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Get Ready for a Super Boost: Superannuation is Rising to 11.5%!

Get Ready for a Super Boost: Superannuation is Rising to 11.5%!

Starting from 1 July 2024, the superannuation guarantee (SG) rate will increase from 11% to 11.5%. This change means more money in your employees super account, helping for a more comfortable retirement. What you need to know Some payroll platforms will automatically apply this update. Ensure your payroll platform has been updated to apply 11.5% from as of 1 July to all employee earnings (ordinary time earnings) On 1 July 2024, the concessional contribution cap (s uperannuation contribution made before tax) is increasing from $27,500 to $30,000 per person, per financial year. On 1 July 2024, the non-concessional contribution cap ( the maximum amount of after-tax contributions you can contribute to your superannuation each year without facing extra tax) is increasing from $110,000 per person per financial year to $120,000. About Essential HR Simplify HR processes, stay compliant & maximise performance Unlock the full potential of your business by harnessing the power of Essential HR. We understand the intricate demands that arise when you bring talented individuals on board, and we're here to guide you every step of the way.   Managing a workforce can be a daunting task, but with our proven HR solutions, you can navigate the complexities with ease. Our team of HR & recruitment professionals boasts an impressive track record, having excelled in senior management roles across various organisations.   No matter the scale or urgency of your HR needs, we've got you covered. Our flexible services can be customised to suit your unique requirements, whether it's a one-time project, an immediate workplace issue, or a long-term HR partnership.   email us now at hr@esshr.com.au

New Right of Entry Rules – Effective 1 July 2024

New Right of Entry Rules – Effective 1 July 2024

Big changes are here! Starting 1 July 2024, new rules for right of entry permits and exemption certificates are shaking things up. Here’s what you need to know: Right of Entry Exemption Certificates These certificates allow permit holders to skip the required notice for a permitted visit when investigating a suspected breach of the Fair Work Act. The Fair Work Commission (the Commission) will issue these certificates under specific conditions: If there's a suspected underpayment of a union member. If giving advance notice would hinder an effective investigation. The Commission can also put conditions on these permits and certificates to ensure they’re used lawfully and protect permit holders from improper conduct. Workplace Delegates – New Rights from 15 December 2023 Workplace delegates, who are employees elected or appointed to represent members of their organisation, now have new rights and protections, including: Representing members' industrial interests, even in disputes. Reasonable communication with members about their industrial interests. Access to the workplace and facilities to represent these interests. Paid time during normal working hours for training (for delegates in non-small businesses). Upcoming Changes to Awards and Agreements From 1 July 2024, all awards, new enterprise agreements, and workplace determinations must include a delegates’ rights term. New Rights for Workplace Delegates of Regulated Workers – Effective 26 August 2024 Starting 26 August 2024, new rights extend to workplace delegates representing union members who are regulated workers. These include: Representing the industrial interests of regulated workers. Reasonable communication and access to workplace facilities. Protection from unreasonable actions by regulated businesses. Example: Lisa the Workplace Delegate Lisa works for a construction company and is elected as a union delegate. She wants to hold a meeting to discuss collective bargaining but finds is instructed by her manager that she cannot meet with the union on the worksite in work time. This action is a breach of Lisa's rights as a workplace delegate and is unlawful. Changes for Registered Organisations – Effective 27 February 2024 New laws restore the requirement for demerger applications by amalgamated registered organisations (like unions) to be made within 2 to 5 years after amalgamation. Plus, there are some technical tweaks to the demerger processes. The Commission continues to be the regulator for registered organisations. About Essential HR Simplify HR processes, stay compliant & maximise performance Unlock the full potential of your business by harnessing the power of Essential HR. We understand the intricate demands that arise when you bring talented individuals on board, and we're here to guide you every step of the way.   Managing a workforce can be a daunting task, but with our proven HR solutions, you can navigate the complexities with ease. Our team of HR & recruitment professionals boasts an impressive track record, having excelled in senior management roles across various organisations.   No matter the scale or urgency of your HR needs, we've got you covered. Our flexible services can be customised to suit your unique requirements, whether it's a one-time project, an immediate workplace issue, or a long-term HR partnership.   email us now at hr@esshr.com.au

Get Ready for the Future of Workplace Bargaining!

Get Ready for the Future of Workplace Bargaining!

