Employment snippets for employers – three common misconceptions

As an employer there are a myriad of legislative obligations and employment conditions that apply to your employees and generally need to be implemented in the workplace.  Set out below are three everyday employment issues that we are often asked about.     

Did you know that an employee, who takes a day off on sick leave before or after a public holiday, is still entitled to be paid for the public holiday?

The employee’s entitlement to paid time off work for a public holiday is not affected by the taking of sick leave either side of the public holiday.  However, an employer may require the employee to provide appropriate notice and reasonable evidence that the employee was sick on the day. 

Reasonable evidence may include things such as a medical certificate from a doctor or a statutory declaration from the employee.  In some instances a modern award or industrial agreement may specify what evidence is required in order for an employee to have an entitlement to paid sick leave.

Did you know that a written contract with an employee should not make them worse off than if they received their minimum entitlements?

This means that the entitlements under the National Employment Standards (NES) or a relevant modern award or industrial agreement will continue to apply, even if an employee has signed a written contract which provides the employee with less than those entitlements.

For example, if an employer has a contract with an employee that provides the employee with only 15 days annual leave per year, the employee is still entitled to 20 days annual leave per year as provided in the NES, or more if a relevant modern award or industrial agreement provides a greater entitlement than the NES.

Did you know that when an employer hires a new employee, the employer is required by legislation to provide the employee with a Fair Work Information Statement (Statement) before or as soon as possible after the employee starts working in the workplace?

The Statement includes information about:

  • workplace rights and entitlements;

  • termination of employment;

  • National Employment Standards;

  • Modern awards; and
  • Fair Work Commission.

The Statement may be given to an employee in any number of ways, including:

  • by hand to the employee;

  • sending it by prepaid post to the employee’s residential or postal address; or

  • sending to the employee’s email address.

An employer is required to record how and when the Statement was provided to the employee.

A copy of the Statement can be downloaded from the Fair Work Ombudsman’s site at www.fairwork.gov.au/employment/fair-work-information-statement.

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.