News & Security Advice

National

Reserve Bank – Review of Banknote Distribution Arrangements: Issues Paper

The Reserve Bank has released an Issues Paper as the first stage in its Review of Banknote Distribution Arrangements. The Bank is seeking views from interested parties on what changes might be required to ensure that banknote distribution is effective, efficient, sustainable and resilient – both now and into the future.

Submissions close on Friday 21 January 2022.

Company directors now need to apply to ASIC for a director identification number

Company directors now need to apply to ASIC for a director identification number (director ID) to help prevent the use of false or fraudulent director identities. All directors of companies, registered Australian or foreign companies and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations will need to register for a director ID.

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Fair Work Ombudsman – Respect at Work legislative amendments

On 10 September 2021, the Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment Act 2021 (Respect at Work amendments) took effect.

The changes to the Fair Work Act aim to:
protect and empower workers to address sexual harassment in the workplace include miscarriage as a reason to access compassionate leave.

They include:
introducing stop sexual harassment orders
defining sexual harassment
clarifying that sexual harassment at work can be a valid reason for dismissal providing compassionate leave for miscarriage.

Sexual harassment in the workplace

Stop sexual harassment orders
From 11 November 2021, an eligible worker who believes they’ve been sexually harassed at work can apply to the Fair Work Commission for an order to stop the sexual harassment.

Visit the Fair Work Commission's website for more information about eligibility and making applications.

What is sexual harassment?
The Respect at Work amendments introduce a definition of sexual harassment into the Fair Work Act. A person sexually harasses another person if they:

make an unwelcome sexual advance
make an unwelcome request for sexual favours
engage in other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.

To be sexual harassment, it has to be reasonable to expect that, in that situation, there is a possibility that the person being harassed would be offended, humiliated or intimidated by the behaviour. Examples might include unwelcome touching, staring or leering, or a suggestive comment or joke.

Serious misconduct and dismissal
The amendments confirm that sexual harassment at work is a form of serious misconduct and can be a valid reason for dismissal under the Fair Work Act.

Serious misconduct can result in dismissal without notice.

Miscarriage and compassionate leave
The Respect at Work amendments extend compassionate leave to include miscarriage.

Employees can take up to 2 days of paid compassionate leave (unpaid for casuals) if they or their current spouse or de facto partner has a miscarriage.

Employees are also entitled to compassionate leave if they experience a stillbirth or death of a child. Another employee may also be entitled to take compassionate leave if the infant was, or would have been, an immediate family or household member of the employee.

Getting help

If you think you have been sexually harassed at work, you can make a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission or contact your relevant state or territory anti-discrimination bodyA solicitor, advocate or union may also be able to make a complaint on your behalf.We do not investigate bullying or sexual harassment complaints. However, if you think your employer has taken adverse action against you because you reported sexual harassment at work, you can contact us or find out more on protections at work.You can also contact your state workplace health and safety body for help.
Contacting the police
If you feel unsafe now, phone 000. 
If there is no immediate danger but you need police assistance, phone 131 444.
You can contact the police about any assault that involves criminal conduct.Some forms of sexual harassment are criminal conduct.If you have experienced sexual assault and feel you would like to make a complaint or report to the police, find your relevant state and territory police contacts.
Sexual assault support services
If you have experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment, you can contact 1800 RESPECT (Phone: 1800 737 732) for counselling, support and information, 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.
Mental health support services
Lifeline
24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention. 13 11 14www.lifeline.org.au
Beyondblue
Mental health support.1300 224 636
Miscarriage and stillbirth support services
Sands
An independent organisation that provides support for newborn death, stillbirth and miscarriage.1300 308 307 https://www.sands.org.au

Fair Work Ombudsman – More than $300,000 recovered for security staff

The Fair Work Ombudsman has recovered $303,299 for 1,010 underpaid workers after investigating companies engaged to provide security at COVID-19 quarantine hotels in Melbourne and Sydney.