With the introduction of the Secure Jobs Better Pay Act, Closing Loopholes Act, and Closing Loopholes No. 2 Act, the way employers and employees negotiate and finalise agreements is evolving. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know: 1. Delegates’ Rights Term Starting 1 July 2024, all agreements must include a delegates’ rights term, ensuring workplace delegates have the rights outlined in section 350C of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). If the term in your agreement is less favourable than that in a modern award, the award term will apply. 2. Genuine Agreement Changes Effective from 6 June 2023, new principles ensure that employees genuinely agree to enterprise agreements. Employers must follow a Statement of Principles to confirm that employees have a sufficient interest and are representative of the agreement's coverage. 3. Better Off Overall Test (BOOT) For agreements made on or after 6 June 2023, the BOOT is getting a makeover! The Commission can amend or reconsider agreements to ensure they pass the BOOT, considering an assessment of whether employees are better off under the enterprise agreement than the modern award. 4. Multi-Enterprise Agreements From 6 June 2023, there are three types of multi-enterprise agreements: Supported bargaining agreements Single interest employer agreements Cooperative workplaces agreements Before requesting a vote on a multi-enterprise agreement, employers need written agreement from all relevant employee organisations or a voting request order from the Commission. 5. Transitioning Agreements Starting 27 February 2024, employers can transition from a supported bargaining agreement or a single interest employer agreement to a single enterprise agreement before its nominal expiry date. Written agreement from all relevant employee organisations or a voting request order is required before requesting a vote. About Essential HR Simplify HR processes, stay compliant & maximise performance Unlock the full potential of your business by harnessing the power of Essential HR. We understand the intricate demands that arise when you bring talented individuals on board, and we're here to guide you every step of the way.   Managing a workforce can be a daunting task, but with our proven HR solutions, you can navigate the complexities with ease. Our team of HR & recruitment professionals boasts an impressive track record, having excelled in senior management roles across various organisations.   No matter the scale or urgency of your HR needs, we've got you covered. Our flexible services can be customised to suit your unique requirements, whether it's a one-time project, an immediate workplace issue, or a long-term HR partnership.   email us now at hr@esshr.com.au

Updates on Casual Employment: Get the Lowdown!

Updates on Casual Employment: Get the Lowdown!

Changes Effective from 26 August 2024 We’re shaking things up in the world of casual employment with some important updates to the Fair Work Act. Here's what you need to know: What Makes a Casual Employee? Under the new definition, an employee is considered casual if: There’s no firm advance commitment to ongoing and indefinite work, taking into account factors like the real substance and true nature of the employment relationship. They’re entitled to receive a casual loading or specific casual pay rate. Casual employees will stay casual until their status changes through: A conversion process or Fair Work Commission order, or Accepting an alternative employment offer and starting work on that basis. Existing casual employees as of 26 August 2024 will retain their casual status unless they transition to permanent employment. Firm Advance Commitment Whether there's a firm advance commitment to continuing and indefinite work depends on: The real substance, practical reality, and true nature of the employment relationship. Additional factors such as whether: The employer can offer or not offer work to the employee. The employee can accept or reject work. It's reasonably likely there will be future work available. Full-time or part-time employees are performing similar work. The employee has a regular pattern of work. Fixed-Term Contracts Casual employees can generally be hired on fixed-term contracts, except for: Academic or higher education teaching staff covered by specific awards and not state public sector employees. Casual to Permanent Employment (Casual Conversion) Starting 26 August 2024, eligible casual employees can notify their employer of their intention to change to permanent employment if: They’ve been employed for at least 6 months (or 12 months for small business employers). They believe they no longer meet the new casual definition. Employees can’t notify their intention to change if: They’re in an ongoing dispute about casual conversion. Their employer refused a previous notification within the last 6 months. Employer’s Response to Casual Conversion Employers must consult with employees before responding in writing within 21 days, either accepting or refusing the change. If accepted, the response must detail the new employment status, hours of work, and when the change takes effect. Disputes About Casual Conversion Unresolved disputes can be taken to the Fair Work Commission, which will first try to resolve informally through mediation or conciliation, and if necessary, through formal arbitration resulting in a legally binding decision. Casual Employment Information Statement (CEIS) Starting 26 August 2024, employers must provide the CEIS to new casual employees before or soon after they start, and to all casual employees as follows: Non-small business employees: as soon as possible after 6 months, 12 months, and every subsequent 12 months. Small business employees: as soon as possible after 12 months of employment. Stay informed and make sure you’re up to date with these changes to ensure compliance and smooth transitions for your casual employees!

