The Fair Work Commission has announced a 3% increase to minimum wages effective from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2019. The new national minimum wage across Australia will be $740.80 per week or $19.49 per hour.

The 3% increase applies to those employees under a Modern Award or those not covered by an Award or Agreement where the national minimum wage would apply. If your employees are receiving an over-award payment, penalty rates or allowances linked to Award pay rates… IT MIGHT BE TIME FOR A PAYROLL REVIEW.

Paying your staff above Award wages does not exempt you from the provisions of the Award. If you are not sure whether your staff are Award employees – CHECK IT NOW. The penalties for breaching Award or Fair Work Act provisions are substantial.

Payment Summaries/Income Statements
Payment Summaries must be received by the worker by 14 July. Mailing them out on 14 July will not meet this compliance obligation, so be sure to plan ahead. You are also obligated to send to the Australian Taxation Office both the ‘Tax Office original’ and a ‘PAYG Payment Summary Statement’ no later than 14 August. This can now be done electronically.

If you are paying staff through STP enabled payroll software, you are required to submit a Finalisation Declaration with your final Pay Event of the financial year. You will not be required to send Income Statements to employees, as they (or their Tax Agent) will be able to access their data through MyGov, although many employers are choosing to do so for the first year.

Single Touch Payroll (STP)
All employers from 1 July 2019 will be required to complete their payroll using STP enabled payroll software. Micro businesses (1-4 employees) may choose to have their pay data reported through their tax agent, however there are authorities to be put into place for this to be enacted, so don’t leave it to the last minute.

Superannuation
There are no changes to the Superannuation Guarantee Legislation (SGL) employer contributions this year. They remain at 9.5%. End of financial year is a great time to check your payroll is set up to ensure your superannuation payments are calculating on Ordinary Time Earnings. You should also take the time to re-check those employees on Salary Packages (where Superannuation is included) to ensure the salary plus superannuation plus other remuneration benefits are calculating correctly.

Help is on hand
The Fair Work Commission has a number of online tools available at www.fairwork.gov.au.

Better still, Gooding Partners has our own HR specialist, Wendy Jeffery-Lonnie, available on 08 9327 1739 if you have questions about your staff, employment contracts, pay rates, Award conditions or performance issues.