By Stephen Keens
Key Business Advisors HR Team Manager
It’s that time of year again when you need to start tuning in to what is happening with the federal minimum wage increase, as the Fair Work Commission’s Minimum Wage Panel conducts the annual wage review. From 1 July 2013, you will be required to adjust your employees’ pay rates in line with any increase in the federal minimum wage as decided by the Minimum Wage Panel.
To find out what increase applies to your business, you need to check the industrial instrument relevant to you. This can get confusing as there may be different awards or enterprise bargaining agreements applicable to your business. The industrial instruments are:
• Modern awards (don’t forget that the transitional provisions also increase in the modern awards)
• Enterprise bargaining agreements (if applicable)
If you are unaware of the industrial instrument that applies to your business, please contact us immediately to ensure that you are paying your staff the correct rates. Don’t expose yourself to back payments for not adhering to changes in the minimum wage. Get on the front foot and ensure you have processes in place so that your employees are not being underpaid. There is nothing worse than having to work through back payments or employees asking you why they are being underpaid, both of which would make you appear incompetent and unprofessional as a business owner or manager, not to mention how it could adversely affect staff morale.
Also, remember that you have to keep written time and wage records on your employees for seven years. Your records must be legible, in English and readily accessible to a Fair Work Inspector. It is best practice that records are written in plain and simple English.
Make sure you know your obligations as an employer. Keep an eye out for our next newsletter to find out about the Panel’s decision on the minimum wage, which will be released in June, as well as the increase in superannuation from 1 July 2013.