Essential 2024 Updates on Superannuation Entitlements for Employers

Essential 2024 Updates on Superannuation Entitlements for Employers

The Fair Work Commission, Australia's national workplace relations tribunal, has updated the superannuation guidelines across 147 awards, effective from April 9, 2024. These revisions ensure the awards are consistent with the latest superannuation regulations, including the entitlement to superannuation contributions outlined in the National Employment Standards (NES), which took effect on January 1, 2024. Superannuation Rights under the NES The NES now includes a provision for superannuation contributions, granting most employees covered by the NES the ability to pursue legal action under the Fair Work Act for any discrepancies in superannuation payments. Although employers are already required to make superannuation contributions for eligible employees under superannuation guarantee laws, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) continues to oversee compliance with these obligations. Updated Superannuation Rules in Awards The updates primarily integrate existing superannuation legislation rules, focusing on the rights and obligations of both employers and employees. Key updates include: Employees generally have the option to select their own superannuation fund. If a new employee does not select a fund, the employer must consult the ATO to check if the employee belongs to a stapled superannuation fund. If so, contributions should be made to this stapled fund. If an employee does not choose a fund and does not belong to a stapled fund, the employer fulfills the fund choice requirement by contributing to a superannuation fund listed in the award, assuming the fund accepts contributions for the employee. Recommended Actions It is advisable to have a default super fund, specifically one recognised in the applicable award. Employers should also implement a robust payroll system that supports electronic onboarding, enabling new employees to select either their chosen super fund or the employer's default fund. This system should automatically calculate and facilitate super payments through a clearing house. About Essential HR Simplify HR processes, stay compliant & maximise performance Unlock the full potential of your business by harnessing the power of Essential HR. We understand the intricate demands that arise when you bring talented individuals on board, and we're here to guide you every step of the way.   Managing a workforce can be a daunting task, but with our proven HR solutions, you can navigate the complexities with ease. Our team of HR & recruitment professionals boasts an impressive track record, having excelled in senior management roles across various organisations.   No matter the scale or urgency of your HR needs, we've got you covered. Our flexible services can be customised to suit your unique requirements, whether it's a one-time project, an immediate workplace issue, or a long-term HR partnership.   email us now at hr@esshr.com.au

Closing Loopholes Bill Part 1:  Small business redundancy exemption in insolvency contexts

Closing Loopholes Bill Part 1: Small business redundancy exemption in insolvency contexts

Written by Harshini Elliott, Senior HR Partner Changes to the Closing Loopholes Bill Part 1 now addresses any anomalies in the operation of the exemption for small business from providing employees with redundancy pay under the National Employment Standards (NES). The amendments will mean that the existing exemption will not apply to employers that are bankrupt or in liquidation, and which have downsized due to insolvency to become a small business employer. This will ensure that employees terminated due to the insolvency of their employer retain their entitlement to redundancy pay if their employer was not a small business prior to insolvency.  What has changed? The changes will address an anomaly which causes some employees of employers – that are bankrupt or in liquidation – to miss out on a NES entitlement to redundancy pay which would have otherwise been payable at the end of their employment. This occurs when an employer downsizes due to insolvency to fewer than 15 staff, becoming a small business employer exempt from providing redundancy pay to employees under the NES. There will be no change to how the small business redundancy exemption currently applies to viable small businesses, including those that have restructured from a larger employer and are continuing to trade. It will only change how the small business redundancy exemption applies to employers that are bankrupt or in liquidation. What do these changes mean? This change means that employees will no longer be disadvantaged if they are made redundant later than other employees during the insolvency process, including if they are directed by an insolvency practitioner to assist with the wind up of their insolvent employer. When will these changes come into effect? These changes commenced on 15 December 2023. About Essential HR Simplify HR processes, stay compliant & maximise performance Unlock the full potential of your business by harnessing the power of Essential HR. We understand the intricate demands that arise when you bring talented individuals on board, and we're here to guide you every step of the way.   Managing a workforce can be a daunting task, but with our proven HR solutions, you can navigate the complexities with ease. Our team of HR & recruitment professionals boasts an impressive track record, having excelled in senior management roles across various organisations.   No matter the scale or urgency of your HR needs, we've got you covered. Our flexible services can be customised to suit your unique requirements, whether it's a one-time project, an immediate workplace issue, or a long-term HR partnership.   email us now at hr@esshr.com.au

