The importance of accurately paying staff is obvious, however, the complexity of running a hospitality venue alongside a complex award structure means ongoing compliance can be hard to manage.
With many recent award changes and a short window to update affected employees, we’ve put our team, and our technology to the test in recent weeks, and both have risen to the occasion. Here’s how:
What Are The Recent Award Changes?
To make things complex there have been recent changes to the hospitality awards including:
● (Hospitality Industry General Award) HIGA
● (Restaurant Award) RA annual increase
Plus, the introduction of an annualised salary has added additional complexity and cost to the industry.
Fair Work’s annual review of the minimum wage was published in June and showed:
● A 5.2% increase to the National Minimum Wage of $40 per week.
● A 4.6% increase to award minimum wages. This is subject to a minimum increase for adult award classifications of $40 per week and is based on a 38-hour week for a full-time employee.
While this was intended to be introduced for most industries in July, given the exceptional circumstances for 10 awards (HIGA and RA included) the implementation was deferred until 1st Oct.
The resulting increase covers nearly 1000 salary classifications across the two awards. This is made further complex by a range of penalties and loadings, which means we manage close to 15,000 pay conditions across our customers (excluding customers with their own Enterprise Agreement).
Quantaco in Action: Updating 5000+ Employees for Our Client’s Compliance
While the announcement was made in June, the actual pay guide was only released by Fair Work on 29th September. This provided a very short window to update the 5000+ employees we manage payroll for to ensure accurate pay became effective from the first full pay cycle after 1st Oct.
Through our investment in automation via our Awards Engine, as well as the hospitality experience of our team we made sure we were able to apply all award updates in the time and attendance systems used by our clients. Without them having to do anything!
Of course, the annual award increase is something we are all used to, however, the industry remains uncertain as to what the actual increase will be or if there will be further changes to the award structure. This means the interpretation of some of the rules may change. And while this year the award was reasonably simple, the same cannot be said for annualise salary change introduced on the 1st of September.
Tackling more difficult changes…
The discussion around full-time salaried staff and the hospitality industry has been in play for a number of years but it was put on hold in 2020. In February 2022 it was restarted and a decision was announced in August for implementation in September.
The speed at which a significant change was introduced was surprising, especially as it introduced new contract terms and critically the need to accurately record and then pay people based on the new conditions. Again the benefit of having a technologically advanced, industry-focused team paid dividends to our clients. We provided:
● Consultancy and guidance on the changes
● Collaboration with our partners at the AHA to ensure the interpretation and guidance we gave were accurate
● A close working relationship with our technology partners to develop a solution that would ensure our customers would be compliant with the changes.
We used our in-house technology team to build a solution that would, in the first instance, identify employees who exceeded the outer limit allowance. We then invested in additional resources to deliver a process that would allow us to accurately pay people. We continue to invest in more robust and longer-term solutions, however, this is an excellent example of where we do what we need to, to get the job done.
If you want to stop the compliance headache and send in the experts to keep up to date with award changes, get in touch with a member of the team here: https://www.quantaco.co/contact-us/