Mid-Year IR Update 2018

Joshua Easton HR/IR, Tax, WHS

Mid-Year Industrial Relations Update July 2018

Increase in Award Wages

The Fair Work Commission issued the Annual Wage Review decision on 1 June 2018, and increased the national minimum wage and award minimum wages by 3.5 percent.

This will bring the national minimum wage to $719.20 per week, on the basis of 38 ordinary hours per week, or $18.93 per hour.

The increase amounts to an extra $24.30 per week.

The increase will take effect in all awards from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2018.

It is important to review all employee rates of pay, employment contracts, individual flexibility agreements and enterprise bargaining agreements to ensure that the correct rates of pay are in place.

These increases apply to employees currently receiving the base award rate.

Sunday Penalty Rates

Effective from 1 July 2018, changes to the penalty rates provisions on Sunday in the:

  • Fast Food
  • Hospitality
  • Pharmacy
  • Retail Industry Awards

will apply.

Full-time and part-time hospitality workers will have penalty rates decrease by 10 percent while causal employees will continue to get the same rate.

Full-time and part-time Retail workers will drop by 15 percent, with a 10 percent decrease for casual workers.

Pharmacy employees’ penalty rates will drop by 15 percent, and 10 percent for fast food employees.

These changes follow a decision by the Fair Work Commission last year based on applications from employers who submitted that reductions in Sunday penalty rates would provide additional work opportunities.

Sexual Harassment / Workplace Bullying

In the current global environment there is an increased scrutiny of workplace behaviour, and a subsequent increase in the amount of sexual harassment/workplace bullying claims being actioned in workplaces across Australia. In light of this it is important to ensure that you have suitable workplace policies and procedures in place at your workplace and that staff are trained in how to behave at work and deal with issues if they arise.