Position Vacant - Executive Secretary, Bishops Commission for the Plenary Council
7 April 2017
The Secretariat for the Plenary Council is seeking applications for the position of Executive Secretary to the ad hoc Bishops Commission for the Plenary Council.
This position is most likely to be located in Canberra, however consideration will be given to applicants based in any other Australian city.
This is a high-level position whose primary objectives are to coordinate the process of the preparation for the Plenary Council, which the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference will convene in 2020. This will include commissioning research into the canonical norms for a plenary council, methods and processes of preparatory consultation and discernment, the practicalities of celebrating the Plenary Council in 2020, and approaches to implementing the fruits of a plenary council in the Local Churches. For further information see pdf Plenary Council background information (502 KB)
The successful applicant will have a tertiary qualification or equivalent expertise in Catholic theology; a demonstrated commitment to the mission of the Catholic Church; strong awareness and understanding of the issues affecting the participation of the faithful in the life of the Church and an understanding of the political, social and moral issues concerning life in Australian society as well as proven experience in project management.
A copy of the position description and additional information is available here pdf PD Executive Secretary Bishops Commission for the Plenary Council (99 KB)
Annual Wage Review 2016 - 2017
31 March 2017
The Australian Catholic Council for Employment Relations (ACCER) seeks the following orders by the Fair Work Commission (FWC):
- The National Minimum Wage (NMW) be set at $710.00 per week and $18.70 per hour.
- Award rates of pay be increased by $30.70 per week.
- No award rate shall be less than the NMW
The claim in respect of the NMW is for an increase of $37.30 per week.
The claims are made in a proceeding which requires that the FWC establish and maintain a safety net of fair minimum wages that takes into account, among other matters, relative living standards and the needs of the low paid.
The claims take into account:
- the needs and relative living standards of workers who depend on the safety net rates set by the NMW and awards;
- the insufficiency of the NMW and low-paid award rates to provide workers and their dependents with a minimum acceptable standard of living in contemporary Australia;
- the fact that the Schoolkids Bonus has been withdrawn from Australian working families and the need for minimum wage rates to start to take into account that loss;
- the fact that many low paid workers and their families are living in poverty
- the safety net minimum rates of pay up to, at least, the C10 rate are insufficient to provide, in the ordinary and expected circumstances, a minimum acceptable standard of living and one that is above poverty levels;
- increases in cost of living, productivity and community-wide wages since the handing down of the Annual Wage Review 2012-13 in June 2015; and
- the social and economic impacts of the claimed increase.
Read the full submission pdf ACCER submission to Annual Wage Review 29 March 2017 (3.11 MB)
Changes to Time Off in Lieu provisions
1 January 2017
The Fair Work Commission has varied Time Off in Lieu (TOIL) provisions in the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Award and the Clerks Private Sector award. These changes came into effect from 14 December 2016.
In summary, the changes that will apply to the Time Off im Lieu (TOIL) provisions are as follows:
Where Time off in Lieu of overtime is to be taken instead of overtime pay, it must be by written agreement between the employee and the employer
- Time off in Lieu is taken on a time for time basis
- Time off in Lieu is to be taken within 3 months of the overtime being worked and at an agreed time within that period.
- If Time of in Lieu is not taken within 3 months, then employer must pay employee the overtime for any remaining hours that have not been taken off
- An employee may request to be paid overtime for hours not taken off at any time during the 3 month period.
Changes from 1 July 2016
1 July 2016
From 1 July 2016:
- National Minimum Wage will increase by 2.4% to $672.70 per week or $17.70 per hour
The national minimum wage applies to employees who aren’t covered by an award or agreement.
- Pay rates in modern awards will increase by 2.4%
This pay rate applies to employees whose employment is covered by a modern award and whose minimum pay rates are governed by that award. Employers who pay award rates must check the relevant award to ensure that they are paying their employees according to the award.
If you’re not sure which award applies to you, check the List of awardson the Fair Work Australia website.
- Higher income threshold in unfair dismissal cases will increase to $138,900
Employees who earn more than the high income threshold and who are not covered by a modern award or enterprise agreement are not able to access the unfair dismissal jurisdiction.
In calculating whether an employee’s earnings are above the high income thresholds, the following must be included:
- Money that is paid on their behalf (e.g. superannuation top ups or salary sacrifice)
- The agreed value of non-monetary benefits (e.g. laptop or mobile phone)
- Compensation limit for unfair dismissal claims will increase to $69,450
- The filing fee for dismissals, general protections and anti-bullying applications made under the Fair Work Act will increase to $69.60
Changes to Annual Leave Provisions
The Fair Work Commission has finalised the model terms for provisions in annual leave clauses in modern awards. The provisions which will be inserted in most awards relate to taking annual leave in advance, close-downs, excessive annual leave accruals, cashing out of annual leave and EFT payments during annual leave. In summary, these provisions are:
Granting Annual Leave in advance: Employers and employees can agree for an employee to take leave in advance (i.e. before it is accrued). The agreement must be made in writing and must state the period of leave granted in advance and the amount of leave to be taken. The employer must retain a copy of this agreement. If the employee’s employment is terminated before sufficient leave has been accrued to make up for the leave granted in advance, the employer may deduct any money that is due to the employee equal to the amount already paid to the employee in respect of that annual leave taken.
Close-down: an employer may require an employee to take annual leave as part of a close-down of its operations, by giving at least four weeks’ notice.
Excessive Annual leave: Excessive leave is defined as leave accrued be an employee which is more than 8 weeks’ paid annual leave. The employer and employee can discuss the excessive accrued annual leave to try to reach an agreement on how to reduce this leave. If agreement cannot be reached, the employer can direct the employee to take annual leave, so long as the employee will still have at least 6 weeks of annual leave remaining after the directed amount of annual leave has been taken. The employer cannot direct the employee to take less than one week of annual leave, and the employer cannot direct the employee to take a period of paid annual leave beginning less than 8 weeks, or more than 12 months, after the direction is given.
An employee who has an excessive leave accrual can also request an employer to grant up to 4 weeks of paid annual leave in any period of 12 months providing that they have excessive annual leave accrued for more than 6 months at the time that they make the request. Granting the request must not result in the employee having 6 weeks or less of annual leave remaining. The employee may not take less than one week of annual leave at a time, and this leave must not the taken sooner than 8 weeks or more than 12 months after the request is made.
Cashing Out of Annual Leave: An employer and employee can agree to cashing out a particular amount of accrued paid annual leave. The agreement must be in writing and must state the amount of leave to be cashed out, The payment to be made to the employee and the time that he payment is to be made. There must be a separate agreement for each occasion when annual leave is cashed out. The agreement has to be signed by the employer and the employee and retained as an employee record. The payment must not be less than the amount that would have been payable had the employee taken the leave at the time the payment is made. Cashing out of annual leave must not result in the employee’s remaining accrued entitlement to paid annual leave being less than 4 weeks. The maximum amount of accrued paid annual leave that may be cashed out in any period of 12 months is 2 weeks.
EFT and annual leave payments: An employee paid by electronic funds transfer (EFT) may be paid in accordance with their usual pay cycle while on paid annual leave.
What employers should do
If you pay award wages to your employees, check the applicable awards to ensure that they are being paid correctly.
When the annual leave provisions are finalised, check that the provisions in your conditions of employment match the new annual leave provisions. Inform your workers of any changes to their awards and make a copy of the relevant awards available to them.
You can find out more about minimum award wages and annual leave provisions, from the following links: