Hi Guys. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday period. Just a quick update from me on some employment relations changes that occurred in December, 2018
The Fair Work regulations were updated on the 18th of December to address casual double dipping concerns. Earlier last year a Federal Court case ruling resulted in casual employees being able to receive paid annual leave and personal leave on top of bed casual loading in certain situations, such as if they were deemed permanent by the nature of their engagement. This raised a concern for a number of employees around the country and it meant that the casual loading would no longer compensate a casual not receiving their paid annual leave or personal leave entitlements. Since the amendment, it’s been clarified that the casual leave loading can be accounted for when an employee makes a claim for paid leave. Family and domestic violence leave is now an entitlement under the national employment standards.
Previously, only employees covered by an award could access this entitlement where the award permitted. But from the 13th of December, all employees became eligible to access five days of unpaid leave with a need to do something to deal with the impact of family or domestic violence that cannot be done outside of working hours, such as attending court, moving to a safe location or accessing support services.
Effective on the 20th of December, the abandonment of employment provision was removed from six modern awards. The Fair Work commission took this step in recognition that the abandonment process is not in line with the objectives of the award. However, this does not mean that procedural fairness when terminating an employee for abandonment doesn’t need to be followed. The abandonment process is still in accordance with case law. So where you suspect that your employee has abandoned their employment it’s a good idea to check in with a professional to ensure you are undertaking the correct steps before ending their employment.
Keep an eye out for our next update where we will summarize the changes to roll out in January. Have a wonderful month.