Compliance Update – August 2020

The High Court, ATO, Fair Work and the Federal and Queensland governments have announced changes that may impact your HR and payroll.

Further changes to the JobKeeper extension
On 7 August 2020, the government announced further changes to the JobKeeper extension to adjust the reference date for determining employee eligibility and make it easier for organisations to qualify for the JobKeeper Payment extension.

From 28 September 2020, businesses and not-for-profits seeking to claim the JobKeeper Payment will be required to re-assess their eligibility for the JobKeeper extension with reference to their actual turnover.

New legislation to make ‘wage theft’ a crime in Queensland
On 15 July 2020 the Queensland Government announced that a Bill to criminalise wage theft has been introduced into the Queensland Parliament. The new legislation is intended to create a simple, quick and low-cost wage recovery process for Queenslanders who suffer underpayment of their wages.

High Court overturns Mondelez leave ruling
The High Court has overturned the Federal Court’s August 2019 decision in ‘Mondelez vs AMWU’ and defined what is meant by a ‘day’ in the Fair Work Act.

In the High Court’s judgement summary, it held that what is meant by a ‘day’ or ‘10 days’ must be calculated by reference to an employee’s ordinary hours of work. The Fair Work Ombudsman has published a summary of the decision and what it means for you.

ATO JobKeeper information sharing with Fair Work
The recently passed Treasury Laws Amendment Bill 2020 allows the ATO to disclosure protected information relating to the JobKeeper scheme to the Fair Work Commission and the Fair Work Ombudsman. The new information-sharing arrangement will continue after the JobKeeper scheme has ended to help ensure employers’ compliance with the Fair Work Act.

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