Industrial Relations relates to the employee rights and their minimal entitlements. Basically, Australian Employment Law is derived from:
- Common Law – Notably the employment contract and implied duties imposed on employers and employees. (You must have an employment contract, handbook and other documents in place for all employees, See Easy Payroll – HR Services for support here if need be).
- The statutory and regulatory framework – This can be either based on State or Federal industrial relation laws depending on the company location and structure. The most common coverage is the Federal ‘Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act)’ and includes the 10 national employment standards: (https://www.fairwork.gov.au/employee-entitlements/national-employment-standards ) . These requirements have a flow-on effect to payroll interpretaions/calculations/accruals and the subsequent documentation of these. (A modern, professional payroll software is critical to ensure leave calculations are accurate, and payroll calculations are reflecting the legislation accordingly, resulting in the mandatory ‘Pay Advice’ build etc.)
- Industrial Instrument – Each employer will be covered by an applicable Modern Award, or Enterprise Bargaining Agreement. ‘Modern Awards’ are the most common instrument in place as ‘EBA’s’ require an intensive application and approval process via the ‘Fair Work Commission’ (Regulatory Body). There are over 200 Modern Awards, and these are often industry based, reflecting the pay conditions and entitlements suitable for that industry/role. Some employers may be covered by multiple Modern Awards due to the variable roles/nature of the employees within their organization. Again, it is highly recommended to seek professional advise on how to allocate and interpret the pay conditions of Modern Award’s and the employees that are covered by this. (See: https://www.fairwork.gov.au/awards-and-agreements for more information).
These above conditions enable the calculation of the Gross Taxable payment amounts for all Australian employees. The payroll function is responsible for the interpretation, calculation and documentation of these payment elements using certified payroll software. Additional to this legislation, employers must make compulsory ‘Superannuation’ payments to a ‘pension fund’ of their choice.