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  • HR Heartbeat: Minimum wage increases, Anzac Day public holiday obligations, and...

HR Heartbeat: Minimum wage increases, Anzac Day public holiday obligations, and...

Dive into this week’s HR Heartbeat for all the latest updates on the Fair Work Commission’s minimum wage increase, the Federal Government’s move to accelerate workplace gender equality, and more.

First published on Friday, Apr 28, 2023

Last updated on Friday, Apr 28, 2023

4 min read

Have you heard the latest news?

Everything you need to know about the latest trends impacting employers all over Australia. Keep up to date with the HR Heartbeat.

Let’s get into the headlines.

Anzac Day fell on a Tuesday

The 25th of April 2023 marked another Anzac Day public holiday. This year, the commemoration fell on a Tuesday.

As the country came together to honour veterans, employers had to make sure they stuck to their legal obligations on public holidays. From restricted trading hours to dealing with the possibility of increased leave requests for Monday from employees vying for a long weekend, there’s a lot employers need to think about.

You can read all about how each state and territory takes a different approach to trading restrictions and remind yourself about how to manage public holiday obligations on Anzac Day and beyond here.

The Fair Work Commission is making it rain (kinda)

From the 30th of June 2023, the Fair Work Commission has stated that the following workers will have a 15% minimum wage increase.

  • Direct Care Workers: Workers employed under the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award, Aged Care Award, and Nurses Award.

  • Specifically identified employees: Head chefs and cooks under the Aged Care Award. And Recreational Activities Officers and Lifestyle Officers under the Aged Care Award.

The process isn’t quite at an end yet, so it’s possible there may even be further increases. Between this and the national minimum wage increase coming on July 1st, stay tuned for more updates.

Inching toward workplace gender equality

The Federal Government has rolled out more amendments in the continued journey to achieving workplace gender equality in Australia.

Reporting obligations for relevant employers (that is employers with 100 or more employees) have now increased.

Let’s take a look at the wave of upcoming obligations:

  • From late 2023, relevant employer CEOs must share the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (the WGEA) Executive Summary Reports and Industry Benchmark Reports with their board.

  • In early 2024, the WGEA will start publishing private sector employer gender pay gap information.

  • By the time April 2024 rolls around, relevant employers will need to provide more information on their staff to fill WGEA knowledge gaps. This information includes age, primary workplace location, CEO, and manager remuneration.

Sexual harassment, harassment on the ground of sex or discrimination has been added to the list of six Gender Equality Indicators (GEIs).

Employers with 500 or more employees will need to have policies and strategies in place to address the seven Gender Equality Indicators.

  • Starting from late 2024 or early 2025, the WGEA will also publish Commonwealth public sector gender pay gaps.

What will the government’s next move to make workplace gender equality a reality be? Time will tell.

What’s in a week?

A recent Federal Court Case serves as another reminder to employers to stay on top of their obligations outlined in the Fair Work Act.

The employer was found to have breached the Fair Work Act by paying their employee in lieu of notice within the week after the employee was terminated. The employee argued successfully that the Fair Work Act requires that payment in lieu of notice must be made before the date on which the termination comes into effect.

Breaches like this one can result in penalties, so remember that when you’re in doubt about your obligations, it’s better to be safe than sorry. BrightAdvice can help you stay on the right side of the Fair Work Act. You can also explore the full case here.

And that’s all we have for you in this edition of HR Heartbeat. Check back next time for more headlines and updates that will keep you in the know with all the major employment changes on the way.

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