Payroll Regulatory Changes in the New Year

If your business has slowed down during the holiday season, take the opportunity to get things organised for the New Year.

Some things you can do to streamline your business to run smoothly include:
Sorting out your record keeping processes and accounting software requirements so you can start 2019 afresh with an electronic record keeping system that meets your business needs.-

– Making prepayments in advance of an expected tax bill using BPAY®, credit or debit card to help manage your tax.
– Setting up a payment plan to pay your tax in instalments if you’re having difficulty paying and start the New Year with one less thing to worry about.
-Checking your super guarantee obligations are up to date
-Monitoring your cash flows and profit forecasts monthly

Keeping up to date with the payroll regulatory changes that have come into effect this financial year, such as:
The ATO introduced Single Touch Payroll (STP), which is mandatory for all employers from 1 July 2019. STP requires employers to submit payroll and superannuation data to the ATO each time they run payroll. The easiest way to do this is to use a payroll software that is STP compliant. These new changes allow the ATO to have greater visibility into a business, allowing them to ensure compliance with tax laws and regulations. It also provides a means of streamlining the end of financial year process. Thanks to STP, employers will not have to produce payment summaries or conduct other admin tasks related to the EOFY process.

The national minimum wage increased by 3.5 percent as of 1 July 2018. The new minimum wage for adult full-time and part-time employees not covered by a modern award or enterprise agreement is $18.93 per hour or $719.20 per per 38 hour week (before tax).

New clauses have tightened up the timing of a departing employee’s final pay . From November 1, 2018, the rules around the timing of an employee’s final pay were changed in 89 modern awards. Employers operating under these awards must now pay employees no later than seven days after their final date of employment
A new clause has been added to all modern awards granting workers 5 days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave per year. This entitlement came into effect on August 1, 2018 and is applied to all workers employed under modern awards.

Victoria has released a new Long Service Leave Act that came into effect on November 1, 2018. This Act replaces the Long Service Leave Act 1992 and leads to significant changes in long service lead entitlements.

On 1 October 2018, a model “casual conversion” clause was added to 84 Modern Awards that did not already include casual conversion provisions. The effect of this clause is that certain casual employees may be eligible to convert to permanent employment (i.e. full-time of part-time), if in the preceding 12 months, they worked a regular pattern of hours on an ongoing basis. A request made by a casual employee in such circumstances can only be refused by the employer on reasonable grounds and after consultation with the employee. Employers are required to provide a copy of the new casual conversion clause to their casual employees within the first 12 months of employment. For employees who were already employed on 1 October 2018, employers will be required to provide a copy of the clause by 1 January 2019.