Q: Do my office workers have the same overtime requirements as our vehicle employees?
No, clerical employees generally fall under the Clerks Award 2010. Under the Clerks Award, ordinary hours of work are as follows:
25.1 Weekly hours of work – day workers
a) The ordinary hours of work for day workers are to be an average of 38 per week but not exceeding 152 hours in 28 days, or an average of 38 over the period of an agreed roster cycle.
b) The ordinary hours of work may be worked from 7am to 7pm Monday to Friday and from 7am to 12.30pm Saturday. Provided that where an employee works in association with other classes of employees who work ordinary hours outside the spread prescribed by this clause, the hours during which ordinary hours may be worked are as prescribed by the modern award applying to the majority of the employees in the workplace.
c) Not more than 10 hours exclusive of meal breaks (except if paid for at overtime rates) are to be worked in any one day.
If your Clerical workers are working on the Saturday after working a full 38 hours Mon-Fri week, it will be classified as overtime and penalty rates will not apply in addition to these overtime rates. For clerical workers, they get paid time and a half for the first 2 hours work and double time thereafter and must have a minimum of 3 hours overtime per shift.
If office workers are working on a Saturday as part of their ordinary 38 hours per week (7:00am until 12:30pm as above), this will attract penalty rates which are time and a quarter for those hours on a Saturday. Any hours worked past 12:30pm will then be overtime as per above paragraph.
Q: Can I terminate my apprentice in the same way as any other employee if they are within the first 6 months?
No, because an apprenticeship is a formal training contract, you cannot just terminate without following a particular protocol. An apprenticeship contract generally has a strict 3 month probation period. During this time you are able to terminate the contract without much hassle, however one weeks’ notice is still required and a withdrawal from contract form is still required. Click here for a copy of this form.
Once it goes beyond this point, you would need to follow performance management procedures and make attempts to improve the work, attitude and so on before applying for any cancellation, as it will need approval from the Training and Skills Commission. You need to have evidence that you tried to reconcile any concerns before making that decision. A training contract cancellation form should be used in this instance, click here for a copy.
Q: Can I make deductions from an employee’s final pay?
Yes, but only where there is an express agreement that allows you to do so. This agreement needs to comply with the rules regarding permitted deductions which require that the deduction is made for the benefit of the employee. The most common type of an agreement is a staff account where employees purchase items from their employer on credit.
Before considering putting an agreement like this in place, please contact the workplace relations team for assistance by clicking here or by calling 8291 2000.
Q: Do I need to worry about WHS if I don’t have any employees
Yes, the Workplace Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA) applies to all businesses and the requirements which businesses need to meet are designed to ensure a workplace for owners of businesses, their customers, contractors which come on-site and members of the public.
Even if you do not have any employees you need to meet the requirements of the Act or you may be fined or prosecuted.