Closing Loopholes Bill Part 1: Industrial Manslaughter and other Work, Health and Safety Reforms

Closing Loopholes Bill Part 1: Industrial Manslaughter and other Work, Health and Safety Reforms

Written by Harshini Elliott, Senior HR Partner Changes commenced on 15 December 2023   Changes have been made to the Closing Loopholes Bill Part 1 to strengthen Commonwealth work health and safety offences and penalties by: Introducing an industrial manslaughter offence; Increasing penalties; and Providing new criminal responsibility provisions for bodies corporate and the Commonwealth.
The amendments also establish a Family and Injured Workers Advisory Committee. What has changed? The changes amend the WHS Act to strengthen the work health and safety offences and penalties regime by including: An industrial manslaughter offence for the Commonwealth work health and safety jurisdiction with penalties of $18 million for a body corporate and 25 years imprisonment for an individual. Significant increases to the Category 1 offence penalties from $3 million to $15 million for a body corporate, from $600,000 to $3 million for a person conducting a business or undertaking or an officer, and from $300,000 to $1.5 million for any other person. A 39.03% increase to all other penalties in the WHS Act . For those penalties which have increased, an indexing mechanism to annually increase penalties in line with the national consumer price index. New criminal responsibility provisions for bodies corporate and the Commonwealth.
The changes also amend the WHS Act to establish a Family and Injured Workers Advisory Committee. The Committee will provide advice to the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and Commonwealth work health and safety regulators on the support needs of those affected by a serious workplace incident and help inform the development of relevant policies and strategies. What will these changes mean? The industrial manslaughter offence and higher penalties for breaching work health and safety duties will promote compliance and help make workplaces safer. The industrial manslaughter offence will address community concern and apply higher penalties to the most egregious breaches of work health and safety duties, those which cause death. The indexing mechanism will ensure work health and safety penalties retain their relative value and remain a serious deterrent into the future. New criminal responsibility provisions will ensure bodies cooperate and the Commonwealth are held accountable for breaches of work health and safety duties. The Family and Injured Workers Advisory Committee will ensure that bereaved families and seriously injured workers and their families have the opportunity to give feedback to government, and advocate for change or reform to meet the needs of those affected by a workplace death or serious injury or illness. When will these changes come into effect? The industrial manslaughter offence will commence on 1 July 2024. The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations is required to establish the Family and Injured Workers Advisory Committee within 12 months of the commencement of the relevant provisions. Most other amendments commenced on 15 December 2023. About Essential HR Simplify HR processes, stay compliant & maximise performance Unlock the full potential of your business by harnessing the power of Essential HR. We understand the intricate demands that arise when you bring talented individuals on board, and we're here to guide you every step of the way.   Managing a workforce can be a daunting task, but with our proven HR solutions, you can navigate the complexities with ease. Our team of HR & recruitment professionals boasts an impressive track record, having excelled in senior management roles across various organisations.   No matter the scale or urgency of your HR needs, we've got you covered. Our flexible services can be customised to suit your unique requirements, whether it's a one-time project, an immediate workplace issue, or a long-term HR partnership.   email us now at hr@esshr.com.au

Closing Loopholes Bill Part 1: Compliance and Enforcement: Criminalising Wage Theft

Closing Loopholes Bill Part 1: Compliance and Enforcement: Criminalising Wage Theft

