Are you correctly processing leave and penalty rates for your team?

Dec 16, 2019 | Bookkeeping, Business, Compliance

Personal/ Carer’s Leave Accrual

Applies to: All Employers, particularly if you employ part time or shift workers

Following the recent decision by the Full Federal Court, employers may need to change the method of accruing and taking paid Personal/Carer’s leave. Currently, Personal leave entitlement is calculated based on hours of work, and calculated on a pro rata basis for part time and shift workers. According to the recent decision:

  • full time and part time employees are entitled to 10 working days of paid personal/carer’s leave for each year of employment;
  • the leave must be calculated in working days, and not hours of work.

    Example A: An employee’s ordinary working day is a 12 hour shift.  The employee can access up to ten working days of personal/carer’s leave per year, or the equivalent of 120 hours.

    Example B: An employee’s ordinary working day is 7.6 hours.  The employee can access up to ten working days of personal/carer’s leave per year, or the equivalent of 76 hours.

  • For every day of personal/carer’s leave taken, an employer deducts a day from the employee’s accrued leave balance.  If an employee takes a part day of leave, then an equivalent part day is deducted from the employee’s balance.

 

What should you do next?

  • Consider updating your Leave Policy
  • Include a reference to leave policy in Employment Contracts to minimise exposure in case there is a change in the future.
  • Change your Payroll system to update the method of calculation of leave entitlement.

Public Holiday Substitution Requirements

Applies to: the following employment awards

  • Educational Services (Teachers) Award 2010
  • Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2010
  • Higher Education Industry—Academic Staff—Award 2010
  • Higher Education Industry—General Staff—Award 2010
  • Horse and Greyhound Training Award 2010
  • Sporting Organisations Award 2010

The Fair Work Commission has recently considered whether award terms which permit the substitution of public holidays by unilateral decision are inconsistent with the National Employment Standards (NES). As a result of this review, the terms allowing an employer to substitute a public holiday, will be removed from those awards that contain them. Instead, award terms will be included that provide for:

  • An employer and employee to agree to substitute another day for a day that would otherwise be a public holiday under the NES
  • An employer and employee to agree to substitute another part-day for a part-day that would otherwise be a part-day public holiday under the NES

Public holiday entitlements will apply to the substituted day or part-day for any employees that agree. For any employees that do not agree to the substitution, the original public holiday will attract public holiday entitlements.

What should you do next?

  • Check your employment contracts to confirm if the Public Holiday substitution clause is present.
  • Ensure that you have genuine employee agreement to Public Holiday substitutions as per award and NES requirements.

 

Increase to Retail Penalty Rates

Applies to: Retail employers

An increase in Saturday and evening penalty rates for casual employees is now in place. Retail employers should take note of the changes, leading up to the Christmas period. 

From 1st October 2019, the second phase of increase to penalty rates was introduced for casual employees covered by the General Retail Industry Award 2010 (Award). Penalty rates for casual employees will increase as follows:

 

Saturday work

Commencement
date

Saturday casual
penalty

Total add’n to base rate
(Penalty rate + casual loading)

1 October 2019

20%

45%

1 March 2020

25%

50%

Evening work (Mon-Fri hours after 6pm)

Commencement
date

Evening work casual
penalty (Mon-Fri)

Total add’n to base rate
(Penalty rate + casual loading)

1 October 2019

10%

35%

1 March 2020

15%

40%

1 October 2020

20%

45%

1 March 2021

25%

50%

 

What should you do next?

  • Ensure your payroll administrator is made aware of the changes and your payroll and software is updated with the new rates.

 

For more information on how to apply these changes, please contact Meena Silk at 08 6115 6324 or meena.silk@hrdept.com.au.

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The material and contents provided in this publication are informative in nature only.
It is not intended to be advice and you should not act specifically on the basis of this information alone. If expert assistance is required, professional advice should be obtained.

 

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