Following the Annual Wage Review 2021, the Fair Work Commission has announced a 2.5% increase to minimum wages. This will apply to all Security industry Awards from the start of the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2021.
SPAAL will provide members with the new Award Pay Guides once published by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
A draft standard is open for commenting on Standards Australia public comments system.
Standard: AS 2201.2 Intruder alarm systems - Monitoring centres
Comment Start Date: 08/06/2021
Comment End Date: 10/08/2021
You can view the draft with latest comments and provide your feedback here: https://comment.standards.org.au/Drafts/29d73e94-d280-4f31-8181-c0fef05275b8
The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action in the Federal Circuit Court against the operators of a security services company in Perth.
Facing court are Statewide Security (WA) Pty Ltd, which is based in Clarkson, Western Australia, and the company’s sole director, Richard Clayton.
The regulator investigated after receiving requests for assistance from three workers who had been employed by Statewide Security (WA) Pty Ltd as security guards.
Current and future company directors in Australia will soon be legally required to apply for a unique director identification number (DIN). The DIN provision is part of the Treasury Laws Amendment (Registries Modernisation and Other Measures) legislation that was passed in federal parliament in June 2020.
According to the latest statistics compiled by Australia’s corporate regulator (the Australian Securities and Investments Commission), there are more than 2.8 million registered companies in Australia.
Details of the DIN scheme are being progressively released by the Treasury.
The intended purposes of director identification numbers
The aims of the DIN scheme are to:
- prevent fictitious company directors from being appointed.
- enable company director profiles (including director relationships to companies) to be traced over time. For example, any previous involvement with companies that are now insolvent
- reduce illegal phoenix activities. This is where a new company is created to continue the business trading of a company that has been liquidated to evade debts to creditors, staff or the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
Directors will need their DIN to interact with any government agencies once the scheme is up and running.
Information that directors will need to supply to get a DIN
Company directors will need to supply the following information to the Commonwealth Registrar to get a DIN:
- current name (including proof of identity via an Australian driver’s licence, passport, Medicare card, birth certificate or visa).
- any former name/s (if applicable).
- date and place of birth.
- current and former addresses.
- current contact details.
- tax file number (TFN). It’s not compulsory for directors to provide their TFNs, but the Commonwealth Registrar has the power to request TFNs from the ATO under the provisions of the DIN scheme. The Registrar also has the power to link and verify any information provided by directors to their respective ATO records.
Only one DIN will be made available to a director, even if a person is a director of multiple companies. This will facilitate director traceability under the DIN scheme.
Penalties for providing misleading DIN information or not having a DIN
The Treasury Laws Amendment (Registries Modernisation and Other Measures) legislation provides for both civil and/or criminal penalties for providing misleading information when applying for a DIN, or not registering for a DIN at all.
For more information https://www.ato.gov.au/General/Gen/Modernising-Business-Registers/
The new Australian Standards for security in healthcare facilities have been published, providing guidance for the development and implementation of effective security systems for healthcare facilities.
AS 4485.1:2021 Security for healthcare facilities, Part 1: General requirements, and
AS 4485.2:2021 Security for healthcare facilities, Part 2: Procedures guide
The Standards are designed to set out the policy, principles, and common procedures necessary to establish and maintain an effective security service for healthcare facilities. There are guidelines for both General Requirements and Procedures.
Standards are available to purchase from the Standards Australia Store
On Friday 26 March 2021, the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act) was amended to change workplace rights and obligations for casual employees. The changes were made by the Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery) Act 2021 (Amendment Act).
These changes came into effect on Saturday 27 March 2021.
The Amendment Act introduces a:
- Casual Employment Information Statement
- definition of casual employment
- pathway for casual employees to move to full-time or part-time (permanent) employment.
Do you know what you can and can’t claim during tax time? Lodging your tax return is easy with the ATO’s work-related expenses guide for security industry employees.
When completing your tax return, you may be able to claim deductions for some work-related expenses.
To claim a work-related deduction:
- you must have spent the money yourself and weren't reimbursed
- it must directly relate to earning your income
- you must have a record to prove it.
If the expense was for both work and private purposes, you can only claim a deduction for the work-related portion. Common deductions for performing artists can include:
- Car expenses
- Licence expenses
- Guard dog expenses
Remember to report all income in your tax return and remove any portion of your expense that is not work-related.
