watch the webinar
What you will learn
- Why the government is changing the Labour Law
- Why you should be concerned with the Labour Law changes
- Which industries and awards will be affected by this change
- The new maximum penalties for wage theft
- How your business can be prepared for the change
- Where you can find resources to support your business with this change
Rob Sheppard & Elisia CoEtZEE
Founders of Quantum HR introduces the changes in Industrial Relations that may affect you as a business owner in Australia.
Hi, I’m Rob Shepperd from Quantum Human Resources and we’ve been invited in today to have a chat to you around some of the changes that have been happening in industrial relations here in Australia. we’ve got a lot of experience. my partner you’ll hear from very shortly. We have worked in private business and we’ve been running a consultancy now for many, many years. And we’ve seen a lot of the issues that you’ll hear about today in practicality. So to summarize what we want to get from this conversation today is an overview of why this is important and why we need to be listening in to go through just some of the practical changes that have been put into the legislation. And by the way, not a lot of that came through, which is just some good news or bad news, depending on the side of the fence you sit and then summarize some of the things you can be doing to make sure that you’re compliant and also being practical in how you engage with your workforce. So I’d like to start just with some of the reasons for why this change has come around. So we’re all familiar with the pandemic, which we’ve been living with for over 12 months now and back in may of last year.
So 2020, the prime minister got up and said time for some changes to the industrial relations system. It’s complicated, which I agree with. If you go back even further, the president of the fair work commission had stood up and it was on record as saying the industrial relations system in Australia is complicated. Well, if that’s the head of the organization looking after this, you can bet your bottom dollar. It’s going to be complicated for the lay person, but if it come back, so the prime minister stood up and said, we’ve got to make some changes.
If we go back even further, some of the changes that were proposed, we’re actually already in training. I think the pandemic brought this forward a little bit more quickly, and we find that depending on which side of the political spectrum, you may sit there either good changes or bad changes. And we fast forward to 2021 and we come up to, just a month ago and the changes were passed by both houses of the parliament. the changes were dramatically stripped back. And again, depending on which side of the spectrum you sit, that’s a good thing or a bad thing. but at the end of the day, the focus now came back down to casual employees, very much so in the legislation. And there’s a reason for that as well. There were some case law back in 2018, which talked around why casualized work workforces were potentially a liability to, to employers and if I take that side of the fence for a moment, there was this concept of double-dipping you might have heard and that double-dipping meant that a casual could successfully claim that there were, entitlements that, that were there. So the legislation was already in train, but we get to this year where it’s been past stripped back as it were and we find ourselves with some, some potential minefields that we need to walk through. It is complicated, but with a bit of a insight, a bit of reaching out to, to talk to people and using the resources out there, we can get to a stage where it should be reasonably seamless to get through. and that’s the, the point of what we’re going to be talking around today. So to summarize, we will talk around why there was this needs to change, what has actually changed and what we can do about it at the end of the day. So thanks for listening and we’ll see you soon.
Hi, good day. My name is Elisia and I’m one of the directors at Quantum Human Resources. We are here today to talk a little bit about the recent changes in the legislation for industrial relations. We have lots of experience, lots of years of experience in practical human resources and we are looking forward to help you look through it step by step and give you practical advice and how to stay out of trouble when it comes to especially rules around casualization.
Founder of Eagle Shared Services discusses what the changes in fair work legislation mean for payroll processing.
Hi everyone. My name is Darren Ellis from Eagle Shared Services, and I’m here today to talk to you a bit about the changes in fair work legislation mean from a payroll processing perspective. And just before we drill down into that, I’d probably like to share with everybody that, you know, I have over 30 years experience in this area and particularly with software design accounting and accounting systems.
I want to look at this from not a software-specific perspective but more software independence. So you’re still would translate back to your individual platforms. We look at the basic payroll system; you have some rostering or agreements that have standing pieces what should happen or what the employees are supposed to do next to that. We have a timesheeting or tracking system, which would then track what actually did happen and sometimes that brings in a little bit of a leave planner and things like that. Ultimately, your payroll processing team takes all that information, brings it together with the awards and their agreements and everything else, and then processes the pace. So what’s going to change when we look at the legislation. There’s a couple of pressures, particularly near and dear to many of my clients and people I know. And that’s the casuals. Look at what you’re going to need to run some reports from your system to drill down on the casual employee. See what hours they’ve been working, what the classification is when they actually started, and so forth because this is very vital. Has your payroll system tracked the casual loaded rates? Cause that’s a critical point in the legislation.
When you try to look at converting them to casual, you’re trying to unravel it. If the worst-case scenario occurs, there’s a dispute. Someone wants to go and take you to court. They’re like, hang on. I was employed. Part-time full-time, whatever the case might be. They want to sit and then move forward from that. So ultimately, what was antifreeze is your panel system tracking this information. The advocate point I’d like everybody to look at doing is runs the reports to see if there’s a pattern of hours. This will help you work out where your risk categories are, but you want to build some Intel off okay. At a time. There’s a checklist that is at the end of this. However, we make the key points. The advocate changes the onboarding process with casuals.
