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News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin March 2011
17 MARCH 2011 As the New Year begins, all employers and employees need to be aware of a number of changes in employment law. The HR Advisory service has developed a summary of the employment changes that will occur in 2011. THE PAID PARENTAL LEAVE SCHEME The Federal government's Paid Parental Leave (PPL) scheme which came into effect on 1 January 2011, will apply to births and adoptions. Employee's wishing to claim for PPL should do so through the Family Assistance Office (FAO) and can be lodged up to three months prior to the birth or adoption of the child. An employee will be eligible for PPL if they have engaged in work continuously for at least 10 of the 13 months prior to the birth or adoption of the child and worked for at least 330 hours in that 10 month period (which works out to be around one day per week) and earn less than $150,000 pa. This means casual, part-time and full-time employees, as well as those who are self-employed or contractors will be eligible for PPL so long as they satisfy the work test administered by the Family Assistance Office. CHANGE TO THE DEFINITION OF SMALL BUSINESS EMPLOYER IN RELATION TO UNFAIR DISMISSAL Currently, the definition for a small business employer means an employer who employs fewer than 15 full-time equivalent employees at the time of an employee's dismissal. For an employee to claim unfair dismissal under the Fair Work Act 2009, the employee would need to complete the relevant minimum period of employment with the employer, which is 12 months for a small business employer or otherwise six months. From the 1 January 2011, the reference to 15 full-time equivalent test for employees will cease. Under the Fair Work Act small business employers will use the head count test to determine if they're an employer who employs fewer than 15 employees at a particular time. The head count involves counting all employees employed by the employer at the time of dismissal or notice of dismissal. Casual employees are not to be included in the count unless they have been employed by the employer on a regular and systematic basis. DIVISION 2B STATE AWARDS Fair Work Australia (FWA) has announced the modern award transitional arrangements for unincorporated businesses transitioning from their State award into the federal workplace relations system under a modern award. From the 31 January 2011, the Division 2B State awards (formerly State awards) will cease to operate and unincorporated employers and employees who were previously covered by these awards will be covered by a relevant modern award from the 1 February 2011. These changes affect only unincorporated employers in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania (excluding Western Australia) who: • Are not trading as an incorporated business, • Were previously covered by their State workplace relations system, and • Are now covered by the national system as a result of the referral of State industrial powers to the Commonwealth government which occurred on 1 January 2010. Employers who are unincorporated businesses include sole traders, partnerships, other unincorporated entities and non-trading corporations. The decision does not affect employers in Victoria, Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory, and incorporated employers in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and unincorporated businesses in Western Australia. TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS UNDER THE MODERN AWARDS Most modern awards contain transitional provisions to lessen the immediate impact of these new monetary changes. Transitional provisions allow the monetary changes in the pre-modern and modern awards to be progressively phased in over five annual instalments at 20% per year. The first phase-in date will be the first full pay period to commence on or after 1 February 2011. ANNUAL WAGE REVIEW Fair Work Australia will conduct a hearing in relation to the 2011 annual wage review of minimum wage rates under the modern award; any wage increase will take effect on or after 1 July 2011, and we will notify you of any increases. Before acting on any of the information in this article, please contact the friendly team at the ADA HR Advisory Service on: Phone: 1300 ADA INC (1300 232 462) Fax: 02 8448 3299 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org The ADA HR Advisory Service is available from 8.30 am -- 5.30 pm Monday to Friday. 'The answer could be just a phone call away' CHANGES TO employment law in 2011
ADA News Bulletin February 2011
ADA News Bulletin April 2011