No matter what sort of Business you’re in, if you have employees make sure you are prepared for the additional changes to the Fair Work Act that come into force on 1 January 2014. The Fair Work Amendment Act became law on 28 June 2013. and a number of changes to Australian Employment laws came into effect on 1 July 2013.
The further changes will come into force on 1 January 2014 include:
1. New anti-bullying measures;
2. Changes to right of entry rules by permit holders such as unions;
3. Requirements for genuine consultation on changes to rosters and hours of work; and
4. Protection of the right to penalty rates.
Also make sure that your Business is complying with the 1 July 2013 changes including:
1. Special maternity leave does not reduce the amount of unpaid parental leave;
2. Unpaid parental leave that can be taken by parents at the same time has increased from 3 weeks to 8 weeks. Employees can now take this leave in separate periods;
3. Additional employee groups have the right to request flexible working arrangements, including:
o employees with caring responsibilities;
o parents or caregivers of children that are school age or younger;
o employees with a disability;
o employees 55 years or older; and
o employees who are experiencing family violence or who are supporting a family or household member as a result of family violence;
4. The addition of a non-exhaustive list of ‘reasonable business grounds’ on which an employer can refuse a request for flexible working arrangements.
5. An employer can be required to transfer pregnant women to a safe job even if they have been employed for less than 12 months.
How to stay up to date
It is important that your business is up to date with the changes to Workplace Laws. If you do not keep up to date, you may be risking your relationship with your employees, claims against your business, and penalties from the Fair Work Ombudsman.
You can do this initially via Industry Associations and the Fair Work government website. Then make sure you work with a Commercial Business Law firm that has experience in Employment Law to put the right policies, processes and contracts in place.
How Watkins Tapsell can help
Our Commercial Business team has many years experience in and is up to date with all the latest changes in Employment Law. They can help ensure your business complies with all the current workplace legislation. So make sure you contact our Commercial Business team if you have any concerns or questions.