Is your business prepared for the latest changes to the Modern Awards?

Right to request casual conversion, minimum engagement periods and rostering arrangements.

Background:

The Fair Work Commission has varied a significant number of awards as part of its Modern Award Review. The changes affect rules about casual conversion, minimum engagement periods and rostering arrangements. The changes took effect from the first full pay period on or after 1 October 2018.

How is your award impacted? Follow this link to the full Schedule of Determinations

 

Example changes using the General Retail Industry Modern Award Sub Clause

Utilising the General Retail Modern Award as an example, a summary of the key points for noting are outlined below, with a link to the full sub clause provided below.

Right to request casual conversion

A person engaged by a particular employer as a regular casual employee may request that their employment be converted to full-time or part-time employment.

 regular casual employee is a casual employee who has in the preceding period of 12 months worked a pattern of hours on an ongoing basis which, without significant adjustment, the employee could continue to perform as a full-time employee or part-time employee under the provisions of this award.

A regular casual employee who has worked equivalent full-time hours over the preceding period of 12 months’ casual employment, may request to have their employment converted to full-time employment.

A regular casual employee who has worked less than equivalent full-time hours over the preceding period of 12 months’ casual employment may request to have their employment converted to part-time employment consistent with the pattern of hours previously worked.

Further things to note include:

  • Requests must be in writing
  • Requests may be agreed to or refused by the employer
  • If the request is refused this must be on reasonable grounds and following consultation with the employee
  • Reasonable grounds for refusal include
    • it would require significant adjustment to the casual employee’s hours of work in order for the employee to be engaged as a full-time or part-time employee in accordance with the provisions of this award – that is, the casual employee is not truly a regular casual employee as previously defined;
    • it is known or reasonably foreseeable that the regular casual employee’s position will cease to exist within the next 12 months;
    • it is known or reasonably foreseeable that the hours of work which the regular casual employee is required to perform will be significantly reduced in the next 12 months; or
    • it is known or reasonably foreseeable that there will be a significant change in the days and/or times at which the employee’s hours of work are required to be performed in the next 12 months which cannot be accommodated within the days and/or hours during which the employee is available to work.
  • Any grounds of refusal to be reasonable must be based on facts that are known or reasonably foreseeable
  • Where the employer refuses a regular casual employee’s request to convert, the employer must provide the casual employee with the employer’s reasons for refusal in writing within 21 days of the request being made. If the employee does not accept the employer’s refusal, this will constitute a dispute that will be dealt with under the dispute resolution procedure outlined in the Award. Under that procedure, the employee or the employer may refer the matter to the Fair Work Commission if the dispute cannot be resolved at the workplace level.
  • Where it is agreed that a casual employee will have their employment converted to full-time or part-time employment as provided for in this clause, the employer and employee must discuss and record in writing the specifics as outlined in the sub clause.

An employer must provide a casual employee, whether a regular casual employee or not, with a copy of the provisions of this sub clause within the first 12 months of the employee’s first engagement to perform work. In respect of casual employees already employed as at 1 October 2018, an employer must provide such employees with a copy of the provisions of this sub clause by 1 January 2019.

The full General Retail Industry Modern Award Sub clause can be located at https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/awardsandorders/html/pr700568.htm

Downloadable pay guides are here

Now is the time to ensure your business will meet these new minimum requirements that take effect from 1 July.

Do you pay your staff rates from the national minimum wage, a modern award or in some cases a registered agreement?

The Fair Work Commission have now updated their downloadable pay guides, following the announcement of the 3.5% increase to the national minimum wage, impacting also on modern awards and in some cases a registered agreement. These changes take effect, on or after 1 July 2018. They can be accessed using the following link https://www.fairwork.gov.au/pay/minimum-wages/pay-guides

Alternatively you can use their Pay and Conditions Tool https://calculate.fairwork.gov.au/findyouraward, just remember to set the date as 1 July 2018.

If you need support or advice, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Australian Annual Wage Review

Do you have staff on the national minimum wage, a modern award and in some cases an enterprise agreement?

The Fair Work Commission has announced a 3.5% increase to minimum wages following its 2018 Australian Annual Wage Review. The increase will apply to base rates of pay from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 July 2018.
The change only applies to employees that get their pay rates from the national minimum wage, a modern award or in some cases a registered agreement.
Over the next 2-3 weeks the Commission will be updating their pay tools associated to the awards.

We’ll keep you posted!

Change in the workplace

As the saying goes… ‘the only constant, is change.’

Today successful businesses constantly monitor their ever evolving environment and these business leaders strategize to ensure they take opportunities as they present. These businesses are successful because they embrace change. However, whether it be a change in structure, vision, product, process, culture; it is how a change is implemented that is just as critical as the change itself. Essentially the hours put into strategic decision making can all be wasted if the change isn’t implemented effectively and key to this is actively managing the human element of change. In one way or another change will affect people and most find the process of change unsettling, as it takes individuals outside of their comfort zone. So what are a few basic strategies to consider when undertaking change?

  1. Consider the scale of the change

Take a step back and consider the scale of the change and the impact it will have. Is it transformational and complex, or limited in scope and impact? Then consider this in relation to the size of the organisation. Never underestimate the impact that small change will have on people, however it is worth being pragmatic in considering the range and investment in generating strategies and the outcomes you are hoping to acheive.

  1. Outline the ‘need’ for change and communicate

This critical first step is pivotal to ensuring people understand the real need for change and involves transparently communicating this message so that people can confront reality and understand what the business is hoping to achieve. A useful process is to create a shared vision statement that will assist align leaders and provide direction.

  1. Bring together the leadership team

The leadership team need to present a united front. This helps drive the aligned vision across the business and ensures the leadership team model the behaviour that is desired.

  1. Appoint a change leader

When everyone is responsible for change, then nobody is responsible for change. Appoint a change leader who owns the project. It creates a central point of contact, communication funnel and accountability.

  1. Change champions

Change champions are really useful to implement across every level of an organisation. They are employees engaged with the process and have contributed to implementation planning using their on the job expertise. They are an advocate for the change on the ground and can help uncover issues early to keep the project on track.

  1. Communicate, communicate, communicate

Communication cannot be underestimated. From outlining the case at the beginning to documenting progress, reinforcing key messages and celebrating appropriate milestones along the way, it enables the process to stay front of mind and demonstrates continued internal commitment. Communication should be consistent and planned, which reduces the risk of employees disengaging from the process through lack of information. It is also essential to listen. A great tool to allow employees the opportunity to feedback is a pulse survey. They are great to specifically monitor the emotional response to change and to track the effectiveness of how change is managed.

  1. Be flexible

Sometimes things don’t go to plan. Listen to the feedback of people on the ground and be flexible as you move through the process. This will increase the chance of success and provide opportunity to uncover and deal with issues as they arise.

  1. Celebrate

Evaluate both the process and the outcome and where possible and appropriate, celebrate the successes with your team.