For more information, or to download the guides available for specific occupations, visit http://www.ato.gov.au/occupation21
The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has recovered $389,982 in unpaid wages for 163 security guards following an investigation into 19 security businesses in Queensland.
Businesses in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Townsville, Maryborough, Gympie and Mackay were investigated between September 2019 and July 2020 after intelligence – including anonymous tip-offs and job advertisements – raised concerns that some guards may have been incorrectly engaged as independent contractors rather than employees.
Inspectors interviewed workers, managers and business owners and checked records and pay slips for compliance with the Fair Work Act, Fair Work Regulations and the Security Services Industry Award 2010.
The FWO found that 10 of the audited businesses (53 per cent) were non-compliant. Of these, nine failed to pay workers correctly and two breached record-keeping and pay slip laws.
The most common breaches of workplace laws related to underpayments of weekend penalty rates and the minimum rate for ordinary hours. No evidence of sham contracting was identified.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator prioritised allegations of employees being misclassified as independent contractors, and she expected security employers to check their compliance with workplace laws.
“Too often we have found employees being underpaid in the security industry and we will continue to monitor the sector and act to ensure that lawful wages are put in workers’ pockets,” Ms Parker said.
“The Fair Work Ombudsman is aware that many security guards are visa holders or from culturally or linguistically diverse backgrounds, which can make them more vulnerable to breaches of their workplace rights. We urge any workers with concerns about their entitlements to contact us.”
Inspectors issued 11 Compliance Notices requiring nine employers to rectify breaches of the law. This has resulted in the $389,982 in back-payments by eight businesses to 163 affected employees. One of the Compliance Notice matters remain ongoing.
Recoveries from individual businesses ranged from $357,275 for 136 workers from a north Queensland business to $102 for one worker from a Brisbane business.
These businesses were put on notice that any future breaches may result in higher-level enforcement action. Inspectors also issued two Infringement Notices resulting in payments of fines totalling $420.
Last year, a separate security business in Coffs Harbour received penalties in court for underpaying employees, while another principal security contractor entered into an Enforceable Undertaking after it admitted it was involved in the underpayments of guards in its supply chain.
Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement has released their report on An Australian Standard for the training and use of privately contracted security and detection dogs.
The SPAAL provided a submission and is a member of the Standards Australia Committee developing the national standard.
The JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme is an incentive for businesses to employ job seekers between the ages of 16 and 35 years. It enables eligible employers to receive payments for each eligible employee they hire between 7 October 2020 and 6 October 2021. The JobMaker Hiring Credit Scheme ends on 6 October 2022.
The JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme is administered by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Employers can register for the scheme from 6 December 2020 on the ATO’s website at Register for JobMaker Hiring Credit .
Eligibility for the JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme
Employers, and their eligible employees, need to satisfy a range of criteria to be eligible for the JobMaker Hiring Credit. Visit the ATO website for information about:
Claiming the JobMaker Hiring Credit
Eligible employers can claim payments for eligible new employees for up to 12 months from the employee’s employment start date. The JobMaker scheme ends on 6 October 2022.
Employees can be employed on a full-time, part-time or casual basis so long as they have worked or been paid for an average of at least 20 hours per week they were employed during the JobMaker period.
Employers can’t participate in both the JobKeeper scheme and JobMaker scheme during a JobMaker period.
Employers can claim JobMaker payments from the ATO in arrears from 1 February 2021. Visit JobMaker Hiring Credit key dates for more information.
An employer can claim:
- $200 per week for each eligible employee aged 16 to 29
- $100 per week for each eligible employee aged 30 to 35.
For more information about claiming the JobMaker Hiring Credit, visit JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme
How the JobMaker Hiring Credit affects minimum entitlements and other conditions
While an employer receives the JobMaker Hiring Credit payment, an eligible employee’s usual terms and conditions of employment, including under the Fair Work Act, continue applying. This includes entitlements from the National Employment Standards (NES), an applicable award or enterprise agreement, and protections from discrimination and other general protections.
The Fair Work Act has rules that prevent an employer taking adverse action against an employee because of the employee’s age. Learn more about unlawful discrimination and adverse action at work at Protection from discrimination at work. Employers should also consider their obligations under anti-discrimination legislation.
An employer can’t terminate an existing employee’s employment, or reduce their hours, in order to access or increase payments under the JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme.
Learn more about eligibility and how to enrol for the JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme on the ATO website at JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme