Australian Minimum Wage Update 2017
It’s been a big year for Australian employers, with changes to penalty rates, compliance crack downs by Fair Work, and shake ups in the world of big business Enterprise Agreements. As the End of Financial Year quickly approaches business owners and employers need to start thinking about minimum wage updates and staff pay rates for […]
6 June 2017 — read
It’s been a big year for Australian employers, with changes to penalty rates, compliance crack downs by Fair Work, and shake ups in the world of big business Enterprise Agreements. As the End of Financial Year quickly approaches business owners and employers need to start thinking about minimum wage updates and staff pay rates for the New Financial Year. Fair Work has today announced its decision on national employment standards for 2017, including wage increases for Modern Award rates. As of July 1 2017, the national minimum wage will be increased by 3.3%, resulting in a minimum hourly rate of $18.29. This is the first time in awhile that there has been minimum wage increase of more than 3%, and marks the second highest increase to the minimum wage since the introduction of the Modern Award system, with the highest increase occurring in 2011 at 3.4%. This comes only a day after the Fair Work Commission released its Transitional Arrangements for Sunday penalty rates, which will see penalty rate changes implemented from July 1 2017, for specific employees under the Fast Food, Retail, Hospitality, and Pharmacy Award. Changes to Public Holiday penalty rates will also come into effect July 1 2017, for specific employees under the Hospitality, Restaurant, Retail, Fast Food and Pharmacy Award. What does this mean for you? The national employment standards are set by Fair Work, and constitute the minimum legal wage and entitlements that employees are entitled to. As a business owner it is your responsibility to ensure that you are aware of wage rate changes, how they apply to your Modern Award or Enterprise Agreement, and that your employee wage rates have been updated accordingly prior to July 1 2017. For employers with employees under the Fast Food, Retail, Hospitality, Pharmacy, and Restaurant Award, additional care must be taken to account for the changes to Sunday and Public Holiday penalty rates. Employers should check that they have applied the new updated wage rates to the correct employees. For example: Under the Fast Food Award, Sunday penalty rate changes will be staggered over the next three years, and will only be applied to Level 1, full-time, part-time and casual employees under the Award. While only full-time and part-time employees under the Hospitality Award will be affected by transitional arrangements. For more information on the Transitional Arrangements to Penalty Rates please visit the Fair Work Commission website. Employers with Custom Agreements For employers who have a custom agreement, pay above Award or have an Enterprise Agreement, it is your responsibility to conduct a ‘Better Off Overall Test’ (BOOT). This will confirm that your employees are better off under your custom agreement, than under the industry Modern Award. Navigating the wage rate update mine field Australia is regularly considered one the most complex countries to process payroll in, due to the complex and extensive regulations around labour in Australia. As such, it is no surprise that some Australian employers have struggled to keep up with the complex intricacies that are often associated with Modern Awards and wage rates as they change and update over the years. However, failing to update wage rates correctly poses significant risk for business owners who risk breaching Fair Work regulations. It is therefore important that business owners and employers have the correct tools on hand to manage wage rate updates, Better Off Overall Test logistics, and compliance requirements. How can Tanda help? Implementing an automated workforce management system like Tanda, provides business owners and employers with the peace of mind in managing payroll compliance. In addition to streamlining rostering and timesheets, Tanda automates Award Interpretation including Award management. The market-leading award interpreter automatically calculates the gross wage for your staff based on your industry Award and additional factors such as penalty rates, overtime and allowances. Tanda then takes this information and transfers it into your payroll software, in a format that is ready to be processed, so you can pay your staff quickly and effectively. The best part about all of it- is that Tanda automatically updates Modern Award pay rates each year for you, in accordance with Fair Work’s wage updates. Tanda stores all your records securely in the cloud to meet your compliance expectations, but it also takes the stress out of your EOFY paperwork. Contact one of Tanda’s friendly Business Managers for more information on how Tanda can automate your wage rates updates this Financial Year, on 1300 859 117 or via email at email@example.com. For more information on Fair Work’s 2017 wage updates, please visit the Fair Work website. Disclaimer: While Tanda works to alleviate the hassle of wage rate updates through its automatic updates, the responsibility to confirm that wage rates are correct still rests with the employer.