Payroll Reminders for the Christmas & New Year Period! 

Attention:  All Human Resource Advisors, Officers, Coordinators, Managers, Professionals, Supervisors, Assistants!

You will likely notice different payroll combinations throughout the Christmas & New Year period.  The combinations will depend on whether the business is open or closed and whether employees work or take leave over this period.

The combinations may include:

– payment of ordinary wages

– paid or unpaid Public Holidays

– paid annual leave

– unpaid leave

– paid or unpaid personal/carer’s leave

– time off instead of payment for overtime (TOIL)

– payment of annual leave in advance

– and perhaps more!

Public Holidays 

Let’s look at Public Holidays… as they can be confusing…

The italicised information is set out in the Fair Work Act 2009.

What is a Public Holiday?

“An employee is entitled to be absent from his or her employment on a day or part-day that is a Public Holiday in the place where the employee is based for work purposes”.

Not Worked & Paid

“If an employee is absent from his or her employment on a day or part-day that is a Public Holiday, the employer must pay the employee at the employee’s base rate of pay for the employee’s ordinary hours of work on the day or part-day”.  

“If the period during which an employee takes paid annual leave includes a day or part-day that is a Public Holiday in the place where the employee is based for work purposes, the employee is taken not to be on paid annual leave on that Public Holiday”.

Worked & Paid

“An employer may request an employee to work on a Public Holiday if the request is reasonable”.

Refer to the employee’s employment contract and applicable industrial instrument (i.e. modern award, enterprise agreement or registered agreement) to ensure you are paying your employees correctly for any Public Holiday’s worked.

Some modern awards set out that where an employee works on a Public Holiday, they should be paid in accordance with the applicable penalty rates and/or overtime clause in the relevant modern award.

Unpaid

“If the employee does not have ordinary hours of work on the Public Holiday, the employee is not entitled to payment”.

“For example, the employee is not entitled to payment if the employee is a casual employee who is not rostered on for the Public Holiday, or is a part-time employee whose part-time hours do not include the day of the week on which the Public Holiday occurs”.

Annual Leave & TOIL

As mentioned in one of our earlier Christmas Tips blog, where leave or TOIL is taken, ensure:

– the company’s leave policy is followed;

– any period of leave is agreed and recorded in writing between the employer and the employee; and

– a copy of the leave form or agreement is placed on the employee’s personnel file as an employee record.

Be sure to review the applicable industrial instrument (i.e. modern award, enterprise agreement or registered agreement) to ensure you comply with any leave requirements, particularly with regards to TOIL or payment for leave in advance.

Fun Fact – Some modern awards include template schedules for ‘Agreement to Take Annual Leave in Advance’ and ‘Agreement for Time Off Instead of Payment for Overtime (TOIL)’ which can be used as an employee record.

Payroll at this time of year is tricky and can be expensive if processed incorrectly.  Ensure you are complying with the appropriate pay rates and record keeping this Christmas & New Year period to avoid any unexpected surprises… aka underpayments (or contravention penalties)!

Stay tuned next week for information on paid or unpaid personal/carer’s leave (also known as sick leave).

HR Business Assist 

For more information, contact the HR Business Assist Team.

P 1300 138 551

E info@hrbusinessassist.com.au

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