With the pending publication of the Fair Work Commissions Decision in the National Wage Case this Friday (2/6/2023) ACAPMA reminds Members that the ACAPMA Quick Reference Wage Guides for the the fuel wholesale, transport, administration and retail industry will be circulated in the coming weeks once the rates go through the full finalisation process. Members are also reminded that rushing to put rates in before they are finalised can be a recipe for disaster.
“The National Wage Case Decision is only the first step in the process to getting the 2023/2024 wage rates, and ACAPMA has to wait until we have reached the last step before we circulate the new Wage Guides”, explains ACAPMAs Elisha Radwanowski.
“Following the Minimum Wage Decision the Commission then issues DRAFT Determinations for each Award. These Determinations are the mechanism for changing the actual Awards, and they are released for a time in DRAFT so that any errors or issues can be addressed before they are confirmed as FINAL Determinations which then change the Award. This DRAFT Determination stage is really important, and it is important for Members to understand that there are often changes at this stage, so anyone who is updating their payroll systems before the FINAL Determinations are released must ensure that they are double checking the system again after the final changes to the Award are made”, continues Elisha.
“Many businesses mess this step up. They hear the percentage that is announced with the National Wage Case Decision and they simply put their base rates up by that amount and then move on. In the fuel industry this is likely to result in errors in rates, particularly for casual console operators, due to the peculiar ‘hand set’ nature of those rates. This approach also will fail to capture increase to expense related allowances such as Meal Allowance or Travelling Allowance which will be hard set based on the Expense Criteria and not increase in the Minimum Wage”, Elisha adds.
“The big message is this, businesses should understand that they need to be ready to understand the changes that are coming and to be ready to update rates, review salary and IFA/Agreement modelling and communicate the changes to staff, but jumping the gun leads to rework at best, and wage rate issues or underpayments at worse, so don’t rush. The new wage rates will not apply until the first full pay period on or after the 1st of July 2023. What that means is that the new rates will not apply until the pay period has not got any days in it that were in June. So there is time to wait for the FINAL Determinations and ensure updates are done once and done right”
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Elisha Radwanowski BCom(HRM & IR)