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Shape up for 2017.

Shape up for 2017. (Last Updated On: January 5, 2017)

What is your new year’s resolution? Is it to have a look at your business practices and ensure that you are doing everything you can to make certain that your workplace is a fair and safe one?

To help you with this, we have provided our consolidated guide to assist you with making 2017 the best year possible for yourself and your business.

Employment contracts.

Many small businesses may believe that due to only employing a small amount of employees, that there is no need for employment contracts. Whilst it is not unlawful to have verbal agreements only, an employment contract will stipulate the exact parameters of an employee’s role, and will also allow complete clarity on the employee’s salary.

Another area where employers may also go wrong is that they choose to include their company’s policies and procedures within the employment contracts rather than in a separate document, such as an employee handbook. The issue that this causes is that when a policy or procedure is required to be updated, or a new policy or procedure is implemented, the employment contract must be reissued to and signed by the employee each time.

Unfair dismissal.

Sometimes when an employer chooses to terminate an employee, the dismissal is deemed as unjust, unfair or unreasonable because the employer has failed to follow a fair termination procedure.

An employer may wish to terminate an employee for many fair reasons, including poor performance, misconduct, or failure to follow reasonable management instructions. When choosing to dismiss an employee it is best practice to ensure you have provided them the chance to improve and to respond to any allegations made against their performance or behaviour, which should be documented in writing.

Correct minimum wage.

In the period of 2015 to 2016 the Fair Work Ombudsman recovered more than $27.3 million for 11,158 workers across Australia who were not receiving the correct rates of pay from their employers.

A minimum wage is the base rate an employee is paid for their ordinary hours of work, and is determined by the industrial instrument the employee is employed under, such as a Modern Award, enterprise agreement or national minimum wage order. Employees cannot be paid an amount that is less than the national minimum rate of pay, even if agreed to by the employee.

The national minimum wage and pay rates under Modern Awards are reviewed by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) each year to determine if an increase is required, based on national living standards.

The national minimum wage will again be reviewed in 2017, with any changes effective from 1 July 2017.

Employee entitlements.

The National Employment Standards (NES) are a set of 10 minimum employment entitlements which apply to every employee in Australia. An employee’s registered agreement or contract may include additional entitlements but cannot exclude or provide for conditions less than those in the NES.

All employees, regardless of their employment status (full-time, part-time or casual) are covered by the NES, however casuals do not get the full 10 entitlements. Casuals, with the exception of regular and systematic casuals, are only entitled to unpaid carer’s leave, unpaid compassionate leave, community service leave and the Fair Work Information Statement under the NES.

For more information on the NES, please refer to our relevant Employer Guide here.

As Australia’s leading workplace relations specialist, Employsure is here to ensure that you and your business are ready to make 2017 the best year it can possibly be. Call us today on 1300 651 415.

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