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Financial Year Update – Changes from the Fair Work Commission

As the financial year comes to an end, a few significant changes are on the horizon in the Fair Work Commission.

From 1 July 2016, we will see the high-income threshold for unfair dismissal matters rise from $136,700 to $138,900.  This means that a non-award employee earning $138,900 or more, will no longer be within the monetary jurisdiction to bring an unfair dismissal application.  Note that for award covered employees earning at or above the monetary jurisdiction, you should seek our advice about adding to a contract a provision as a high income employee, and as such excluding the unfair dismissal jurisdiction.  Note that other benefits an employee receives can in some circumstances be added to salary to take them above the monetary jurisdiction.

Additionally, the maximum compensation which can be awarded in respect of an unfair dismissal application will increase from $68,350 to $69,450, effective 1 July 2016.  As always, this amount reflects half of the high-income threshold.  Further note though that compensation is capped at the lesser amount of six months’ income or this maximum compensation amount.

We will also see an increase to the national minimum wage, with a flow on to awards and their classifications.  From 1 July 2016, a 2.4% increase will take effect, which will increase the weekly minimum wage to $672.70 or $17.70 per hour.  Wage increases to Modern Awards are to be released in their respective pay guides at the end of June, with Modern Awards to be updated to reflect the wage increases relevant to the specific award classifications from 1 July 2016.

Regards,

Chris Campbell, Partner