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Changes in 2016 which will affect employers

Changes in 2016 which will affect employers (Last Updated On: February 12, 2016)

Change is in the air and this year the Government is sure to bring along influential changes which will impact small businesses, and how you manage and pay your staff. To be ahead of the game, Employsure has some top tips to assist you in 2016.

Tip 1. Be ready for the announcement of penalty rates

In November 2015, the Productivity Commission put a report together reviewing how the current workplace relations system fairs with the Australia’s economy and the labour market. The report has created a lot of talk due to a potential reduction of weekend and public holiday penalty rates. The hospitality and retail industries will be the ones who will feel this change the most. The push for the reduction of penalty rates aims to assist in lightening the financial constraints on small business and boost employment and consumer choice.

The proposed change could see staff working on Sundays being paid the same wage rates as Saturdays.

The Productivity Commission report also pushed for a new statutory ‘enterprise contract’ between small business and workers to introduce more flexible working arrangements.

Tip 2. Take note of the Federal Budget and utilise its offerings

The Federal Budget will be released in September. It reflects on the financial year that has been and the previous budget allocation of financial resources to industry sectors. This financial year saw the provision of $5.5 million in generous tax concessions to small business owners who used the money to purchase business utilities. This encouraged the creation of new jobs within the small business sector. It also means that next financial year small business owners can capitalise on Capital Gains Tax rollovers and Fringe Benefit Tax.

Be on the lookout for what the next financial year’s budget will bring.

Tip 3. Change your wages to reflect the annual minimum wage review

Australia’s minimum wage forecasts are projecting a trend for the minimum weekly wage to increase to between $5.00 and $8.00 for full-time equivalent employees by 1 July 2016. Following last year’s 2.5% increase, this will meet the consistently rising standard costs of living.

For those of you paying salaried or fixed rate arrangements, this will require a review of how you buffer your staff wages against their working arrangements and the minimum entitlements. For those of you paying the Award minimum, it is important to ensure you are remunerating no less than the updated minimum when the time comes.

It is important that employers are on the ball in updating their wages as of the 1 July 2016, if you are found to have underpaid staff it could mean that you have to back pay.


From a top level perspective there are several points of consideration to look out for in 2016.

Ensure your staff remuneration is kept up to date, your business is across the resources and funding as dictated by the federal budget and you ensure your staff are informed of wage and penalty changes that may affect how the employment relationship is managed.

There is still variability as to the specifics of what 2016 will bring, but to ease any stress or concern we will keep you informed of any crucial changes that may affect your business this year. Call Employsure on 1300 651 415 if you have any concerns around penalty rates, the minimum wage, implementing flexible working arrangements, hiring new staff, reviewing your current wages or ensuring you are paying on or above the minimum wage. Employsure is here to assist you so you can have a well managed 2016.

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