||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; and
- casual employees.
- The amendments also reflect the requirement to provide an extra week’s notice if the employee is over 45 years of age and has more than 5 years’ continuous service with the employer.
- The amendments clarify that the notice requirements apply to all employees covered by the Modern Award and not just vet surgeons as the wording previously suggested.
- 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.