Clifford Gouldson Lawyers

Leave Entitlement Changes Arrive & Wage Payments Under Review

Print Version

24/08/2016

New rules for annual leave entitlements have come into effect and the Fair Work Commission (FWC) is now seeking submissions from interested parties in relation to the obligations surrounding the payment of wages in modern awards. 
 
This alert sets out the changes in relation to annual leave and provides information on the proposed changes to be made to the payment of wages terms contained in modern awards, in case you want your say.   
 
New rules for annual leave
 
The awards have been varied to include:
 

  • the cashing out of up to two weeks annual leave every 12 months;
  • the permitting of annual leave being taken before it has been accrued by an employee; 
  • the management of excessive accrued annual leave balances; and
  • when payment for annual leave must be made by an employer. 

 

For further information on these changes, please see our earlier alert "Change to cashing out of leave arrangements to impact all modern awards".

The changes take effect the first pay cycle after 29 July 2016. 
 
We encourage you to review the modern awards that apply to your workplace, to determine how these changes may affect your business and employees.  For example, any annual leave policies you have in place may need to be amended to reflect the new terms.
 
Payment of wages
 
Currently, variations are being sought in certain awards with respect to:
 

  • the timeframe in which wages ought to be paid at the end of the pay period;
  • the requirement for an employer to notify employees of their regular pay day; and 
  • reducing the penalty on employers for the late payment of wages if paying by electronic funds transfer.  Certain awards provide that an employee will be entitled to overtime rates if an employee ceases work and is kept waiting for their pay.
 
Each award does not contain the same payment of wages clause or impose the same obligations on an employer.  Accordingly, it is important to review any awards that may apply to your business to see how these potential changes may impact you. 
 
If you would like to provide any submissions in relation to the payment of wages term contained in an award that applies to your business, submissions must be filed with the FWC by 4pm, Tuesday, 20 September 2016.  Please note, if you wish to oppose any of the variations in relation to the awards the FWC discussed in its 2 August 2016 Statement, then you have until 13 October 2016 to file a submission. 
 
For further information, see the latest Statement issued by the FWC.
 
If you would like any assistance on how to make a submission to the FWC or you are concerned about how any of the changes discussed in this alert may impact your business, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Workplace Law team.

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