As an employer or manager, it is important that you are aware of new employee entitlement obligations as a result of recent changes to the Fair Work Act. To help you, we outline these for you below.
1. Unpaid Parental Leave
Commencing 1 July 2023, employees have greater flexibility in utilising this leave. Employees will now have: up to 100 days of flexible unpaid parental leave; ability to start this leave at any time up to 24 months following their child’s birth (or adoption); and the right to take flexible leave before or after a period of continuous unpaid parental leave. > Action: review and amend your parental leave policies to ensure they reflect the new changes.
For more information, read our article on types of employee leave entitlements.
Paying superannuation for employees is mandatory, and contractors may be deemed employees for this purpose, too. This obligation is currently enforced by the ATO. However, from 1 January 2024, the Fair Work Act will also require employers to make contributions. If you fail to do so, employees, unions or the Fair Work Ombudsman will be able to sue you as the employer (currently, enforcement is the ATO’s obligation). There is also a risk that company directors could be considered liable. > Action: ensure your business is making the correct contribution to your employees’ superannuation funds.
For more information: read this article on how superannuation works in Australia; or you can also watch our webinar on employer obligations for payroll tax and superannuation. 3. Employee Authorised Deductions
It will now be easier for employers to make deductions from employee salaries at the employee’s written request. From 1 January 2024, employers will not need individual written authority whenever employees want part of their salary deducted.
> Action: notify employees of their right to authorise continuous deductions.
For more information, read our article on pay deductions.
4. Tax and Reporting Obligations ESS Lodgements: If you have employee share schemes, you must have provided your employees with an ESS statement by 14 July and lodge your ESS annual report electronically by 14 August. Read this ATO article for more information. Taxable Payments Annual Report (TPAR): If you pay contractors in certain industries, you must lodge a TPAR by 28 August. Penalties may apply if you miss the deadline. This ATO article provides more information.