Trainee Contract

REEFWA has recently included a Trainee Contact of employment to its suite of contracts of employment on the member website. It is noted that, the Australian Government has introduced a new wage subsidy to support businesses and Group Training Organisations employ new apprentices and trainees. Find out more about the scheme and what it means […]

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Is your business prepared for a snap lockdown?

During WA’s recent ‘hard and fast’ lockdown, businesses were forced to answer the question – are you prepared to move to remote work overnight?  REEFWA outlines the key actions you should take. 1. Review continuity planning Now is the time to fine tune your business continuity plan, keeping in mind that a future lockdown is […]

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Sexual Harassment in the Workplace – What do employers need to know?

Paris Lynch                         Employee Relations Officer What is sexual harassment? A number of high-profile sexual assault and harassment claims have been dominating the media headlines across Australia in recent months. Drawing attention to this crucial issue is a reminder for employers to have appropriate policies and procedures in place to deal with allegations of sexual harassment […]

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MITA Review is Coming Up, are your Contracts up to Date?

Justin Lillyman Senior Associate Workplace Relations If you employ salespeople on a commission-only basis, you will need to carefully review your obligations and take appropriate action as required. The Real Estate Industry Award 2020 requires that every 12 months (from 2 April 2021 onwards), a commission-only employee’s performance must be assessed against the minimum income […]

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Make April the Time to Review your Employee’s Contracts of Employment

Justin Lilleyman Senior Associate Workplace Relations Sometimes employers are unaware that their employment contracts do not provide the business with enough protection, and, when this is discovered, employers don’t have a mechanism to require employees to sign a new, improved employment contract. Lets make April the time to review your employee’s contracts of employment. It […]

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Work Health & Safety Act 2020

Matt Butterworth Safety & Risk Consultant Western Australia has joined New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania in adopting new harmonised work health and safety (WHS) laws. The Work Health and Safety Act 2020 (WA) (the Act) passed through the Legislative Assembly on 3 November 2020. The Act  replaces the existing Occupational Safety and Health […]

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Drug & Alcohol testing in the workplace

Paris Lynch                 Employee Relations Officer Employers have a duty of care to provide and maintain a safe working environment, so far as is reasonably practicable. This duty of care extends to the usage of drugs and alcohol in the workplace. Workers, including employees and contractors, who attend the workplace, under the influence of drugs and/or […]

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Have you checked your Employees Contracts lately?

As an employer it is important to consider reviewing and updating contracts of employment to ensure protection of commercial interests, reflect the changing circumstances of the employment and comply with evolving common law decisions regulating the law of employment.

Changes to the Modern Award

Over the past 5 years there have been a number of changes to the Real Estate Industry Award 2020 (Award) which have impacted on terms and conditions of employment that were previously applicable.

For example , the Award provisions previously permitted that commission-only employees could be paid their NES entitlements (e.g. annual leave and personal/carers leave) as part of their “all-up” commission rate.

Following a Full Bench decision in 2014, the Commission changed the Award provisions so that where a commission-only employee is employed on an all-up arrangement, the employee is entitled to be paid their NES entitlements when the leave is actually taken (rather than in advance as part of the commission payment).

Risks of Non-Compliance

If an employer fails to reflect relevant Award or legislative changes with their employee’s contracts of employment, non-compliance could result in significant financial implications for the company relating to underpayments. In addition, the company could be subject to legal proceedings resulting in possible penalty breaches of the Fair Work Act 2009 (up to $13,320 per contravention for an individual/director and $66,600 per contravention for the company).

What to do?

REEFWA continually reviews and amends the contracts of employment that are available to members, reflecting any Award amendments, legislative changes or significant legal decisions.

As the employment relationship is fluid and subject to significant changes over time, Employers should seriously consider reviewing and updating contracts of employment to ensure they are meeting all legislative and legal requirements in order to avoid possible financial ramifications and costly legal proceedings.

