the high-income threshold will also be increased, to $158,500. This figure is relevant for:
- Determining eligibility to make an unfair dismissal claim. A claim may only be made if an employee’s salary is less than this amount or that employee is covered by a Modern award.
- Determining whether a Modern Award applies to an employee. If an employee’s salary is the subject of an annual guarantee of earnings above the high-income threshold, then terms of any Award that covers that employee and otherwise would apply does not apply.
- Determining the maximum compensation for an unfair dismissal claim. If successful in an unfair dismissal claim, an employee may receive a maximum of 26 weeks of their usual salary, or 50% of the high-income threshold amount ($79,250), whichever is lower.
- Commission fees: Filing fees for dismissal and general protection applications to the Fair Work Commission will also increase to $74.90 from 1 July 2021.
- Casual employees: On 27 March 2021, the Fair Work Commission released a Casual Employment Information Statement. From 1 September 2021, this document must be provided to all casual employees. Small businesses should already have provided this document to their casual employees. Further information can be found here.
- Fair Work Information Statement: Employers should still continue to provide all employees with a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement.
- Vaccinations: With vaccinations now rolled out for most age groups, employers may wish to reconsider their policies and assess whether any changes are required. We have previously written about that here. Since that article, the government has announced compulsory vaccinations for aged care workers, and the Fair Work Commission has determined that even where medical reasons to refuse vaccination exist, an employee’s employment may be terminated for failure to be vaccinated.
- Record keeping: The end of the financial year is also a good time to:
- review policies and procedures;
- ensure all employees have updated employment contracts, including to ensure all employees are paid above the minimum rates;
- ensure all other record-keeping is up-to-date including payslips, time and leave records, individual flexibility arrangements, and guarantees of annual earnings.
- Health and safety: This is also a good time to check in on your health and safety obligations, especially with the new Work Health and Safety Act 2020 (WA) to come into effect later this year. Read more about your obligations here.
Our team is highly skilled and experienced in advising on all aspects of Employment Law and Dispute Resolution. Contact us today if you need advice or representation in this area.