This brief update contains the following information:
- Fair Work Information Statement
- Public holiday pay
- Annual leave loading
- Leave doesn't expire
- Asking staff to work public holidays
Fair Work Information Statement
Fair Work recently updated the Fair Work Information Statement.
Employers have to give every new employee a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement (the Statement) before, or as soon as possible after, they start their new job.
The Statement provides new employees with information about their conditions of employment.
The Statement has information on:
- the National Employment Standards
- right to request flexible working arrangements
- modern awards
- making agreements under the Fair Work Act 2009
- individual flexibility arrangements
- freedom of association and workplace rights (general protections)
- termination of employment
- right of entry
- the role of the Fair Work Ombudsman and the Fair Work Commission.
- Providing the Statement
The Statement can be given to new employees:
- in person
- by mail
- by email
- by emailing a link to our website
- by fax.
Public holiday pay
Public holidays are a different entitlement to annual leave, so they can’t be taken from an employee’s annual leave balance. Remember, you also can’t change an employee’s regular days off so they miss out on public holiday entitlements. And if staff take sick leave before or after a public holiday, you can’t automatically deny them the leave, but you can ask for evidence.
Annual leave loading
Staff will sometimes assume they get annual leave loading without checking the rules. Not all businesses need to pay annual leave loading when their staff take annual leave. Do you know if you should pay it? Whether you do or not will depend on the rules in the applicable award or enterprise agreement. Make sure you check what applies for your business so you’re getting it right.
Leave doesn't expire
Annual leave and sick leave doesn’t expire just because an employee didn’t use it by the end of the year. Once they’ve accrued it, it is theirs to use. And if they don’t use it, accumulated leave has to roll over to the following year – that’s the law. What about cashing out annual leave? If the applicable award or agreement doesn’t specifically say that it’s allowed, then it isn’t lawful.
Asking staff to work public holidays
You can ask staff to work, if your request is reasonable. But remember, they can refuse on reasonable grounds.
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