Understand Fair Work’s annual leave changes and avoid $63,000 fines
As of 29 July 2016, annual leave changes apply to any employee on one of the 112 updated awards or for those who are award/agreement free. Annual leave forms part of the National Employment Standards (NES) which applies to all employees covered by the national workplace relations system, regardless of any award, agreement or contract. Not complying with the legislation could cost your business $63,000 – per breach!
Click to get your short guide to the changes – and find out the three critical questions to ask yourself and/or the person responsible for payroll!
According to the Fair Work Ombudsman, all employees, except casual employees, accumulate four weeks of paid annual leave for every year they work with their employer, based on the number of ordinary hours they work. Even when an employee is on paid annual leave or paid personal/carer’s leave, annual leave entitlements continues to accumulate. Employees who are classified as a ‘shiftworker’ accumulate five weeks paid annual leave. Fair Work stipulates that this is only if an award or registered agreement applies to the employee, and defines or describes the employee as a shiftworker for the purposes of the NES.
Annual leave for employees began in Australia in 1935 and many employees and business leaders say the new clauses, inserted by the Fair Work Commission into 112 modern awards will allow for more flexible working arrangements.
These new updates by Fair Work are expected to impact an estimated 2 million Australian employees whose employment is covered by modern award agreements, according to an article in The Age. Peter Strong, chief executive of the Council of Small Business Australia, told SmartCompany, “These changes bring in some common sense and will be beneficial for employers and employees.”