So from the 27th of March, correct me if I’m wrong, but then you need to hand out a CEIS casual employment information statement. So this is something that you physically have to give to your employees. They can email it if they agree. And there’ll probably be some movement in that, but effectively printing out the form and giving it to him the person and even working through what it means to be a casual employee. So there’s no confusion. More importantly, your employment agreements, as Rob had already mentioned, you need to have that building to them. Okay. So that’s the pain point. The other thing is when these change people don’t like change. I like things to stay the same for a certain period to get used to them. So I think from your employees’ perspective, what you really should put together, and if you don’t already have the infrastructure, it’s an employee support platform.
Yep. These days and the wonderful world of Google and technology and online, many companies have online employee support platforms as one option. We do, as part of the Eagle Shared Services, offer this. However, you might look at how you think about that strategically so that you can deal with the factor of missing information and things that cause your staff up late at night. Wondering if I am going to get sacked, or what will happen with this casual conversion? Some might wonder, Oh, you’re going to get casual plus an extra rate. So many challenges are going to cause people to do their heads in. So if you’ve got a 24 seven platform, that can feel a pressure point. So the catch sees things and go, I’ve got them. I’m up at night; I’ve email or something there.
You know, if you have the advanced tech, you might have a bot all of these to diffuse the stress. So when the person rocks out for work, they’re not agitated, but more importantly, you’re showing as an employee that you care about what’s going on. So that’s, that’s an important point. The last thing I’d like to highlight with your payroll system is record keeping, record keeping and okay. Record keeping because secretly many businesses and softly platforms in the past only keeping information for a certain period. Many people forget to dump that information. We’ll keep it in long-term storage or what I like to call a long-term archive. So as a result, having a system set out to do that it’s information for multiple years, for example, the long service leave, they can go back 10, 20, 15 years.
Most modern software systems only keep records for roundabout two or three years for guys through some archiving process. So the key takeaway here, the more information you can stay online in an indexed format, the better. So you might want to do a little bit of a, I don’t know, we’ve got a checklist for that as well, of course, where we can run through. And you know, these are the things you should be kept for a more extended period. Cause tax records, if you’re a business, it’s only five years from when you lodge your last tax return; however, employee dispute some wage issues that can go back six to seven years and even longer, depending on the nature of the dispute. So you do need to think about what your record-keeping systems doing. Then, finally, to wrap it all out, you need to look at how this all goes together.
So it would be best if you started it. Well, the holistic approach is what I mentioned earlier. You want to think straight up, hang on. Why are we going with casuals? You know, okay, we were doing that this way. I’m in a business model change. So you are probably now using casuals because you were always doing casuals, but when you rethink your business model, you might be going to hang on. We probably don’t need as many casuals. So now’s a good time to go through and look at that from a strategic perspective. That’s something else I can help you with that I have experienced in the business. So just wrapping up the key points here, time and wages tracking. You know, if you don’t have an effective attendance and time tracking system, look at investing in one—secondly, a good review of your payroll platform what’s going on. And finally, consider this staff in all of these because they will be the ones who will be most impacted.
Well, many things can derail you, and maybe we should have an entire conversation about the boot test. Still, low needed to say, what you need to do if your system is tracking all the information, then going back was in checking with you, meeting the minimum, and boot bod boot, excuse the acronyms, federal five, all tasks. If you’re paying employees on the award, you need to show that you had demonstrated you have methods requirements. Sometimes, even if there’s a birthday or a change in rate or roll, they might go from a level one to a level two. And you miss that. You need to be able to go back and fix that and do back pay calculations. A point from employees in the future within the original legislation released; there would be criminalization of underpayment of wages.
What that meant is you can be held criminally liable and end up with penalty points, which if you’re a director of a company or an accountant, an accounting firm, that’s a big thing or a doctor or a lawyer or a pharmacist, then this could be real, you know, for your career. And you’re thinking, well, everything’s being done right. Is it so really steeply? What you needed to make sure is going forward that particular fracking of time away is vital. So if your system’s not doing it, it’s time to look at ways of doing that from now on. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but we need to weave this into how your system operates. And on top of that, they were of criminalization wedges. I didn’t get up rest assured that that would come back because as we transitioned out of COVID and many things change, there’ll be a lot more focus on what people have versus those that don’t have.
And that will create many people having conversations that misinformation can pop up. And once again, this is where your employee portal comes in. I can log on, check it that had a pop conversation. Are you? I should be getting this. This is on a, it says here, and I could see the award and so forth. So that’s pretty much it for me. I must’ve been; I could talk for hours about this particular topic because it’s near and dear to my heart. However, thank you very much for your time. And I’d like to see what you think.
Don’t forget to tell Darren how you found his contact details through this webinar in your connection request!
Download the worksheet mentioned in this webinar.
ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION
Introducing Rob Sheppard, Elisia Coetzee & Darren Ellis
1. What Is A Casual Employee Under the New Changes.
2. CEIS & How Will the New Changes Affect Your Business.
3. Offsetting Casual Employees.
4. Casual Employee Conversion Part 1.
5. Casual Employee Conversion Part 2.
6. Key Take-aways From the Changes.
Where to from here?
For bookkeeping & Payroll services
For HR services
a collaboration of experts
eagle shared services
Darren has 30 years of experience as a trusted advisor helping businesses with their processes such as bookkeeping, payroll and managerial accounting.
Rob has 20 years experience leading and managing frontline human resources (HR) and recruitment functions of multi-discipline teams across national and international locations.
Elisia is a respected HR & IR
Specialist and Leadership Coach with 20 years plus experience in a broad range of human resources and industrial relations fields.