Everything you need to know about whistleblowing

What is whistleblowing?

The act of whistleblowing involves identifying and calling out misconduct and harm to consumers and the public. Whistleblowers are mainly covered by the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act) which provides them legal rights and protections, although other legislation can also protect them.

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The benefits of payroll audits and why your business needs one

A payroll audit is a review of what employees were paid and the overall compliance throughout the payroll audit process. Under our audit service, an independent calculation is performed of what employees should have been paid and this is then compared to what they were actually paid to identify any under-, or over-payments. Payroll processes, including the record keeping processes, are also checked, ensuring that the whole system is reviewed for any non-compliance.

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What is Wage Theft and how can you prevent it in your business

So-called “Wage Theft”, and wage underpayments in general, have emerged as an issue in Australia over the last 6 years or so. Put simply, Wage Theft is when an employer underpays an employee either intentionally, or with high levels of negligence or recklessness towards their payroll compliance obligations. The level of ‘intent’ is where Wage Theft differs from underpayments in general. 2019 analysis from PwC estimated that underpayments to employees could be as high as $1.35 billion per year. Whilst only an estimate and not focusing on Wage Theft specifically, it can be assumed that despite only emerging as an issue relatively recently, Wage Theft has been occurring long before underpayments were discovered and publicised.

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FWO Priorities 2022-23

What do the Fair Work Ombudsmen’s 2022-23 priorities mean for businesses?

Each financial year, the Fair Work Ombudsmen (FWO) releases its Compliance and Enforcement Priorities. These are designed to highlight areas where the FWO believes there to be a lack of employment compliance, or potential for underpayments, within a specific industry or sector and where they will be devoting their attention and resources in the coming year.

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Record-keeping rundown: a quick guide on record-keeping obligations

Businesses operating in Australia are subject to a number of requirements around record-keeping obligations. Whilst it may not seem like the most important part of running a business, it plays a significant role in employment compliance and the punishments for not being compliant can severely impact a business. Through this guide we’ll specify what details businesses must record and why it is so important for businesses to record them.

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Easter Sunday Change in Northern Territory

A legislative change in mid-March 2022 has seen employees in the Northern Territory gain an additional public holiday over the Easter long weekend. However, this change is temporary and only applies for the Easter long weekend in 2022.

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easter holiday changes

Easter Sunday Public Holiday Change in Western Australia

A legislative change in late December 2021 has seen employees in Western Australia officially gain an additional public holiday over the Easter long weekend, commencing this year.  Prior to this change, only Good Friday and Easter Monday were gazetted Public Holidays for employees in WA, with Easter Sunday not recognised as a public holiday and treated as a normal day for employers and employees. However, on 16 December 2021, the Industrial Relations Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 was passed by State Parliament, making Easter Sunday a gazetted public holiday permanently into the future.

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ERS Insights: Returning to Work (Video)

As COVID-19 restrictions gradually lift across Australia, employees will be returning to work, or in some states, they may have already returned. It is important that employers therefore have a plan in place for their employees to return to work and how they will manage the COVID risk when they are back.

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Why you need to protect you business from General Protections claims

General Protections laws are intended to protect basic workplace rights, including freedom of association and shielding workers from workplace discrimination in accordance with international labour conventions. Under these laws, it is unlawful to take adverse action against a person because of a proscribed reason. Additionally, General Protections laws provide effective relief for persons who have suffered adverse actions, such as being discriminated against, victimised, or have experienced other forms of unfair treatment.

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casual conversion after

Casual Conversion: What happens after offers are made?

Last month, we published a reminder that the deadline for assessing casual employees’ eligibility for conversion to permanent employment and making an offer (or ‘non-offer’) was fast approaching. All employers of casual employees (other than ‘small business employers’) were required to complete a number of actions prior to the 27th of September 2021 deadline, including assessing and notifying casual staff about whether they are eligible for casual conversion under the Fair Work Act 2009.  

