There are a number of workplace changes which come into effect on Monday 1 July 2013. Businesses should be aware of these changes and review current practices, policies and procedures to ensure that they are compliant.
From 1 July 2013, the superannuation guarantee levy (SGL) will increase by 0.25% to 9.25%.
If an employee receives a salary/wages plus superannuation, then the employer will need to increase contributions by 0.25%. However, if an employee's contract specifies a fixed sum inclusive of wages and superannuation, then the total package remains the same and the ratio of wages to superannuation is adjusted and a higher superannuation contribution made. You will need to check the specific terms of your employment contracts or agreements to see whether the increase can be absorbed or is an additional payment.
Under the current scheme, the SGL is set to increase by a further 0.25% in 2014, followed by five consecutive 0.5% rises between 2015 and 2019, reaching 12% in 2019.
However, in his budget reply speech in May this year, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott promised to push the timetable back two years if elected in September. So, if there is a change of government this year, this timetable may well change.
On 3 June 2013, the Fair Work Commission minimum wage panel delivered a 2.6% increase to all modern award rates from 1 July 2013.
As a result of the increase, the national weekly minimum wage increases by AUD15.80 to AUD622.20 (or 41c to AUD16.37 an hour) on 1 July 2013.
If your employees are covered by an award, you need to be aware of, and apply, the 2.6% increase. If your employees are covered by an award but are paid an over-award salary, now is a good time to do some calculations and ensure your employees are receiving adequate compensation in light of the award rate increase.
Unfair Dismissal Remuneration Cap
On 1 July 2013 the high-income threshold for unfair dismissal applications will increase from AUD123,300 to AUD129,300. As the maximum compensation for unfair dismissals is half the amount of the high-income threshold, the maximum compensation will rise from AUD61,650 to AUD64,650 for dismissals that occur after 1 July 2013.