Christmas is coming, some early IR gifts on the way

No double dipping for casual employees

Welcome news is coming if your business employs a contingent of casual employees.

The Minister for Industrial Relations has confirmed that a new Fair Work Regulation will be introduced shortly to allow the offsetting of entitlements under the National Employment Standards (NES) against casual loadings paid by employers. This proposed Regulation will provide the clarity required to limit double dipping of casual employees on the casual loading and NES entitlements.

Remember that your business needs to be paying casual employees an identifiable casual loading in order to offset against any subsequent claims for NES entitlements, so we recommend you review your payroll arrangements and employment contracts in preparation of this Regulation coming into effect.

If you need further advice and assistance on your casual employees, including what your business needs to be doing from a payroll and employment contract perspective to limit the risk of casual employees double dipping, IR Legal Solutions can assist.

Enterprise Agreements - Minor errors in agreement process no longer fatal to approval

The Fair Work Amendment (Repeal of 4 Yearly Reviews and Other Measures) Bill 2017 was passed last week to effectively cure minor technical and procedural errors in the enterprise agreement process, and allow the Fair Work Commission to overlook such errors to approve enterprise agreements that were previously fatally impacted by such errors and could not be approved.

The new provision will enable the Fair Work Commission to approve such agreements impacted by minor errors in circumstances where the agreement would have been genuinely agreed to but for the minor procedural or technical errors made in relation to the requirements for approval under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), including in relation to the Notice of Employee Representational Rights.

However, the Fair Work Commission must be satisfied that the employees covered by the agreement were not likely to have been disadvantaged by the errors.

Should your business have an enterprise agreement process on foot with minor technical or procedural errors, it is worth obtaining advice on this new provision to understand whether your business may be able to rely on it to cure the errors and what is may need to do in order to move forward with bargaining.

New Family and Domestic Violence Leave for Award Free Employees in 11th NES

Also recently introduced is the new Family and Domestic Violence Leave for Award-free employees, mirroring the same unpaid leave entitlement recently introduced for Modern Award covered employees, with an 11th NES expected to come into operation shortly.

Businesses should ensure that they are aware of and understand the nature of this leave, are able effectively manage the sensitivities around such leave, and understand when it can be taken.

Should your business require any advice or assistance to navigate these changes, contact IR Legal Solutions.