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Changes to NSW Health Orders for NSW Authorised Workers

Note: This article has been update to reflect recent changes to the Health Orders put forward by the NSW Government. Please review this new information in line with your current practices to ensure you are complying with the updated government advice. Current as at 31/08/2021. 

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Stapled Super Blog

Stapled Super Reforms

  • Your Super obligations will change when hiring new employees
  • ‘Super Stapling’ requires employers to use an employee’s existing fund, where an employee does not nominate one on their super choice form.
  • New obligations are just around the corner – 1 November 2021

It has been a busy year for superannuation reform in Australia. With the recent uplift in Super Guarantee contributions from 9.5% to 10% taking effect on 1 July this year, yet another change impacting how your business manages super with new employees is on the horizon.

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unfair dismissal blog image

The Ultimate Guide to Avoiding Unfair Dismissal

As Australian employment law develops, it becomes harder for employers to keep up with it. Employees are becoming more aware of their workplace rights too. Therefore, employers must ensure that they understand their obligations when it comes to dismissing employees, reducing the risk of an unfair dismissal or other claim, such as a General Protections claim.

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casual employment reform blog

ER Strategies’ Interactive Guide to the Federal Government’s Casual Reforms Legislation is now available!

In late March, the Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery) Act 2021 (Amendment Act) passed both Houses of Federal Parliament, which amended the Fair Work Act 2009 to include reforms to workplace rights and obligations for casual employees.  The legislation has received Royal Assent and is therefore now in operation, with some transitional arrangements.

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Common Causes of Payroll Errors

Due to huge media attention over the past 1-2 years, you will be aware of the variety of large-scale employers underpaying their staff. Woolworths, Coles, Bunnings, respected universities, and IBM have all been guilty of it and faced the consequences. 

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$4.5billion JobMaker Scheme Explained

ER Strategies CEO Steve Champion recently recorded a 25 minute video explaining the new JobMaker program, a central plank in the Federal Government’s attempts to revitalise the Australian economy after the COVID shutdown.

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Show Day Public Holiday Change in Queensland

The Queensland Show Day Public Holiday has been moved this year to help the Queensland tourism industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The traditionally mid-week holiday has been moved from Wednesday 12 August 2020 to Friday 14 August to create a long weekend for Queenslanders, in the hope that Queenslanders will be incentivised to travel within the state.

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Franchisor reasonable steps requirements 1

FWO issues Franchisor guidelines on ‘Reasonable Steps’

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) – the independent statutory body responsible for enforcing compliance with workplace laws and education – has recently published a resource for franchisors providing guidance on their responsibilities and practical steps that they can implement to comply with the ‘reasonable steps’ requirements.

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Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave inserted into the Fair Work Act

The new Federal Labor Government has delivered on its election promise and has introduced a bill to Parliament, which if passed, will see paid family and domestic violence (FDV) leave incorporated into the Fair Work Act. The proposed Fair Work Amendment (Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2022 provides 10 days of paid  FDV leave to full-time, part-time and casual employees from 1 February 2023, or from 1 August 2023 for small businesses (defined as a business with less than 15 employees).

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What are causing underpayments of employees’ wages?

Australia has over 120 Modern Awards, plus many enterprise bargaining agreements in place to ensure employees are paid fairly for their work. Within these awards and agreements there are many provisions relating to different penalty rates and entitlements employers must give to their employees. When these provisions aren’t met, employees can be underpaid their correct wages. In the 2020-21 financial year, the Fair Work Ombudsmen recovered almost $150 million in underpayments, illustrating how significant the issue is.

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penalty and allowances blog

What employers need to know about penalty and allowances

Once you’ve identified the correct base rate to pay your employees, you’ll also need to ensure that any penalty rates are applied, and relevant allowances are paid. These are often areas where businesses make mistakes that lead to them underpaying their employees, so it is crucial for businesses to understand what they need to pay their employees and when they need to pay them each rate.

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