Superannuation increases delayed until 2021
TTIA HAS previously advised employers with regard to the gradual increase to superannuation contributions.The latest change to that scenario occurred when the Senate passed legislation that will freeze the employer compulsory superannuation guarantee contribution at 9.5% until 2021, and abolish the Low Income Superannuation Contribution in 2017.
The laws are part of a package of reforms contained in the Minerals Resource Rent Tax Repeal and Other Measures Bill 2014.
The super guarantee contribution increased to 9.5% on 1 July 2014 and was due to increase to 10% from 1 July 2015 with further increases up to 12% in 2019. Now from 2021, the 9.5% rate will increase by 0.5% each year until it reaches 12%.
Scheduled Superannuation Guarantee Contribution Increases:
If you are a TTIA Member, please contact the Association with any queries re superannuation on (02) 9264 0011.
Annual leave closedown guidelines
Many employers at this time of the year will be beginning to plan their annual Christmas closedown.The entitlement for an employer who wishes to direct employees to participate in an annual close-down is the applicable modern award or enterprise agreement.
The majority of modern awards which prescribe annual close down for annual leave purposes provide that the employer must give affected employees one month’s notice of the intention to close down. If your employees under the Timber Industry Award 2010 comprise all or the majority of employees in the organisation, this notice requirement would indeed apply – Clause 33.8(a).
Members should be aware that a close down for annual leave does not necessarily involve the whole of an employer’s business – it may only apply to a section, e.g., if the production area closes down at Christmas, the maintenance section may perform routine work on production machinery.
As the provision for annual close-down for annual leave purposes is not a ‘standard’ term in modern awards, an employer should check the applicable modern award to determine the specific requirements for close down or contact the TTIA hotline on (02) 9264 0011.
The terms of the applicable modern award determine whether employees with insufficient accrued annual leave can be sent on leave without pay during the close down. Clause 33.8(c) of the Timber Industry Award provides that an employee who has not accrued sufficient annual leave to cover part or all of the close down is allowed paid leave for the period for which they have accrued sufficient leave and unpaid leave for the remainder of the close down. In the case of an award/agreement-free employee, the Fair Work Act states that an employer may require an award/agreement-free employee to take a period of paid annual leave, but only if the requirement is reasonable. The one month provision – as in many awards – provides general guidance in relation to annual close-down, although the employer should notify affected employees as soon as possible once the decision to close has been made.
As the festive season approaches, TTIA staff would like to extend our best wishes to all readers and thank you for your continued support of the Association.