The Australian government has implemented significant amendments to its labor laws with the introduction of the "Closing Loopholes" legislative package, which comprises the Closing Loopholes Act 2023 and the subsequent Closing Loopholes No. 2 Act 2024. This legislation, passed by the Commonwealth Parliament on December 7, 2023, marks a pivotal step in combating wage exploitation. A cornerstone of these amendments is the introduction of a new criminal offense known as Wage Theft, which targets employers deliberately underpaying their employees. This move to criminalise wage theft reflects a growing recognition of the severity of underpaying workers and the necessity for stricter enforcement measures. The legislation specifically targets intentional underpayments relating to employee entitlements outlined in the Act or under a fair work instrument, such as modern awards or enterprise agreements. Notably, the offense extends to intentional underpayments of superannuation contributions, reinforcing the government's commitment to protecting employee benefits. Commencing January 1, 2025, stringent penalties will be introduced for employers, including individual directors, who intentionally withhold wages or superannuation contributions. Penalties include imprisonment for up to ten years and fines reaching $7.8 million. A key aspect of these new provisions is the consideration of the employer's intent, highlighting the importance for employers to proactively ensure compliance to avoid severe repercussions. Employers previously or currently identified for underpaying employees must be particularly vigilant. The courts will consider whether employers knowingly continued underpaying employees, potentially interpreting this as a willful violation of the new laws. This underscores the urgent need for employers to conduct thorough compliance audits of their payroll and management practices to rectify any underpayments and avoid future legal complications. Moreover, the legislation introduces measures to encourage employers to self-report underpayment violations. Incentives for self-disclosure include protection from criminal prosecution for wage theft, provided certain conditions are met. This includes adherence to a forthcoming Voluntary Small Business Wage Compliance Code, developed in collaboration with government and industry groups. Compliance with this code will serve as a safeguard against criminal prosecution for self-disclosing employers. Additionally, the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) may enter into cooperation agreements with employers who voluntarily report wage underpayments. While these agreements can exempt employers from criminal prosecution, the FWO retains the authority to take alternative measures, such as issuing compliance notices or pursuing civil action. It's crucial to understand that the new wage theft offense will not penalise honest mistakes or unintentional miscalculations by employers. Instead, it targets deliberate acts of underpayment, holding those who intentionally exploit workers criminally accountable. The inclusion of cooperation agreements and compliance codes serves to support employers who have made unintentional errors, offering them pathways to rectify these mistakes while maintaining their obligation to fair worker compensation. The changes usher in a new era of accountability in the Australian workplace, emphasizing the importance of fair compensation and the legal responsibilities of employers. These amendments are scheduled to take effect from January 1, 2025, but the actual commencement date hinges on the declaration of the Voluntary Small Business Wage Compliance Code by the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations. If the Code is not declared, the offense will not be enacted. This phased approach allows employers time to adjust and align with the new legal standards, ensuring that worker rights are protected and upheld in the Australian labor market. About Essential HR Simplify HR processes, stay compliant & maximise performance Unlock the full potential of your business by harnessing the power of Essential HR. We understand the intricate demands that arise when you bring talented individuals on board, and we're here to guide you every step of the way.   Managing a workforce can be a daunting task, but with our proven HR solutions, you can navigate the complexities with ease. Our team of HR & recruitment professionals boasts an impressive track record, having excelled in senior management roles across various organisations.   No matter the scale or urgency of your HR needs, we've got you covered. Our flexible services can be customised to suit your unique requirements, whether it's a one-time project, an immediate workplace issue, or a long-term HR partnership.   email us now at hr@esshr.com.au

Revised Announcement on Australia's Enhanced Paid Parental Leave

Revised Announcement on Australia's Enhanced Paid Parental Leave

Significant updates to Australia’s Paid Parental Leave scheme were officially approved by Parliament on March 18, 2024. The enactment of the Paid Parental Leave Amendment (More Support for Working Families) Bill 2023 will augment the duration of leave available to parents. Commencing from July 1, 2024, the paid parental leave period will progressively extend from the current 20 weeks to 26 weeks by July 1, 2026. This extension will occur in stages, with an additional two weeks being added annually until 2026, culminating in a total increase of six weeks to the existing Paid Parental Leave (PPL) scheme, providing parents with up to six months of leave by 2026. Below is a brief breakdown:   For children born before July 1, 2024: 100 days of paid leave (around 20 weeks). For children born from July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2025: 110 days of paid leave (approximately 22 weeks). For children born from July 1, 2025, to June 30, 2026: 120 days of paid leave (about 24 weeks). For children born on or after July 1, 2026: 130 days of paid leave (equivalent to 26 weeks). These modifications will necessitate minimal adjustments for employers, mainly entailing the processing of additional payments for eligible employees. It is advisable for employers to reassess their parental leave policies in light of these changes. Note: Essential HR will manage these policy updates for our HR Partner clients.   For further details on the enhanced paid parental leave scheme and the implications for employers, please refer to the Services Australia website here . Additionally, if you require assistance in updating your organisation’s parental leave policy to comply with these new legislative changes, please contact Essential HR at hr@esshr.com.au . About Essential HR Simplify HR processes, stay compliant & maximise performance Unlock the full potential of your business by harnessing the power of Essential HR. We understand the intricate demands that arise when you bring talented individuals on board, and we're here to guide you every step of the way.   Managing a workforce can be a daunting task, but with our proven HR solutions, you can navigate the complexities with ease. Our team of HR & recruitment professionals boasts an impressive track record, having excelled in senior management roles across various organisations.   No matter the scale or urgency of your HR needs, we've got you covered. Our flexible services can be customised to suit your unique requirements, whether it's a one-time project, an immediate workplace issue, or a long-term HR partnership.   email us now at hr@esshr.com.au

