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Workplace Law Changes

Changes to employment law looms

SMBs have just a couple of weeks left to ensure they’re prepared for changes to rules regarding paid parental leave and sex discrimination, according to Truman Hoyle partner and employment law expert Fiona Inverarity.

From July 1, Inverarity said all Australian businesses must have systems in place to deal with the changes in legislation.

“The Paid Parental Leave Scheme has been in place since 1 January 2011, which The Family Assistance Office (part of Centrelink) has administered for the first six months. But from 1 July employers will be responsible for making the payments and will be reimbursed by the Government,” she said.

Its crucial all business complete the roll out of the systems that will allow this to happen prior to the end of June, to ensure they’re ready to deal with the new legislation.

“For SMEs in particular it’s important they don’t overlook this new obligation,” Inverarity warned.

Employers must also be mindful of important amendments to the Sex Discrimination Act, which take effect on July 1, she said.

“These changes prohibit discrimination on the basis of family responsibilities for both men and women in all areas of employment and establish breast-feeding as a separate ground of discrimination. Companies need to make sure they have introduced measures to accommodate the needs of breast-feeding mothers in order to comply with those new amendments.”