Busted: 5 Great Myths for Small Business Employers

Five of the most common myths we hear repeated time and time again:

1. Sick leave doesn’t carry over from one year to the next

Wrong. Sick leave, or personal/carer’s leave as we call it today, is cumulative from year to year.

2. Unfair dismissal rules don’t apply to casuals

Wrong. A casual employee who works regularly and systematically has the same unfair dismissal rights as a permanent employee once they’ve served the minimum employment period (i.e. a one-year period for small business employers and 6 months for all others).

3. Casuals don’t get long service leave

Sorry, they do, and in most states/territories, this has been the case for decades.

4. If I pay above the Award, it no longer applies

Sure, if you give an employee a guarantee of annual earnings which is above the high income threshold of $148,700 you can say that.  But just paying ‘above the Award’ otherwise does not mean the Award ceases to apply.  The same goes for paying a ‘salary’ to someone and saying the Award no longer applies to them.

5. If an employee agrees, it’s fine to pay below the Award

Wrong.  It is NEVER acceptable to pay an employee less than what the relevant Award or Enterprise Agreement requires for the classification and hours of work they are performing. Even classifications that are genuinely award-free are subject to the National Minimum Wage Order. Nothing an employee agrees to or puts in writing can absolve an employer of these obligations.

Been caught by one of the above myths? Don’t worry! We can help

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