Employment law wrap up

Mandatory superannuation increase

The Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Amendment Act 2012 (Cth) (Act) will cause compulsory superannuation contributions to increase from 9% to 9.25% on 1 July this year.  The Act also requires compulsory superannuation contributions made by employers to increase each financial year from 1 July 2013 until 1 July 2019 when the rate will eventually reach 12%.

The compulsory superannuation contributions for each financial year up to the 2019/2020 financial year are set out in the table below.

Financial year

Compulsory superannuation rate















Legitimate performance management does not constitute adverse action

The Federal Court decision in Ramos v Good Samaritan Industries [2013] FCA 30 has confirmed that an employer will not offend the “adverse action” provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) when implementing a legitimate performance management regime.

The Federal Court decision, and that of an earlier Federal Magistrate, did however reiterate the need for employers to maintain detailed records outlining the reasons why it is necessary to performance manage an employee.  Without such records, an employer is susceptible to an adverse action claim if the employee has exercised a workplace right before or during the process.

Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth)

Private sector businesses with more than 100 employees are required to compile a report as to their “workplace profile”.  The report must be submitted to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) on or before 31 May 2013.

A pro forma report template is available from the WGEA website or by following the link here.  The report seeks to gauge a business based on gender equality indicators, including:

  • the gender composition of the workforce;

  • the gender composition of governing bodies of relevant employers (such as directors, trustees, management committee etc);

  • equal remuneration between women and men;

  • availability and utility of employment terms, conditions and practices relating to flexible working arrangements for employees and working arrangements supporting employees with family or caring responsibilities; and

  • consultation with employees on issues concerning gender equality in the workplace.

Employees may be able to take bullying claims straight to the Fair Work Commission

A Bill is currently before Federal Parliament, which will amend the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) to enable employees to apply directly to the Fair Work Commission to deal with a complaint about bullying in the workplace.  Under the proposed changes, the Fair Work Commission will be obliged to treat such applications as a matter of priority and arrange for such matters to be listed within 14 days.

The amendments, if passed by Federal Parliament, will give the Fair Work Commission the power to make such orders as it considers appropriate to prevent the bullying from reoccurring, including ordering an employer or other employees at the workplace to do, or refrain from doing, certain things or refer the complaint to a state body to investigate the matter further.

The Federal Government is aiming to pass the amendments before June 2013, with the changes to be effective from 1 July 2013.

Disclaimer – the information contained in this publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. You should seek legal advice in relation to any particular matter you may have before relying or acting on this information. The Lavan team are here to assist.