The Government has made changes to the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa program, which will help WHMs remain in Australia for longer, and assist communities to recover from recent devastating bushfires.Read More
In 2017, when Celebrity chef George Colambaris’ hospitality empire, Made Establishment, was found to have underpaid 162 workers by AU$2.6 million, the organisation immediately took steps to repay the staff.
However, investigations by KPMG and Fair Work Australia revealed more was owing and in 2019, it became apparent that Made Establishment had, in fact, underpaid more than 500 current and former employees a massive $7.8 million.
Not surprisingly, in February this year, Made was put into administration – having been in business for 13 years, it took just six months for George’s business to collapse.
When asked about the payroll system at Made, a person (who wished to remain anonymous) was quoted as saying, “Imagine one person with a calculator and a ledger book in a back-office trying to sort out pays for (several hundred) staff and you wouldn’t be too far from what the set-up looked like”.
Made Establishment wasn’t the only high profile brand to come unstuck over its payroll in 2019. Woolworths, including Dan Murphys and Big W, was found to have underpaid 6,000 supermarket staff by somewhere between $200 million and $300 million. Repayments of unpaid wages, superannuation and interest were commenced. Other companies followed.
While there has been plenty of speculation over whether or not the underpayments were intentional or accidental, one thing is for certain: they expose the ripple effect that can occur when payroll is not appropriately managed.
The Australian payroll system is internationally famous for its highly complex set of minimum conditions, and it’s been outdated and unproductive for some time. Unfortunately, in an attempt to protect workers, six changes to employee awards and legislation have been introduced this year that make it even more complicated to manage:
Effective 1 January 2020:
- You must pay superannuation on your employees’ gross rate of pay – including on any salary they have sacrificed,
- Salary sacrifice cannot be contributed to compulsory super contributions – this means any proportion of an employee’s salary that is ‘salary sacrificed’ cannot be put into a super fund as part of the mandatory 9.5% in super contributions that you must contribute on their behalf.
Effective 1 March 2020:
- You must notify employees, in writing, of their annualised salary and their maximum ordinary working hours outside the regular 38-hour week. If an employee works in excess of this, you must ensure they don’t earn below the minimum wage overall.
- You must maintain a record of your employees’ start, finish and break times, and any excess hours must be paid in overtime if their annual salary is equal to or above the minimum wage.
- You must pay employees for overtime worked if their salary does not cover that over time. And, if they receive less pay on their annualised wage agreement than if they were paid under the award, you must make up the difference within 14 days. Assessment of the total amount paid needs to occur every 12 months, even upon termination of a contract.
- Under the proposed SG amnesty, you must self-correct any unpaid superannuation.
Compliance is Crucial
As an employer, you are obliged to take employment law as seriously as you do the tax law. With further changes to payroll anticipated, taking the advice of a qualified payroll professional, who can keep abreast of the upcoming changes, is critical to compliance.
The Ayers Group has developed a sophisticated payroll solution that can be customised to suit your business and your needs. Our secure solution will take care of your staff payroll and your Australian tax obligations… and let you get back to building your business. Contact an expert from the Ayers Group today.
The World Health Organisation has officially declared coronavirus COVID-19 a pandemic and stock markets around the world are experiencing massive daily fluctuations as confidence in global economies shrinks.Read More
Right across Australia, big businesses are increasingly turning to contractors to fulfil short and long terms roles that range from admin and PA right through to IT, accounting, graphic designers and much more.Read More
Hiring contractors? Don’t assume they’ll be covered for injuries, illness or third party damage by their own workers’ compensation insurance.Read More
Coronavirus is having a ripple effect on individuals and businesses around the world. The unprecedented outbreak of this new strain of the virus – referred to as 2019-nCoV – appears to have originated from illegal wildlife market in Wuhan, China. It has been declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This is only the sixth time the WHO has declared an international emergency of this kind.Read More
Have you heard about Robotic Process Automation?Read More
Within an increasingly global world, there is fierce competition to attract the best international skills into businesses in Australia. But the effort can be worth it – doing so will enable you to tap into new talent pools, where you can gain expertise in emerging areas such as artificial intelligence, science and technology, and engineering. It could also give you the international knowledge and contacts you need to expand your business into new markets.Read More
The government is continuously tightening its belt when it comes to allowing international workers into Australia, either on a temporary or permanent basis.Read More
It sounds simple… let’s take on a few contractors to fill the gaps in our organisation’s expertise and help take our business to the next level… but how do you establish yourself as a leader and manage your contractors to get the most out of them?Read More