Last year, Fair Work Inspectors audited 37 security businesses to check their compliance with workplace laws, including 23 companies providing security in Melbourne and 16 in Sydney.

Inspectors found that 15 businesses (41 per cent) were non-compliant. Inspectors examined a total of nine principal contractors engaged by the Victorian or NSW governments (one was engaged by both) and then investigated any subcontracted arrangements, with 28 subcontractor businesses found.
 
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Fair Work Ombudsman – Changes to casual employment laws

By 27 September 2021, employers (other than small business employers) need to assess whether any existing casual employees (employed before 27 March 2021), are eligible to be offered to convert to permanent employment.

Employers need to:

  • make a written offer to convert their casual employees to permanent employment (this must be done within 21 days after making the assessment), or
  • write to employees explaining why they won’t be made an offer (this needs to be done within 21 days of making the assessment but by no later than 27 September 2021).

To accept an offer to convert, employees need to respond in writing within 21 days after getting the offer. If they don’t respond, employers can assume that they’ve declined the offer.

Read more about casual employees becoming permanent.

Watch our video about the changes to casual employment laws, including how small business employers are affected and the Casual Employment Information Statement.

 

Draft Standard Open for Public Comment : DR AS 5350.1:2021 Privately contracted security and detection dogs, Part 1

A draft standard is open for commenting on Standards Australia public comments system.

Standard: DR AS 5350.1:2021 Privately contracted security and detection dogs, Part 1: Acquisition, welfare, training, deployment and retirement

Comment Start Date: 09/08/2021
Comment End Date: 11/10/2021

You can view the draft with latest comments and provide your feedback here: https://comment.standards.org.au/Drafts/bda29187-30c3-4374-9379-dac2d38078d9

ATO Taxable payments annual report (TPAR) for security businesses using contractors or sub contracting due by 28 August 2021

As the 28 August due date for the Taxable payments annual report (TPAR) approaches, it’s important to work out if you need to lodge a TPAR this year to report payments your businesses made to contractors in 2020–21.

If you have an Australian business number (ABN) and made payments to contractors or subcontractors for security, investigation or surveillance services provided on your behalf, you will need to lodge a TPAR. Examples of security, investigation or surveillance services can include locksmithing, alarm monitoring and response, crowd control, night watch, and security guard services.

If security, investigation or surveillance services are only part of what your business does, you may still need to lodge a TPAR. You need to work out whether the percentage of your business income from security, investigation or surveillance services is 10% or more of your gross business income. If yes, you must lodge a TPAR. It’s important to check your circumstances each year.

The ATO uses the information provided in your TPAR to help sole traders complete their income tax returns so it’s important to lodge by 28 August. It’s easy to lodge online, or through your registered tax or BAS agent. You should already have the records you need from preparing your activity statements. If you have worked out you don’t need to lodge a TPAR, you can lodge a Non-lodgement advice to let the ATO know to update their records and avoid unnecessary follow-up.

The ATO has information to help you work out if you need to lodge a TPAR, with examples of security, investigation or surveillance services if you are unsure. Their website explains what information you need to include, and how to lodge. Go to www.ato.gov.au/TPAR

Super Guarantee Percentage Increase from 1 July 2021

The super guarantee percentage will increase to 10%  from 1 July 2021 – 30 June 2022.

For infomation on all future increases  - ATO super guarantee percentage increase table

Annual Wage Review 2021

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.

Annual Wage Review 2021

The pay guides have the current minimum pay rates for full-time, part-time and casual employees in an award that apply from 1 July 2021. They also include all the monetary allowances and the most frequently used penalty rates for each classification.

Security Services Industry Award [MA000016] Pay Guide 

Transport (Cash in Transit) Award [MA000042] Pay Guide

Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award [MA000025] Pay Guide 

Open for Public Comment – Draft Standard: AS 2201.2 Intruder alarm systems – Monitoring centres

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