From 1st July 2017, there have been several updates concerning payroll. These are the main changes that may affect your company.

MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE

The Fair Work Commission has announced a 3.3% increase to the minimum wage. The increase will apply from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 July 2017. The new national minimum wage will be $694.90 per week or $18.29 per hour.

PENALTY RATES NOW PHASING IN

The changes to public holiday penalty rates start from 1 July 2017. These changes will apply in full. The changes to the evening work and after midnight penalties (in the Restaurant and Fast Food Awards) also start from 1 July 2017.

The changes to Sunday penalty rates are being introduced over 3 or 4 years starting from 1 July 2017 depending on the award and the employment type.

 -  in the Fast Food Award, the changes will be phased in over 3 years for all employees

 -  in the Retail Award, the changes will be phased in over 4 years for full-time and part-time employees and over 3 years for casual employees

 -  in the Hospitality Award, the changes will be phased in over 3 years for full-time and part-time employees (there are no Sunday changes for casual employees)

 -  in the Pharmacy Award, the changes will be phased in over 4 years for all employees.

HIGH INCOME THRESHOLD 2017 -2018

Awards don’t apply to high income employees. A high income employee is an employee who:

 -  has accepted a written guarantee of annual earnings

 -  is guaranteed to earn an annual amount which is more than the high income threshold

The high income threshold changes each year as a result of the Fair Work Commission’s annual wage reviews. From 1 July 2017 it is $142,000.

To calculate an employee’s earnings to see if they meet the threshold, include:

 -  the employee’s wages

 -  the agreed value of non-monetary benefits

When calculating an employee’s earnings to see if they meet the threshold don’t include:

 -  payments which can’t be calculated in advance such as:

                   - Commissions

                   - Incentive-based payments and bonuses

                   - Overtime (unless the overtime is guaranteed)

 -  reimbursement

 -  statutory superannuation contributions