In order to assist you in reviewing and updating your employment contracts please contact REEFWA via email: ReefWA@cciwa.com or on (08) 9365 7510, where you will be put in touch with an experienced legal adviser who can discuss various options available to you.

Government Trainee Incentives

There is a raft financial supports for employers looking to take on a trainee or apprentice. The following outlines the key incentives for employers.

Supporting Apprentices and Trainees (SAT) subsidy: up to $7000 per quarter

Businesses will be able to access up to 50 per cent of a new apprentice or trainees wages worth up to $7000 per quarter from October 5, 2020, until September 30, 2021. The subsidy applies regardless of location, occupation, industry or business size. The program is capped at 100,000 places.

Apprentices and trainees need to be undertaking a Cert II or higher qualification and be engaged in a formally-approved training contract. It is available to both small and medium-sized businesses (with fewer than 200 staff), which had an apprentice in place as of July 1, 2020. If you are an employer with less than 20 employees you may be eligible to attain the wage subsidy for your apprentices that were active at March 1, 2020, for wages paid from January 1, 2020.

Jobs and Skills WA Employer Incentive: up to $8500

This incentive is available to employers of new trainees and apprentices. Like the Federal Government incentives, additional loadings may apply where you hire from a target group — such as Aboriginal Australians, those aged 21 to 30 years old, or undertaking qualifications on the so-called ‘State Priority Occupation — or living and working in regional WA. The subsidy can be claimed if your business is ineligible for payroll tax exemptions or Construction Training Fund grants. The apprentice must live and work in WA.

Jobactive grants: up to $10,000

Businesses may be eligible to receive a wage subsidy for employing someone registered with an employment service provider. The position must be 20+ hours per week and ongoing. The wage subsidy is available to employers who hire eligible mature-age (50 years and over), Aboriginal Australian, youth (15 to 29 years old), principal carer parent and long-term-unemployed job seekers

Assistance

In regard to any queries regarding the above government incentives, please contact Apprenticeship Support Australia on 1300 363 831.

New Safety Legislation Extends Beyond Employees

By Paul Moss

Principal Workplace Relations Advocate Policy

WA’s new work health and safety legislation will extend a businesses’ responsibilities to provide a safe workplace beyond its own employees, requiring all businesses to consider the wellbeing of others affected by their operation.

The Workplace Health and Safety Act 2020 (WHS Act) will bring our workplace safety laws broadly in line with the national framework that has been adopted in all other states and territories (with the exception of Victoria) since 2012.

At its simplest level, the WHS Act requires businesses to, so far as reasonably practicable, provide a safe workplace.  This is consistent with the core obligation under the existing Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (OSH Act).

However, the WHS Act extends this obligation beyond the employer and employee relationship and will require businesses to take reasonable steps to ensure the health and safety of contractors and their employees.

For the real estate industry, this raises a key question of how to manage contractors involved in the maintenance of rental properties.  For specialised contractors, such as electricians and plumbers, this obligation might be met by:

  • confirming the contractor has the necessary expertise and appropriate licences for the work;
  • verifying they have their own systems in place for carrying out work safely;
  • checking that they are carrying out work safely in accordance with their procedures;
  • raising any concerns, or taking action, where work is being carried out safely.

The biggest concern rests with smaller contractors that do not have their own safety policies and practices in places.  This will require real estate agents to have a greater level of oversight and control in the manner in which the contractor performs their work.

The WHS Act also requires greater consideration of the safety of clients and visitors, to ensure that the health and safety of others is not put at risk from work carried out as part of your business.

These changes will require most real estate businesses to consider a wider range of safety implications and adapt your policies to suit.

The new legislation will not take effect until the second half of 2021, with the supporting regulations still being developed.  REEFWA will provide members with further information on the impact of the new legislation over the coming months.

Please Note! - The Membership fees will pro-rata depending on the day you join, to get today's rate please contact us on 9365 7510.