The Employment Stock Exchange Report: new employment thresholds

The end of the financial year is often a time of routine change, and no less than when it comes to the Fair Work Act and related legislation.

Invariably rates and thresholds rise, unlike the stock market of late.  Most rises mean additional costs to business.

In this Bulletin, we draw your attention to those changes taking effect from 1 July 2013, and encourage our clients to take note: 

  • The national minimum wage for non-award employees or those who are not covered by an enterprise agreement has risen to $622.20 a week (based on 38 ordinary hours worked), or $16.37 an hour.

  • The default casual loading rate is increased to 24%.

  • Modern Award minimum wage rates are increased by 2.6%.  All Modern Awards have been re-issued to contain the new rates, so make sure you are looking at the current version if you are referring to a Modern Award.

  • Now is a good time to check that you are still paying above the minimum rates of pay for employees who receive an ‘all-up’ remuneration package, or a higher pay rate under a contract of employment.  Have you designated the ‘all-up’ remuneration as being a payment in satisfaction of all monetary obligations?

  • The “high income threshold”, which is relevant for access to unfair dismissal jurisdiction for non-award covered employees, is now $129,300 a year.  This amount still excludes superannuation and amounts which cannot be determined in advance, such as some bonuses or commission.

  • The compensation cap on damages for unfair dismissal has increased to $64,640.

  • The filing fee for unfair dismissal and general protections applications made under the Fair Work Act, sections 365, 372, 394 and 773, will increase from $64.20 to $65.50.  

  • The minimum superannuation guarantee rate is increased from 9% to 9.25%, with further increases in the coming years.  How do you describe your employees’ remuneration, inclusive or exclusive of superannuation?

  • The maximum contributions base for superannuation has risen to $48,040 (or $192,160 a year).

  • The age limit which employers are required to make minimum superannuation guarantee contributions with respect to employees aged 70 plus has been removed.

The proposed tax-free component for bona fide redundancy employment termination payments has risen to $9,246 for the first year and $4,624 for each completed year of service.