- On May 1, 2018
- May/June 2018
HR for the new financial year
Helen Winklemann, Director of Professional Services
THIS YEAR, we’ve again been getting great feedback for our “Employer Essentials” training. This training is free for members (and their practice managers) and available to non-members at a commercial fee. Whenever we run the sessions, we’re reminded how valuable it is to get simple updates about changes to HR/employment law. So, this edition, we’re highlighting a few changes we’re expecting in FY18/19.
Modern Award wage increases
From 1 July 2018, pay rates for award-covered staff (eg, all nurses and admin staff) will increase. This is also a good time to review your employment contracts, and re-read the Modern Awards to check you’re meeting current compliance obligations.
The FWC will announce the pay increase in June (and we’ll provide updates to members ASAP thereafter). For context, last year’s increase was 3.3%, but this year the ACTU is asking for a 7.2% raise, whereas the Australian Industry Group is arguing for 1.8%.
New Compulsory Payroll Reporting
New reporting rules start on 1 July 2018, requiring employers to report payroll and super information to the ATO each payday. The new “Single Touch Payroll” rules initially only apply to businesses with 20+ employees, but smaller businesses will be caught from 1 July 2019. Further information can be found at ato.gov.au/stp, but we also recommend talking to your payroll software provider and/or your accountant. If you’re still using manual payroll, now is the time to start exploring software options!
Casual conversion rights
Last year, the FWC decided to include new “casual conversion” rights in most Modern Awards (including the Nurses Award and HPSSA). Once finalised, the rules are expected to allow casuals with 12 months’ service to request a change to permanency (full- or part-time). Employers would only have limited grounds for refusing (eg, if it’s reasonably foreseeable that the casual employee’s position will cease to exist, or other reasonable grounds).
We don’t know exactly when these rules will start yet, but it’s likely to be in FY17/18, so practices that rely on flexible casuals should start reviewing their staffing needs now.
If you would like assistance, please contact us. If we can’t assist you directly, we may refer you to appropriate external providers. Our preferred providers will generally provide a free initial consultation to our members.