Running a business in Australia is not without its challenges. The ever-changing landscape of employment laws is one of the many things you need to stay on top of. One of the most recent updates is the implementation of key changes under the ‘Secure Jobs, Better Pay’ policy, now in effect.
What is ‘Secure Jobs, Better Pay’?
The ‘Secure Jobs, Better Pay‘ policy aims to ensure workers across Australia are granted more security in their jobs and receive fair compensation. Introduced by the Australian government, this policy contains significant changes to existing employment laws that directly impact businesses across the country.
Key Changes in the Policy
There are several key changes introduced in the ‘Secure Jobs, Better Pay’ policy. These include increased penalties for employers who underpay or exploit their workers, and strengthened protections against sham contracting. The reforms also put in place measures to ensure workers in low-paid sectors have a more effective way to bargain for better wages and conditions.
Increased Penalties for Wage Theft
Under the new policy, employers who engage in wage theft will face stiffer penalties. This includes both monetary fines and imprisonment for the most serious offenses. Wage theft is broadly defined to include not only underpayment of wages but also withholding entitlements or forcing employees to pay back a portion of their wage.
Understanding how to calculate wages correctly is more critical than ever. You need to ensure that your employees are receiving at least the minimum entitlements under the Fair Work Act.
Stronger Protections Against Sham Contracting
Sham contracting, where employers misclassify employees as independent contractors to avoid certain legal and financial obligations, is another area the policy targets. The reforms provide stronger protections for workers against this practice. If you engage contractors in your business, it’s crucial to properly classify your workers and understand the legal differences between employees and contractors.
Check out our Employee v Contractor Checklist from our free resources on our website to help you navigate this further.
New Bargaining Measures for Low-Paid Sectors
The ‘Secure Jobs, Better Pay’ policy also introduces new bargaining measures for low-paid sectors. This means workers in these sectors will have a stronger voice and a more effective way to negotiate for better wages and conditions. If you’re running a business in one of these sectors, it’s crucial to stay updated on these changes and how they might impact your negotiation processes.
Compliance is Key
The ‘Secure Jobs, Better Pay’ policy brings in a new era of employment law in Australia, with a focus on providing workers with more job security and better pay. This means business owners must take the necessary steps to ensure they comply with the changes. Non-compliance can lead to serious consequences, including substantial fines and legal action.
Understanding Your Responsibilities
While these reforms bring about significant changes, understanding your responsibilities as an employer is crucial. This includes knowing how to calculate and provide correct wages, how to classify your workers correctly, and how to negotiate with employees in accordance with the new laws.
Adapting to the changes brought about by the ‘Secure Jobs, Better Pay’ policy is crucial for running a successful business in Australia. Staying informed and seeking professional advice can ensure your business navigates these changes effectively and continues to thrive in the evolving landscape of employment law.
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