Important Update for Employers: Workplace Relations law changes from 1 July 2024

Important Update for Employers: Workplace Relations law changes from 1 July 2024

Employers need to be aware of several changes to their obligations regarding the minimum wage, superannuation and other new laws. 


National Minimum Wage

The National Minimum Wage will increase by 3.75 per cent, rising to $24.10 per hour, or $915.90 per week. This increase applies from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 July 2024. For instance, if your weekly pay period starts on Wednesday, the new rates will apply from Wednesday, 3 July 2024.

Superannuation Guarantee Rate

The superannuation guarantee rate will increase from 11 per cent to 11.5 per cent. Ensure that super contributions are paid in full, on time, and to the correct fund by 28 July.

Unfair Dismissal High-Income Threshold

The high-income threshold for unfair dismissal claims for employees not covered by an award or enterprise agreement will increase from $165,500 to $175,000. The compensation cap for unfair dismissal claims will rise from $83,750 to $87,500 (general protection claims remain uncapped).

Modern Award Delegates’ Rights Term

A workplace delegate is a person appointed or elected by a union to be a delegate or representative for union members working in a particular enterprise. All Modern Awards will include a Delegates’ Rights term from 1 July.  Such a term must be included in a workplace determination made on or after that day. Similarly, a term must be included in an enterprise agreement approved by vote on or after that day.

Right of Entry for Suspected Underpayments 

The Fair Work Commission must issue an exemption certificate to an organisation for entry where it is satisfied that a contravention or suspected contravention involves the underpayment of wages or other monetary entitlements.

ACCI members can contact the Workplace Relations team for further information.

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Concern at decline in apprentices

Concern at decline in apprentices

Two things stand out when you look at the latest data on apprentice numbers from the National Centre for Vocational Education.

Firstly, the success of the Boosting Apprenticeships Commencement program before it was closed in June 2022.

The other is the reduction in apprentice numbers after the program closed.

Analysis of the 10-year time series data undertaken by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry shows that since the program closed to new entrants, over half of the progress made in boosting apprenticeship numbers between 2020 and 2022 has since reversed.

There has also been a close to nine per cent decrease from December 2022 to 2023. While there was a marginal increase in commencements in the December quarter (2.4 per cent), this is unlikely to overturn the trend.

ACCI recently submitted to the government’s 2024 Strategic Review of Apprenticeship Incentives.

We said that any reduction or removal of incentive payments to employers would have dire consequences, leading to decreased apprenticeship commencements, exacerbating skills shortages and impeding the nation’s long-term economic growth.

ACCI made several recommendations, including:

  • Direct any revenue the government receives from the Skilling Australians Fund levy to fund more apprenticeships and traineeships.
  • Postpone the planned reduction of incentives from July 2024 for one year to allow sufficient time to develop the next iteration of Australian Apprenticeship Incentives.
  • Create a five-year Job Creation Incentive program.

You can see all the recommendations by accessing ACCI’s submission here.

The latest data also highlights the fragile state of our apprenticeship system and the negative consequences substantial changes such as discontinuing the Boosting Apprenticeships Commencement can have on apprentice numbers. Discontinuing the program has added to our ongoing skills and labour shortage.

ACCI looks forward to working with the government to ensure our skilled workforce is appropriately stabilised and has every opportunity to grow and thrive.