New Rights and Protections for Site Union Delegates
New Rights and Protections for Site Union Delegates

As part of the Closing Loopholes Act amendments, from 1 July 2024, all Modern Awards and newly made Enterprise Agreements will include a new standard clause prescribing that Workplace (site Union) Delegates will have the right to actively, directly represent the industrial interests of both union members and potential members in the workplace.

This includes the right of a Delegate to represent employees in disputes with their employer.

Delegates will:

  • Have the right to communicate with Union members and potential members about their industrial interests
  • Be given reasonable access to the workplace and facilities to represent those interests
  • Be entitled to reasonable paid time off (during normal working hours) for training related to their role as a Union delegate (unless the employer is a small business employer). What is considered reasonable will depend on factors such as the size and nature of the business, the employer’s resources and the facilities available at the workplace.

It will be unlawful for an employer to:

  • Unreasonably fail or refuse to deal with Delegates
  • Knowingly or recklessly make false or misleading statements to Delegates
  • Unreasonably hinder, obstruct or prevent delegates from exercising their rights.

FWC orders a 3.75% rise in Award rates, etc.

As a result of the Fair Work Commission’s recent Annual Wage Review Decision, from 1 July 2024, all Award wage rates, various Award-prescribed allowances and the National Minimum Wage (NMW) will increase by 3.75%.

The NMW will increase from $882.80 to $915.90 a week and from $23.23 to $24.10 an hour.

Changes in Superannuation

From 1 July 2024, the superannuation guarantee (SG) rate (i.e. the employer superannuation contribution) will increase from 11% to 11.5%.
Additionally, the cap on concessional (before-tax) super contributions will increase from $27,500 to $30,000 per year.

Stage 3 tax cuts
From 1 July 2024, 13.6 million Australian taxpayers will receive a tax cut.  The changes will:

  • reduce the 19 per cent tax rate to 16 per cent
  • reduce the 32.5 per cent tax rate to 30 per cent
  • increase the 37 per cent tax threshold from $120,000 to $135,000
  • increase the 45 per cent tax threshold from $180,000 to $190,000.

The changes will apply to all taxable income you earn from 1 July 2024.

Changes regarding Unfair Dismissals

From 1 July 2024, both the income and compensation caps for unfair dismissal claims will increase.

The high-income threshold for unfair dismissal applications (i.e. the “cut-off point for being able to make an unfair dismissal claim) income level rises from $167,500 to $175,000.

The maximum compensation in unfair dismissal claims will increase from $83,750 to $87,500 (i.e. 6 months wages).

Unions can be exempt from the need to give “Notice” to enter an employer’s business.

As a general rule, a Union must give an employer at least 24 hours notice of the Union’s intention to exercise their “right of entry” to go into a business to investigate a suspected underpayment of wages or other contravention.

From 1 July 2024, the FWC will be required, upon an Application by a Union, to grant a Union an exemption for its obligation to give an employer 24 hours’ notice to enter a business where
…  the FWC reasonably believes that advance notice (to an employer) of the Union’s entry might result in the destruction, concealment or alteration of relevant evidence.

Portable LSL extended to 250,000 community service workers in NSW.

On 20 June 2024, the NSW Parliament amended the NSW Long Service Leave Act to provide portable long service leave to about 250,000 community service workers, more than 75% of them are women.

These workers will now get long service leave based on their time in their sector rather than time employed by a single employer. They will receive six weeks of paid leave after seven years of employment in the sector, no matter how many times they change contracts.

It will operate similarly to contract cleaners and the construction sector, with employer contributions administered by the State's Long Service Corporation.

Employers will now pay a levy to the Long Service Leave Corporation rather than budget for long service leave as they currently do to cover their obligations under the Long Service Leave Act 1955.

The amendment aligns with the portable long service leave schemes already in place for the ACT, Victoria, and Queensland community service sectors.

If you have any questions about this article and how your business will be impacted, please contact Stephen McCarthy or Robin Young from our Workplace Relations team. 

Recent Posts