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1 July 2018 changes to the unfair dismissal remuneration cap

Introduction New rates, thresholds and other changes in the employment arena commenced from 1 July 2018. The following article briefly summarises the main amendments that employers should be aware of. Unfair dismissal threshold (high income threshold) and maximum compensation cap The high-income threshold increased from the previous $142,000 to $145,400 from 1 July 2018. This means employees whose annual rate of earnings is $145,400 (which excludes statutory superannuation) or more and who are not covered by an award or enterprise agreement, are unable to pursue an unfair dismissal application. The change also means that the maximum compensation that can be awarded for an unfair dismissal claim increased from $71,000 to $72,700. National minimum wage The national minimum wage has increased to $719.20 per week or $18.93 per hour (calculated on the basis of a 38 hour week for a full time e...

28 June 2018

The pitfalls of not properly explaining the terms of a proposed EA

As a follow up to our earlier article, the Full Court of the Federal Court has confirmed, on appeal, that the requirement to “taken all reasonable steps to explain the terms of the agreement and the effect of those terms” to employees who will be covered by the enterprise agreement means more than simply reading out the terms of the agreement. The facts of the matter involve a labour hire provider asking three employees to approve an enterprise agreement that had the potential to cover a broad scope of employees. The BOOT analysis for the agreement required the agreement to be compared to 11 different awards across a range of industries, from black coal mining to the hospitality industry. By the time proceedings were brought in the Federal Court by the CFMEU, some one and a half years after the agreement was first approved by the Commission, the agreement covered over 300 employees across a range of industries. On appeal, the Full Court of the Federal Court h...

4 June 2018

How specific is specific when it comes to a notice of intention to take industrial action?

Notice to take industrial action United Voice (UV) and the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) gave separate notices to the employer, National Patient Transport Pty Ltd (NPT) of their intentions to take protected industrial action. The notices were identical except in relation to the name of the union. The UV notice was in the following terms: “The Ambulance Section of United Voice hereby gives three working days' notice pursuant to Section 414 of the Fair Work Act of the following protected industrial action to be taken by employees of NPT, who are Transport Officers, Ambulance Transport Attendants, Clinical Instructors and Client Service Officers and who are members of United Voice, commencing from the first shift on Friday 13 April 2018: • The wearing of campaign related materials, such as t-shirts, badges, and stickers, and stopping work for up to ten minutes duration on each occasion to explain the c...

20 April 2018