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Recent Legislative Changes in Australia
Time to read: 6 mins
From the 1st of July 2023, highly anticipated changes have come into effect. These changes reflect the evolving principles and requirements of our dynamic society, influencing various aspects of our lives, including business procedures, employment policies, and individual entitlements and obligations.
At times, trying to stay abreast of such changes can feel like an overwhelming task. However, it’s essential for people, companies, and organisations to keep informed and adapt their practices accordingly. This proactive approach not only enhances compliance with legal norms but also advances the growth of a fairer, more equitable society.
These changes will have a significant impact on both employers and employees in Australia. Employers will need to ensure that they are paying their staff in accordance with the new National Minimum Wage and modern award rates, adjusting their payroll systems and budgets accordingly.
They should also communicate these changes to their employees, providing updated pay information and addressing any concerns or questions that may arise.
Recent Legislative Changes
National Minimum Wage Increase
The minimum wage debate has intensified over the years, with supporters arguing that it is crucial to provide a decent standard of life for workers. Minimum wage is referred to the salary received by an employee prior to tax deductions.
Approximately, 0.7% of the Australian workforce receives payment at the National Minimum Wage rate, while about 20.5% of workers in Australia are paid based on minimum wage rates in modern awards.
Effective 1st of July, is the 5.75% increase, setting the current National Minimum Wage for a full-time, award-free adult employee at $23.23 per hour ($882.80/week) increasing from $21.38 per hour wage.
Workers covered by an award have their base salary requirements determined by that award. Workers who are subject to awards will see a 5.75% raise in their wage rates. It is possible for an employee to receive a remuneration higher than the minimum rate applicable to employees who are not covered by an award.
The new policy applies to all paychecks issued on or after 1 July 2023. Increases in the minimum wage have repercussions beyond just the base salary, including but not limited to penalty rates, overtime, and allowances.
The amount of the money that is contributed to and appreciated inside a superannuation account will continue to increase up until the point at which the money is withdrawn or the employee has retired.
Effective July 1st, 2023, the Super Guarantee will be raised to 11%. The rate of increase will persist at 0.5% annually, effective on the 1st of July, until it attains the 12% threshold in 2025. The current concessional tax rate of 15% will increase to 30% on incomes beyond $3 million as of 1 July 2025. About 80,000 persons in 2025/26 are said to be impacted by this change.
Parental Leave Changes
On March 6th, the Paid Parental Leave Amendment (Improvements for Families and Gender Equality) Bill 2022 was enacted, providing beneficial reforms to parental leave rights.
Effective since July 1, 2023, the Paid Parental Leave Act of 2010 will increase the length of paid parental leave from 18 to 20 weeks. Parents who meet the eligibility criteria will have the opportunity to avail themselves of extended leave to attend to their newborns, owing to an increase in the maximum payout threshold.
Through the National Employment Standards (NES), temporary workers are given a chance to transition into permanent positions, also known as “casual conversions”.
Employers are required to extend the option of converting to permanent full-time or part-time employment to casual employees who have completed a 12-month tenure with the company. There are specific eligibility criteria that must be fulfilled for this to take place.
Keep Up with the Changes!
As the recent Minimum Wage Increase has taken effect since July 1, 2023, business owners and managers should be well aware and have made the necessary preparations and ensure compliance with these new regulations. Navigating these HR landscape changes can be complex, and seeking professional advice is highly recommended to avoid potential pitfalls and penalties.
At Catalyst Central, we understand the challenges businesses face in adapting to such regulatory changes, and we’re here to help!
Our team of experienced HR professionals offers a range of services tailored to your business’s specific needs, ensuring that you stay ahead of the curve and maintain compliance with the updated minimum wage requirements.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for assistance with the recent Minimum Wage Increase or any other HR-related concerns. Together, we can ensure your business stays compliant, well-prepared, and poised for success.