With the ever-changing terrain surrounding Australian businesses and their specific industries, employers and employees should be aware of recent Employment Law updates that have been made effective in the new financial year. These changes include increased salary caps for the application of unfair dismissals, increased national minimum wages and maximum super contribution base changes.

How will these employment law updates affect me as an employee or employer?

The most notable change made to these Employment Laws includes an increase of $3,300 to the salary cap for unfair dismissals.  This now means that individuals who are not covered by an award and are earning a base salary above $148, 700, will be unable to pursue an unfair dismissal claim. This specific Employment Law change will now limit the rights of individuals who fall within the increased income bracket and are not covered by an award in pursuing unfair dismissal claims for cases in which they were dismissed by their employer unjustly.

Changed National Minimum Wages

Another notable Employment Law change made effective this year includes increased national minimum wages.  The Fair Work Commission decided on a 3% raise on the national minimum wage, raising the minimum wage to $19.49 per hour. This change is to be made effective on or after the 1st July 2019. Businesses covered by a Modern Award will need to ensure compliance with the newly increased employee pay rates as stipulated in the business’s relevant award. In the event of employers failing to comply with the increased pay rates as per the Award, they may be exposed to an underpayment of wages claim and investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Changed Super Contribution base

Changes to the maximum super contribution base have also been made, with the super contribution base now sitting at $221,080 per annum. Current employers should be paying 9.5% of an employee’s salary into their nominated super fund. Although the superannuation guarantee percentage has been maintained at this level, employers are currently not obliged to make compulsory contributions for any earnings above the $221,080 income threshold. In this case employees earning above this specified amount will have to self-manage their contributions if their employer decides to no longer make any contributions.

Understanding and navigating the area of Employment Law and its surrounding field can be a confusing task. If you are unsure about your rights as an employee or employer regarding any of the matters discussed above, please don’t hesitate to contact us on (02) 9199 8597.