PAYE on all wages is changing from 1 April 2016 due to a reduction in ACC levies. If you use a payroll software package, this should be done automatically but if you pay wages manually, you will need the new 2017 tax tables. Read on for information about the ACC levy changes.
The adult minimum wage is increasing to $15.25 per hour effective 1 April 2016 ($0.50 increase per hour). The starting out and training minimum wage also increases on 1 April 2015 to $12.20 an hour. Starting out and training minimum wages are 80% of the adult minimum wage.
The Adult Minimum Wage
The adult minimum wage applies to all workers aged 16 and over who are not starting-out workers or trainees, and all workers who are involved in supervising or training other employees.
The Starting-Out and Training Minimum Wages
The starting out wage is focused on:
- 16 and 17-year-old employees who haven't yet completed six months of continuous employment with their current employer;
- 18 and 19-year-old employees who've been paid a benefit for six months or more, and who haven't yet completed six months continuous employment with any employer since they started being paid a benefit. Once they have completed six months continuous employment with a single employer, they'll no longer be a starting-out worker, and need to be paid at least the adult minimum wage rate;
- 16 to 19 year olds in training in a recognised industry-training course involving at least 40 credits a year.
The training minimum wage applies to employees aged 20 years or over who are doing recognised industry training involving at least 60 credits a year in order to become qualified.
From 1 April 2016, changes will strengthen the enforcement of minimum employment standards, such as minimum wages and holiday entitlements. These include a new infringement notice regime, clearer record keeping requirements and tougher sanctions for the most serious breaches, such as exploitation.
For more information on the requirements, please contact Jill on 03 374 9393.
From 1 April 2016, you must write any agreed or flexible hours of work in the employment agreement for each employee.
If you and your employee agree to set hours (ie. any number of days, start and finish times, or days of the week), include these details in their employment agreement. But if you and your employee both prefer flexibility, you don't have to agree to any set hours and state this in the employment agreement.
If you plan to require an employee to be available for work, (ie. on call) then you must give them at least some guaranteed hours of work.
Employers can't cancel a shift without giving their employees reasonable notice or reasonable compensation.
This has been brought in to stop unfair employment practices as it makes it hard for employees to plan their finances and personal lives. The aim is to allow flexibility when you and your staff both agree to it, and to give employees some certainty about what they can and cannot expect from their employer.
Make sure you review your employees' contracts to make sure they state flexibility or the minimum hours of work, ie. any guaranteed hours of work, start and finish times and days of the week.
If you don't have suitable employment agreements, please ring Kate on 03 374 9393 and she can assist or prepare these for you.
From 1 April 2016, the age children can be included in child support is reducing from 19 to 18, unless the child is enrolled in and attending school.
Child support calculations and what attributes to earnings has changed. If this affects you, please contact Louise on 03 374 9393.
Up until now, the Work, Earner's and Motor Vehicle levies have all been made up of two parts:
- A current portion (changes each year)
- A residual portion (needed to collect a fixed amount by 2019)
From 1 April 2016, the residual portion of the levies will be removed for the Work and Earners' Accounts and from 1 July 2016 will be removed from the Motor Vehicle Account levies.
This will result in lower ACC levies, depending on your industry and risk.
Your employees will also notice a small increase in their tax home pay as the Earner rate will decrease from $1.45 to $1.39 for every $100 of liable earnings.
The current 16 weeks of paid parental leave will increase to18 weeks for babies expected or born on or after 1 April 2016.
The new law extends parental leave payments to more workers, including:
- Casual and seasonal workers
- Those with more than one employer
- Those who have recently changed jobs
Previously only biological or formal adoptive parents could claim parental leave payments. The law change extends this to others who take on the permanent care of children under the age of 6.
Eligible parents of premature babies will receive parental leave payments for longer.
Staff who have worked for an employer between 6 and 12 months will be entitled to 6 months parental leave. This includes the 18 week paid period plus 8 weeks of unpaid leave.
Low income working families eligible for the minimum family tax credit (MFTC) will receive an increase from $443 per week to $457 per week from 1 April 2016.
Further to our October 2015 newsletter, the new health and safety laws come into effect on 4 April 2016.
The new law states that everyone must play a part in working in a safe and healthy way. You must also do what is "reasonably practicable" to manage health and safety risks at work. Your business must make sure all workers can contribute to health and safety decisions at work.
Most asbestos removal work over 10m2 will require a licence from 4 April 2016. This affects not only asbestos removal businesses, but also builders, roofers and other tradespeople who remove asbestos.
If you work in construction on premises built before the late 1990's, you will probably be working with materials containing asbestos. This could include replacing lino, removing soffits, external wall cladding, corrugated roofing sheets and textured ceilings.
With the new law, you will either need to use a licensed remover, or get a WorkSafe removal licence if you want to remove asbestos:
For more information about this and obtaining a licence please click HERE.
If you need some health and safety advice, we held a seminar last year and had a great guest speaker who can help you implement your health and safety and works alongside you if accidents or audits do occur. Please give us a call and we can refer you on.
If you would like any further information on any of the upcoming changes please do not hesitate to give us a call on 03 374 9393.