News & Security Advice

National

Employee consultation regarding major workplace and rostering changes

The Fair Work Commission has amended all modern awards regarding consultation requirements of employers to employees for major workplace and rostering changes commencing from 1 January 2014. More

Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to review security training

ASQA Chief Commissioner Chris Robinson said the reviews would examine key sectors that were vital to the Australian economy and the broader community.

The review of training in the security industry has been prompted by ongoing community concerns about the quality and adequacy of training being offered to security guards.

“Security guards play an important role in keeping our community safe. However, they need to have the right skills and experience to ensure their safety and the safety of those they are protecting,” Mr Robinson said.

Mr Robinson said management committees comprising representatives from key industry stakeholder organisations
would be established to guide each review, which will be completed by the end of 2014.

“As the national regulator, ASQA is committed to maintaining world-class vocational education and training standards across Australia and these strategic reviews are an important part of our work,” Mr Robinson said.

MEDIA_RELEASE_SR_2014_Child_care_security_and_equine_training

National Occupational Licence Scheme Abandoned

COAG has announced that following the outcome of extensive State-based consultation, the majority of States decided not to pursue the proposed National Occupational Licensing Scheme reform. Most jurisdictions identified a number of concerns with the proposed NOLS model and potential costs. States instead decided to investigate approaches that would increase labour mobility and deliver net benefits for businesses and governments.

States have agreed to work together via the Council for the Australian Federation (CAF) to develop alternative options for minimising licensing impediments to improving labour mobility and to manage the orderly disestablishment of the National Occupation Licensing Authority from early 2014.

Cabler Changes from 1 July 2014

  1. Current Open registered cabling providers will be require additional competencies from 30 June 2014 if they perform structured, optical fibre and coaxial cabling
  2. By 30 June 2014, current Restricted registered cabling providers will be require additional competency to perform Broadband cabling work
  3. Cabling providers must attain additional competencies as part of their registration requirements if they wish to perform that type of cabling work, or they can perform that type of cabling work under direct supervision of a registered cabling provider with the appropriate competencies.

Note: If you have previously attained endorsements for Cat 5, Fibre or Co-ax, no additional training is required as they are equivalent to structured, optical fibre and coaxial cabling competencies respectively.

The new competency requirements apply from 1 July 2012. Existing cabling providers who install those specialised cables, but who have not already attained the additional competencies, have a transition period until 30 June 2014 to attain those competencies.[more]

Fair Work changes will apply from 1 January 2014

New anti-bullying measures

Employees who are being bullied at work will be able to apply to the Fair Work Commission  for an order to stop the bullying. The Fair Work Commission will have to start dealing with the matter within 14 days.

Changes to right of entry rules

These changes affect the rights and powers of officials of organisations who have entry permits to enter businesses. The changes will mean that:

  • interviews and discussions with employees must be held in an area that the business and permit holder agree to (lunch rooms can be used if no agreement can be reached)
  • the Fair Work Commission will be able to deal with disputes about the frequency of visits
  • the Fair Work Commission will be able to deal with disputes about accommodation and transport arrangements
  • the Fair Work Commission will be able to ensure appropriate conduct by permit holders while they are receiving accommodation or being transported under the arrangements.

Genuine consultation on changes to rosters and hours of work

All awards and agreements will have to include a term that requires employers to ‘genuinely consult’ with their employees about changes to their regular roster and ordinary working hours. When employers want to change an employee’s regular roster or ordinary hours of work they will have to:

  • give information to employees about the changes
  • invite employees to air their views about how the changes will affect them
  • consider the employees’ views.

Agreements will also require employers to consult about any major change to a workplace that is likely to have a significant effect on the employees.

Protection of penalty rates The ‘modern award objective’ in the Fair Work Act 2009 will be amended to protect penalty rates. This will mean that the Fair Work Commission, when making or changing a modern award, will have to take into account the need to provide additional pay for employees working:

  • overtime
  • unsocial, irregular or unpredictable hours
  • on weekends or public holidays
  • shifts.

Failure to adequately investigate workplace fight renders dismissal unfair

Employers of all sizes must ensure they conduct a genuine investigation into allegations of serious misconduct before dismissing an employee, as demonstrated by a recent decision of the Fair Work Commission involving a fight in the workplace.  More

New rates for compulsory super payments from 1 July 2013

From 1 July 2013, compulsory super payments for employees will increase from 9% to 9.25% .

The rate will increase gradually over 7 years from 9% to 12% by 2019.

Employers are also required to make super payments for employees who are 70 years of age or older..

The table below shows the increased rate for super guarantee payments each year.

  • 1 July 2013 -  9.25%
  • 1 July 2014 -  9.50%
  • 1 July 2015 -  10%
  • 1 July 2016 -  10.50%
  • 1 July 2017 -  11%
  • 1 July 2018 -  11.50%
  • 1 July 2019 -  12%


For more information please visit www.superfuture.gov.au

Chemical Security Awareness Initiative

The Australian Government has recently launched an initiative to raise awareness of chemicals of security concern, targeted towards the general public and first responders. The initiative is designed to provide information that will help build greater awareness of chemical security and increase the likelihood that members of the community will identify and report suspicious behaviour to the relevant authorities.

It is recommended that Registered Training Organisations incorporate information regarding the initiative into their security training. Consideration should be given to including this information in the unit CPPSEC2004B Respond to security risk situation.

Further information about the initiative can be found at: www.chemicalsecurity.gov.au

New training requirements for registered cabling providers

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has amended the regulatory requirements for cabling providers who install specialised cabling within customer premises.

The ACMA’s Cabling Provider Rules (CPRs) regulate the performance of cabling work in customer premises. Under the CPRs, cabling providers must be appropriately registered by registrars appointed by the ACMA to undertake the work they perform.

The amendments to the ACMA cabling arrangements have been made to ensure cabling providers have the necessary skills required to perform specialised cabling work for the current and emerging customer cabling environment.

Under the new arrangements, cabling providers undertaking broadband, structured, optical-fibre or co-axial cabling work must have the training competencies relevant to the specialised cabling work. The new competencies only apply to cabling providers who are undertaking the relevant specialised cabling work within customer premises.

The new competency requirements will apply from 1 July 2012. Existing cabling providers who install those specialised cables, but who have not already attained the additional competencies, will be given a 2 year transition period to attain those competencies.

For more information on the new arrangements, please contact the ACMA on email address: comply.label@acma.gov.au

If you are registered with the Australian Cabler Registration Service (ACRS), you will receive a letter in the coming months advising you of your current registration endorsements and explaining the requirements for you to remain compliant and appropriately registered to undertake your work.

New Federal Privacy Laws

The Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Bill 2012, passed Parliament on 29 November 2012, and is due to come into effect in March 2014. The Australian Privacy Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim, says the new laws are an important milestone for privacy in Australia. He is confident the reforms will enhance the protection of peoples’ personal information.

The reforms mean that, the same privacy principles will apply to Australian Government agencies and the private sector.

‘A single set of privacy principles, the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs), should mean that it will be  easier to comply with privacy  laws, and for individuals to know what laws protect the privacy of their personal information’, Mr Pilgrim said. [more]