Balancing Work and Life: An Insight into the 'Right to Disconnect' Movement

Balancing Work and Life: An Insight into the 'Right to Disconnect' Movement

In an era where the boundaries between work and personal life are increasingly blurred, the introduction of the 'Right to Disconnect' legislation marks a significant shift in workplace dynamics. This new rule, aimed at empowering employees, asserts their right to ignore work-related communications outside standard working hours, unless such contact is deemed reasonable. When Will This Change Take Effect? The legislation will come into force six months following Royal Assent. However, for small businesses with fewer than 15 employees, a grace period of 18 months is provided to adapt to the new regulations. What Changes Are Being Made? Under the 'Right to Disconnect', employees can refuse to engage with work-related communications—such as emails, phone calls, or messages—outside their normal working hours. This provision also extends to third-party contacts related to work. The fundamental principle here is the reasonableness of the refusal, which balances employee wellbeing with business needs. This right is designed not only to allow employees to unplug after hours but also to set clear boundaries regarding work-life balance. However, it's crucial to understand that this right is not absolute. Employers can still require after-hours contact if it's reasonable, considering factors like the urgency of the issue, the employee's role, and personal circumstances. Implications for Businesses and Employees Businesses may need to reassess their operational strategies and communication policies. The legislation introduces additional layers of consideration, potentially complicating out-of-hours communication. Employers must now navigate the fine line between reasonable and unreasonable contact, with disputes possibly escalating to the Fair Work Commission. For employees, this change reinforces the importance of work-life balance and provides a legal framework to support their right to disconnect. However, they must also understand the conditions under which they are expected to remain contactable. What Can Businesses Do? To comply with the new regulations and minimise disputes, businesses should: Clearly define out-of-hours contact expectations in job offers, contracts, and policies. Tailor benefits packages to reflect the expectation of some out-of-hours engagement. Engage in open dialogue with employees to establish mutual understanding and expectations regarding availability.
Conclusion The 'Right to Disconnect' is a progressive step towards recognising the importance of mental health and work-life balance in the modern workplace. While it presents challenges for both employers and employees, it also offers an opportunity to foster a more respectful and productive work environment. By embracing clear communication and setting reasonable expectations, businesses can adapt to this new legislation while supporting their employees' right to unplug and recharge. About Essential HR Simplify HR processes, stay compliant & maximise performance Unlock the full potential of your business by harnessing the power of Essential HR. We understand the intricate demands that arise when you bring talented individuals on board, and we're here to guide you every step of the way.  Managing a workforce can be a daunting task, but with our proven HR solutions, you can navigate the complexities with ease. Our team of HR & recruitment professionals boasts an impressive track record, having excelled in senior management roles across various organisations.  No matter the scale or urgency of your HR needs, we've got you covered. Our flexible services can be customised to suit your unique requirements, whether it's a one-time project, an immediate workplace issue, or a long-term HR partnership.  email us now at hr@esshr.com.au

