||Summary of key changes
|Individual flexibility arrangements
- Previously, an employer was required to take measures to ensure an employee who does not understand written English understands a proposal to enter into an individual flexibility agreement.
- Now the obligation only falls on an employer if the employer is aware, or reasonably should be aware, that the employee has a limited understanding of written English, and the employer is now only required to take reasonable steps, rather than ‘measures to ensure’.
- The consultation obligations are now split between consultation for major workplace change and consultation for changes to rosters and hours of work.
- Additionally employers must consider ‘any’ views raised by employees about changes to rosters or hours of work and not just their views on the impact of the change as it was previously.
- A party can appoint another person, organisation or association to ‘support and/or represent’ them, where as previously the entitlement was to ‘accompany and/or represent’ them through the dispute resolution process.
|Termination of Employment
- The amendments reflect the NES under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) by clarifying that some termination benefits do not apply to certain employees, including:
- fixed term employees;
- employees terminated for serious misconduct;
- casual employees; and
- daily hire employees working in the building and construction industry.
- The employer can deduct wages owed to the employee. However, the amendments restrict this as follows:
- a maximum of one week’s wages can be deducted;
- no deduction if the employee is under 18;
- no deduction if a shorter notice period was agreed; and
- a deduction cannot be unreasonable.
- As before, an employee can refuse to work any overtime hours that are unreasonable. The following new factors must now be considered:
- whether the employee receives any monetary benefits for working the additional hours (e.g. overtime or penalty rates);
- the usual patterns of work in the industry; and
- the nature of the employee’s role and level of responsibility
- The clause also clarifies that reasonable overtime is to be paid at ‘overtime rates’ and is subject to s 62 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).
Determination PR711485 & PR710995