Now that the dust from the Abbott government’s first budget has started to settle, it is timely to recap the main employment related measures:

  1. Perhaps most importantly, the compulsory superannuation guarantee rate will increase from 9.25% to 9.5% from 1 July 2014 but will then be frozen until 30 June 2018 when it will start to increase again;
  2. The eligibility threshold for the government’s paid parental leave scheme will be revised downward to $100,000 gross pa from $150,000. The scheme is due to commence from 1 July 2015 and will replace the current more limited scheme;

  • A payment of up to $10,000 will be available to employers who hire a mature age job seeker aged 50 and above, from July 2014. Payments will begin after the worker has been employed for at least 6 months and will be paid in instalments over a period of up to 2 years;
  • The pension age will gradually rise to 70 in 2035;
  • From 1 January 2015, ex employees of bankrupt or liquidated employers will only be able to recover statutory minimum entitlements to notice and redundancy pay through the government’s payment scheme rather than additional contractual entitlements.

In other news, the Fair Work Commission is currently conducting a 4 yearly review of modern industrial awards but this is unlikely to result in any major changes to the award system. The government has also asked the Law Reform Commission to examine workplace laws that restrict traditional rights and freedoms. However, any broader changes to workplace relations laws will probably not occur until after the next election.

Please contact us if you would like any further information in relation to these matters.