Employment Law Update
Amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 and Single Touch Payroll

10 December 2018

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Minor procedural or technical errors in enterprise agreements

On 5 December 2018, the Fair Work Amendment (Repeal of 4 Yearly Reviews and Other Measures) Bill 2017 was passed by the Federal Parliament.

The Bill includes an amendment to the Fair Work Act 2009 which provides the Fair Work Commission (FWC) with the capacity to approve enterprise agreements despite there being a minor procedural or technical errors, including errors related to the Notice of Employee Representational Rights (NERR) requirements.

This new capacity is subject to the FWC being satisfied that the employees were not likely to have been placed at a disadvantage because of an unmet procedural requirement.

Family and domestic violence leave

On 6 December 2018, the Fair Work Amendment (Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2018 passed by the Federal Parliament.

The Bill amends the Fair Work Act 2009 to insert a new entitlement in the National Employment Standards (NES) to five (5) days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave in a 12-month period for all employees (including part-time and casual employees).  The five (5) days renews each 12 months but doesn’t accumulate from year to year if it isn’t used.

This entitlement was included in all modern awards by the Fair Work Commission from the first full pay period on or after 1 August 2018.  The Bill now extends the entitlement to all workers who are covered by the Act, not only employees covered by modern awards.

Single touch payroll

The Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No. 4) Bill 2018 is currently before the Federal Parliament.  The Bill has been passed by the Senate with a number of proposed amendments.  It has been referred to the House of Representatives to consider the amendments put forward.

The Bill amends taxation legislation to require all employers to report their employees’ tax and super information to the Australia Taxation Office (ATO) through payroll software that is Single Touch Payroll (STP) ready from 1 July 2019.  Employers with 20 or more employees have been required to report through STP since 1 July 2018.

STP-enabled software sends employee’s payroll and super information to the ATO on each payday.  It does not require employers to change their current pay cycle.  Employers can continue using their existing payroll software provided that it is updated to offer STP reporting.  The ATO will provide different STP reporting options to help smaller employers if they don’t currently use payroll software or are micro employers (1-4 employee).  Employers are encouraged to review their business processes to check they are ready to move to STP reporting if the Bill is passed.

For further information, please contact:

Seamus Burke | Director
Jess Phillips | Lawyer

This document contains information only and should not be relied upon by anyone as constituting legal advice