Australia: Industrial Relations Act, Covid-19 Updates, and STP Next Phase Launches

January 25, 2022
2 mins read
Back to all country updates

Industrial Relations Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 Passed

The changes commence in 2022. Some key changes include:

  • Easter Sunday is now recognized as a public holiday
  • The Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission (WAIRC) has the power to issue a stop sexual harassment order
  • Introduced penalties for non-compliance with employment laws that align with the national industrial relations system.

Unpaid Pandemic Leave and Annual Leave Changes to Awards

The Fair Work Commission has extended the entitlement to unpaid pandemic leave under Schedule X in many awards from 31 December 2021 until 30 June 2022.

Employer Tax and Super Obligations for COVID Vaccination Rewards Given to Staff

Employers have obligations if they have provided incentives and rewards to employees to get their COVID-19 vaccinations.

If cash payment is provided to employees, the employer must:

  • Include the payment in the employee’s salary and wages
  • Withhold tax from the payment amount under pay-as-you-go withholding
  • Include the amount in your employee’s ordinary time earnings. This is to determine the super contributions for your employee.

Employers Must Continue to Withhold 15% Tax from Each Working Holiday Maker Employed

Regardless of the country the employed working holiday maker is from, employers must continue to withhold 15% tax from their pay unless they receive a pay-as-you-go variation notice from the ATO.

Single Touch Payroll (STP) Phase 2 Reporting Commences 1 January 2022

Businesses should transition to STP Phase 2 reporting any time throughout a financial year. The transition will depend on your circumstances and the solutions used.

For more information:

STP Deferral up to March 2022

Mandatory STP Phase 2 will begin 1 January 2022. However, if businesses start reporting before 1 March 2022, they will be considered on time and will not need to apply for more time.

Source: Links International

Back to all country updates