Compliance Update – November 2020

The Fair Work Commission and several state governments have announced changes that may impact your HR and payroll.

The Fair Work Commission and several state governments have announced changes that may impact your HR and payroll.

Increases to minimum wage
This year due to COVID-19, the Fair Work Commission took the decision to split Awards into 3 groups, depending on how severe the industry was expected to be affected and apply increases to the minimum wage by group. The minimum wage increase of 1.75% will apply from first full pay period on or after 1 November 2020 for the 73 awards in Group 2.

Fair Work have issued the updated awards and updated their pay guides and pay calculator. As a reminder, for anyone not covered by an award or an agreement, the new national minimum wage is $753.80 per week or $19.84 per hour.

Varied awards come into operation
As part of its review of all modern awards, the Fair Work Commission has confirmed that the next group of varied awards will come into operation on 13 November 2020.

Payment of wages on termination
The Fair Work Commission has further varied the payment of wages on termination clauses in several awards. For these awards employers now need to pay an employee’s:

  • final wages for any complete or incomplete pay period up to the end of the day of termination
  • NES entitlements (such as annual leave).

The prescribed time for payment varies between these awards, please see the relevant Determination for these awards.

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment available in QLD and SA
People who live in Queensland and South Australia are now eligible for the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment if they can’t work because of reasons relating to coronavirus and meet other criteria.

Paid pandemic leave extended for residential aged care employees
The Fair Work Commission issued a determination extending paid pandemic leave provisions for residential aged care employees (full-time, part-time and eligible casual employees) until 29 March 2021, in the following awards:

  • Aged Care Award
  • Nurses Award
  • Health Professionals Award

You can view the determination for each Award at the FWC website.

Unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave at half pay extensions
The Fair Work Commission has extended by five months unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave at half pay in 9 health sector awards. The leave now needs to start by 29 March 2021.

NSW announces payroll tax relief for new jobs
The NSW government has announced that the Jobs Plus Program offers a four-year payroll tax relief period for every new job created – where a business has created at least 30 new net jobs.

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