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Overtime rates for casuals – 08/04/2019

By April 9, 2019 No Comments

Do you need to comply with the Fair Work Commission’s decision on overtime rates for casuals?
As communicated in vegetablesWA e-news on Friday 5 April 2019, the Fair Work Commission published its decision in respect of the issue of overtime payments for casuals under the Horticulture Award on the 2nd April 2019. vegetablesWA advised that some businesses’ casual employees may not be covered by the Horticulture Award.  As a result of this communication, vegetablesWA has been contacted by a number of members asking how this decision effects their business.

For clarification for members:

Two different industrial relations systems operate in WA, the state system and the national fair work system. Which system applies to a particular business or organisation and its employees depends on the type of business arrangement under which the employer operates. It is essential that business owners understand whether the business is covered by the state system or national system, because the two industrial relations systems have different employment rights and obligations.

WA awards cover many employees in the state system and these provide different rates of pay to the national modern awards which cover most employees in the national system. The state minimum wage and state minimum conditions of employment also differ from the national minimum wage and the National Employment Standards.

If your business is covered by the state industrial relations system, your business is not covered by the national industrial relations system. This means that businesses under the state system do not need to implement the Horticulture Award and that the changes to overtime pay outlined in the Fair Work Commission decision are not applicable to your business.

How do you know if your business is covered by the state industrial relations system?
The below information is taken from the Wageline website,  this checklist will allow growers to determine if they are in the state system or national fair work system. If you are unsure of your business structure (e.g. if your business is an unincorporated trust or an incorporated trust), you should contact your accountant or bookkeeper to confirm.

This WA Award Summary applies to businesses in the state industrial relations system. It covers businesses which operate as:

* sole traders (eg Jane Smith trading as Jane’s Farm)
* unincorporated partnerships (eg Jane and Bob Smith trading as Jane’s Farm)
* unincorporated trust arrangements. (eg Jane and Bob Smith as trustees for Jane’s Farm)

This summary does not apply to businesses in the national industrial relations system which operate as:
* Pty Ltd businesses (eg Smith Pty Ltd trading as Jane’s Farm)
* incorporated partnerships or incorporated trusts
* incorporated associations and other non-profit bodies (that are trading or financial corporations)

For more information visit the Guide to who is in the WA state system page. If the business or organisation is in the national system visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website www.fairwork.gov.au.

If you need further clarification we recommend you contact Wageline or Fair Work directly.