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Fair Work Australia – 1 January 2010 – are you prepared?

Are you a small business owner with one or more employees? With less than a month until the introduction of new workplace laws, it’s vital you familiarise yourself with the changes before the clock ticks over to 1 January 2010.

Called Fair Work Australia, these new laws affect the majority of workplaces in Australia. Key issues that will affect employers include:

  • Record keeping: clear record keeping and documentation
  • Default superannuation funds: changes to default industry and individual employee fund choices
  • Provision of a Fair Work Information Statement to all new employees
  • Changes to unfair dismissal laws – including the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code
  • Pay and conditions such as overtime rates, weekend loadings, shift loadings, public holiday penalty rates, allowances (including travel allowances) and annual leave loading
  • Transitional and flexible work arrangements

A list of frequently asked questions has been developed by the Fair Work Ombudsman to assist employers. If you answer no to any of these questions, contact Davenports as soon as possible:

  • Do you know which awards your employees are currently covered by and which Modern Award will apply after January 1?
  • Are arrangements in place so that your business will comply with the National Employment Standards when they come into force on January 1?
  • Are you keeping the required records and giving employees appropriate pay slips?
  • Are you aware of your options for making an Enterprise Agreement with employees?
  • Do you understand how to negotiate in good faith if you want to make an Enterprise Agreement with employees?
  • Do you comply with the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code if terminating an employee?

For more on the Fair Work System, contact Davenports on 03 9510 7600 or go to www.fairwork.gov.au, where you will find information on the new Fair Work laws as they apply to employers and employees.

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