New Rules on Employee Authorised Deductions from Pay

New Rules on Employee Authorised Deductions from Pay

Starting December 30, 2023, there are new regulations governing employee authorised deductions from pay. These deductions can be either one-off or recurring and can be for specific amounts or varying amounts over time. Referred to as employee authorised deductions, they require written permission from the employee. Examples of such deductions include payments to a health fund or union fees. Employers are permitted to make these deductions only if they primarily benefit the employee . Some examples include deductions for goods or services provided by the employer, such as spa treatments in a spa business operated by the employer, or when an employee utilises a company credit card for personal purchases. Record-keeping is essential for these deductions, and they must be documented in the employee's records. Pay slips must detail the amount of each deduction and the name or name and number of the fund or account into which the deduction was deposited. Additionally, awards and registered agreements may also allow for deductions from pay under certain circumstances. However, deductions directly from an employee's pay are subject to strict conditions. Employers must obtain written consent from employees, ensuring that the deduction primarily benefits the employee, or else they may face penalties or have to back-pay the employee. Examples of permitted deductions include salary sacrifice arrangements and voluntary contributions to an employee's super fund. In cases of overpayments due to employer error, deductions from an employee's pay are permissible only under limited circumstances. Employers must discuss and agree upon a repayment plan with the employee, documenting the reason for the overpayment, the amount, and the terms of repayment. Moreover, certain deductions may be allowed when an employee fails to provide adequate notice of termination as per their award. However, such deductions are limited and cannot be taken from other entitlements such as accumulated leave. It's important to note that even if deductions are outlined in awards, agreements, or employment contracts, they may not be permissible if they primarily benefit the employer or if the employee is under 18 years of age. Compliance with legal requirements and ensuring that deductions genuinely benefit employees and are mutual agreed in writing are crucial aspects of implementing authorised deductions from pay. About Essential HR Simplify HR processes, stay compliant & maximise performance Unlock the full potential of your business by harnessing the power of Essential HR. We understand the intricate demands that arise when you bring talented individuals on board, and we're here to guide you every step of the way.   Managing a workforce can be a daunting task, but with our proven HR solutions, you can navigate the complexities with ease. Our team of HR & recruitment professionals boasts an impressive track record, having excelled in senior management roles across various organisations.   No matter the scale or urgency of your HR needs, we've got you covered. Our flexible services can be customised to suit your unique requirements, whether it's a one-time project, an immediate workplace issue, or a long-term HR partnership.   email us now at hr@esshr.com.au Top of Form

How to Use Performance Reviews to Drive Employee Growth and Organisational Success

How to Use Performance Reviews to Drive Employee Growth and Organisational Success

Written by Harshini Elliott, Senior HR Partner At the heart of thriving businesses lies the cornerstone of effective performance reviews—a dynamic tool designed not only to advance employee development but also to bolster communication, and seamlessly integrate individual ambitions with the broader vision of the organisation. Performance evaluations are more than just a checkpoint; they are a gateway to clarity and recognition, offering employees a mirror to their contributions and their value within the company's ecosystem. This transparency is key to fostering an environment where excellence is acknowledged and rewarded, paving the way for both personal and organisational triumphs. However, the art of feedback extends beyond the annual review. In a truly vibrant workplace culture, feedback and recognition are continuous, embedded in the day-to-day rhythm of organisational life. This approach demystifies performance reviews, transforming them from a source of stress into a constructive dialogue—a moment of empowerment and growth rather than a dreaded confrontation. Such a culture celebrates progress, nurtures development, and views performance evaluations as an opportunity for positive reinforcement within a supportive framework. Effective performance reviews are the scaffolding for a culture of accountability, development, and success. When approached with intention and consistency, they are a powerful lever for enhancing employee engagement, performance, and aligning with the strategic objectives of the organisation. To navigate these conversations with finesse, here are some actionable strategies: Prepare with Purpose:   Equip yourself with comprehensive insights—from performance data to peer feedback and self-assessments—to paint a full picture of the employee's journey. Clarify and Connect:   Set the stage by clearly outlining the objectives and expectations of the review, ensuring a focused and productive dialogue that resonates with both individual and organisational goals. Celebrate and Critique with Care:   Utilise specific examples to spotlight achievements and provide constructive feedback, fostering an atmosphere of appreciation and continuous improvement. Foster Open Dialogue:  Cultivate an environment where open, two-way communication thrives, allowing for a genuine exchange of ideas, aspirations, and feedback. Set the Path Forward:   Collaborate on setting SMART goals that challenge and inspire, underpinned by clear expectations and milestones. Empower through Opportunities:   Identify avenues for professional growth, offering resources and assignments that stretch capabilities and enrich career trajectories. Document and Develop:  Keep a detailed record of discussions and action plans, maintaining a clear trajectory of development and accomplishments. Engage and Evolve:  Maintain momentum with regular check-ins, adapting strategies and support to meet evolving goals and challenges. Essential HR stands as your partner in sculpting a landscape where performance reviews are a catalyst for growth and success. Our expertise lies in guiding managers through the intricacies of performance evaluations, offering tools and training to ensure these conversations are as effective as they are empowering. From crafting tailored review templates to navigating feedback and development discussions, we are here to elevate your performance review process to new heights of effectiveness and engagement. Let us help you transform performance reviews from a routine procedure into a strategic asset for your organisation. email hr@esshr.com.au

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