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In addition to the increased minimum wages and changes to penalty payments under some Modern Awards, there have been some other changes effective from 1st July 2017.

  • An award free employee must now be paid at least the National Minimum Wage of $18.29 per hour.

The high income threshold for unfair dismissal applications under the Fair Work Act, has increased from $138,900 to $142,000. This means that an employee earning more than $142,000 per annum may (if award free) be ineligible to file an unfair dismissal claim under the Fair Work Act.

The maximum compensation obtainable under the Fair Work Act for successful unfair dismissal claims has increased from $69,450 to $71,000.

Maximum Civil Penalties under the Fair Work Act have also increased. For breaches of the Fair Work Act occurring after 1 July 2017, the maximum penalty per breach for corporations is now $63,000 (up from $54,000 last year). For individuals, the maximum penalty has increased from $10,800 to $12,600 per breach.

Key areas where breaches are most likely to occur are:

  • ● Non-compliance with the National Employment Standards, Modern Awards and Enterprise Agreements;

  • ● Protection of workplace rights and other general protections.

The Superannuation Guarantee Charge [SG] remains unchanged at 9.5%.

However, the higher income threshold level has increased from $206,480 to $211,040 p.a. or $52,760 per quarter (up from $51,620 per quarter last year). This means that the maximum SG an employer is legally required to contribute is the equivalent of 9.5% on an employee’s salary up to a maximum salary of $52,760 per quarter (equivalent to $211,040 per annum).

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