Overview of the main developments in labor law and taxation for the 2022/2023 financial year

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The start of the new fiscal year brings with it significant changes to minimum wages, unfair dismissal regulations, and various tax thresholds and rates.

In this article, Partners Andre Tobin and Michael Patanespecial adviser Alana PatersonAssociated Natalie Wissa and lawyer John Hickey, summarized the important changes that employers need to be aware of. Depending on your personal circumstances, immediate action may be required beginning July 1, 2022 to ensure continued regulatory compliance.

Minimum Wage Rate Increases for National System Employers

Modern reward rates

In accordance with the Fair Work Commission’s 2022 annual wage review decision, all modern rates of pay will increase by $40.00 per week or 4.6% (whichever is greater).

This increase will start from the first full pay period, or after October 1, 2022 for the following prices:

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For all other rewards, this increase will begin on or after the first full pay period. July 1, 2022.

national minimum wage

As of July 1, 2022, the national minimum wage for adults working full time (38 hours per week) has increased from $772.60 ($20.33 per hour) to $812.60 ($21.38 per hour ).

The occasional charge for employees without reward/agreement remains fixed at 25%conforming to the standard occasional loadout of modern rewards.

The above changes apply to all workers in the national system, including:

  • junior employees;
  • the employees concerned by the training systems;
  • employees with disabilities; and
  • piecework, by applying the methods applicable to the calculation of these wages.

It is imperative that all employers conduct an annual review of their compensation agreements with their employees to ensure continued compliance with minimum wage rates.

Changes to Minimum Wage Rates for Employers in the WA System

For WA employers who are outside the national system, effective July 1, 2022:

  • minimum wage increased from $779.00 to $819.00 per week (i.e. the WA minimum wage will be $6.40 per week higher than the national minimum wage); and
  • all WA State reward rates will increase by 4.65%.

In the Western Australian private sector, this change generally applies to employees of unincorporated employers, such as sole proprietorships and partnerships.

Modification of the thresholds of protection against unfair dismissal

The high income threshold for the purposes of the Fair Work Act has, since July 1, 2022, increased from $158,500 to $162,000.

The threshold is relevant for the purposes of:

  • protection from wrongful dismissal – a federally regulated employee, not covered by a statutory award or workplace agreement, does not have access to federal wrongful dismissal jurisdiction if their annual rate of pay exceeds the threshold high income (s. 382 of the Fair Work Act);
  • maximum compensation for a wrongful termination claim – the maximum compensation that could be awarded by the Fair Work Commission for a successful wrongful termination claim will increase to $81,000 (i.e. half of the new income threshold high and up to $79,250) – s.392(5) of the Fair Work Act; and
  • consider whether a modern reward applies to an employee – a modern reward, which would otherwise apply to an employee, does not apply where the employee is a high earner with guaranteed annual earnings (s. 47 and 329 of the Fair Work Act).

WA imposes a separate “maximum salary level” for filing wrongful dismissal claims. Since July 1, 2022, the level has fallen from $176,900 to $181,400. The current figure is accessible here.

Fair Work Information Statement

The Fair Work Ombudsman has published the latest version of the Fair Work Information Statement which applies from 1 July 2022. It is accessible here.

It is a requirement under Section 125 of the Fair Work Act that a National System employer provide each employee with a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement before or as soon as possible after the employee starts work.

The Fair Work Information Statement educates employees on several topics, including:

  • leave entitlements;
  • maximum working hours;
  • termination and rights;
  • severance pay ;
  • general protections;
  • agreements (including company agreements and individual flexibility agreements); and
  • trade union powers to enter the workplace.

Failure to provide the Fair Work Disclosure Statement, or the current version thereof, is a violation of National Employment Standards and Fair Work Law, resulting in civil liability.

Casual Employment Information Statement

The latest version of the Fair Work Ombudsman’s Casual Employment Information Statement is available here.

It is a requirement under Section 125B of the Fair Work Act that employers provide casual employees, in addition to the Fair Work Disclosure Statement, a copy of the Fair Work Disclosure Statement. casual employment before or as soon as possible after the employee begins employment.

The casual employment information statement informs employees about several issues, including:

  • the definition of casual employee;
  • when an employer must offer occasional retraining;
  • when an employer is not obliged to offer occasional retraining;
  • when an employee may request an occasional conversion; and
  • resolve disputes regarding occasional conversion.

Failure to provide the Casual Employment Disclosure Statement, or the current version thereof, is a violation of National Employment Standards and the Fair Work Act, resulting in civil liability.

Civil penalties

The maximum civil penalties applicable to breaches of the civil penalty provisions of the Fair Work Act have remained unchanged since fiscal year 2019/2020. As of July 1, 2022, the maximum penalties are:

  • for corporate offenders – $66,600; and
  • for individual offenders – $13,320.

Civil penalty provisions in the Fair Work Act include those relating to:

  • compliance with national employment standards, modern awards and company agreements;
  • protection of workplace rights and other employee protections;
  • entrance fee, and
  • industrial action.

These penalties only apply to violations occurring on or after July 1, 2020. Previous violations will result in the penalties applicable at the time of their occurrence.

Main changes to tax rates and thresholds

The main changes to the tax rate and thresholds for the 2022/23 tax year are summarized in the following table:


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