Update on employment laws

Written on the 7 February 2014 by Macmillans Waller Fry

The past year has seen important changes in the area of employment laws.

It is essential that all employers are up-to-date with these changes and are taking the necessary steps to remain compliant. The following are some of the changes occurring to employment law that will affect employers in 2014:

  • The Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) (2013) has made it unlawful to discriminate against an individual on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status.

Businesses will need to review their policies and also conduct staff training to ensure employees are educated on the Act.

An increase of 2.6 per cent to the minimum wage, as well as to all modern award rates of pay, was granted from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2013. As a result of this, the national weekly minimum wage has increased to $622.20.

  • The casual loading for award/agreement-free employees has increased from 23 per cent to 24 per cent.
  • The superannuation guarantee contribution rate has increased from 9 per cent to 9.25 per cent. This will then increase to 9.5 per cent in July 2014.
  • The Fair Work Amendment Act (2013) will come into effect on 1 January 2014. This Act will introduce a new sphere of protection to workers experiencing bullying in the workplace.

This amended Act will allow workers to directly lodge complaints to the Fair Work Commission, instead of notifying their employer. The amended Act also broadens the definition of ‘worker,’ and extends the scope of these changes to other employees such as volunteers, contractors and work experience students.


Author: Macmillans Waller Fry

 

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