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Essential Workplace Updates

Published August 31, 2018 (last updated June 26, 2020) Author: Employsure
Women Sneezing Into Tissue At Home During Sick Leave Essential Work Update

Please note that the information provided below is relevant as of 31/08/18. To receive news on the latest legislative changes, sign up for our Free Monthly Newsletter.

Update 1: Sick Leave and Shift Workers

This week’s Fair Work Commission ruling on how personal and carer’s leave is calculated for shift workers has raised eyebrows in the workplace relations industry. There are claims that some shift workers may be entitled to leave based on the length of shifts completed.

For shift workers regularly working 12 hour shifts, this equates to 120 hours of paid leave per year, potentially resulting in additional sick days and even back pay.

However, the decision is set to be tested in a Federal Court case involving Tasmanian-based manufacturer Mondelez.

What does this mean for small businesses?

Full-time employees are entitled to 10 days of personal leave per year, regardless of how many ordinary hours fall on each of these days.

If an employee takes personal leave they should be paid for all of the ordinary hours they were rostered to work.

If you have an employee who works in excess of 7.6 hours per day, care should be taken to ensure the full entitlement of 10 days personal leave is provided.

If an employee works in excess of 7.6 hours per day and runs out of their personal leave balance, please contact the Employsure Advice team to discuss your options on 1300 207 182.

Update 2: Legal Services Award | Study Leave Changes Announced

The Fair Work Commission has announced a Study Leave change affecting businesses who employ staff under the Legal Services Award.

Paid study leave has increased from 4 days per subject to 20 days in any 12 month period.

This leave can be used to attend a course or study for associated exams that relate to the practical legal training for admission as an Australian lawyer.. Paid study leave can’t be reasonably refused by an employer, assuming that an agreement between an employee and employer is in place.

To learn how this change affects you and your business, contact Employsure on 1300 651 415.

Update 3: Casual Conversion Explained

Casual Conversions

Small business owners who employ casual staff are set to be impacted by new provisions that will allow some casual employees to convert to full-time or part-time work after 12 months of employment.

On 1 October 2018 a new standard conversion clause will be incorporated into 85 awards, giving some casual workers the right to request full-time or part-time employment if they have worked certain, regular hours over a 12-month period.

The clause could have a major impact on the way small business owners employ, manage and roster casual staff.

To learn how this change affects you and your business, contact Employsure on 1300 651 415.

Casual Entitlements

Meanwhile, a Federal Court decision has raised concern around the definition of a casual employee after a casual truck driver was granted accrued annual leave entitlements due to his regular and continuous pattern of work.

This decision will have implications for the preferred business model of many businesses, particularly those in hospitality, retail, and labour hire companies, which rely on casual work to manage the demands of irregular working hours, projects, and seasonal work.

Employsure Advisers are currently reviewing the decision and its impacts on small business.

Update 4: Family and domestic violence leave and Enterprise Agreements

From 1 August 2018, all Modern Awards in Australia were amended to include 5 days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave. This is now a compulsory entitlement for all employees covered by modern awards.

For businesses that lodge Enterprise Agreements with the Fair Work Commission that include an entitlement for leave to deal with family and domestic violence the Better Off Overall Test (BOOT) will be applied.

For more information and advice on this affects you and your business, contact the Employsure Advice Line on 1300 207 182.

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About Employsure

Employsure is Australia’s largest workplace relations specialists. We take the complexity out of workplace laws to help small business employers protect their business and their people.

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