Circulars

CIRCULARS

TTIA issues circulars to Members on a regular basis with updated information regarding Awards, industrial relations, occupational health and safety and general articles of interest for Members in the timber and timber products industry. Please click on the link.

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31 Jan FAMILY & DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LEAVE

From 1 February 2023, employers with 15 or more employees will be required to provide their employees with 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave (FDVL) per year as part of the latest addition to the National Employment Standards (NES).

The new form of paid leave:
– is accessible by all employees including casuals who have been ‘rostered’ (eg have accepted an offer to work)
– is not a ‘pro-rata’ entitlement, that is, it is available in full for all employees (including casuals)
– is available ‘upfront’ meaning the leave does not accrue and is available in full (10 days of pay) from commencement, renewing on the employee’s anniversary date
– is payable at the rate that the employee would have earned had they worked instead of taking the leave (instead of being payable at base rates).

For further details refer to the email circulated to Members on 1 November 2022 entitled Fair Work Amendment (Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Act 2022.

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09 Dec PSYCHOSOCIAL HEALTH POLICY 

The TTIA has recently developed a psychosocial policy and risk assessment. It is recommended that these be included in your company health and safety documentation. If you would like a copy, please contact the TTIA office on (02) 9264 0011 or by email at ttia@ttia.asn.au. There is also a copy available for Members on the TTIA website under Member Resources. 

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08 Nov NSW Friends of Forestry Launch in State Parliament

TTIA today attended the AFPA-NSW launch of the Friends of Forestry at Parliament House, Sydney.  Timber NSW, as a key stakeholder in the native hardwood industry, were also present as well as a number of representatives from other industry related associations.  The launch gave key people in the NSW timber supply chain an opportunity to advocate for the native forest industry and its various products in NSW.

In attendance at the launch were government Ministers and politicians, as well as Shadow Ministers and Members of the Opposition.  The meeting took place at a crucial time, being  the second last sitting week of the NSW parliament before the March 2023 State election.

It also takes place at a time when there are calls for additional national park creation despite the very small percentage of the native forest in NSW set aside for timber harvesting.

TTIA emphasised to both government and opposition members at the launch, the critical need to retain our native forestry and hardwood products in supporting businesses and jobs in metropolitan and regional areas.

In particular, with the current shortage of building materials, we believe it is essential to deliver the message that the timber supply chain and its value play an absolutely critical role in our State’s infrastructure.

A special mention to Maree McCaskill of Timber NSW for being at the vanguard of this fight in the run up to what is a critical State election.  Maree has TTIA’s full support in a campaign vital to the future well-being of our industry.

In the meantime, I urge you to continue to lobby your local Member of parliament with the clear and unequivocal message that jobs and industry support needs be at the top of their agenda.

Brian Beecroft, CEO

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01 Nov Fair Work Amendment (Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Act 2022 (the amendment Act)

On Wednesday, 26 October 2022, the Australian Parliament passed the Fair Work Amendment (Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Act 2022 (the amendment Act).

The National Employment Standards will be amended to provide an entitlement for all employees, including casual employees, to 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave in each 12 month period.

For employers other than small business employers the paid family and domestic violence leave entitlements commence on 1 February 2023; for small business employers the paid family and domestic violence leave entitlements commence on 1 August 2023.

After the changes have been in place for 12 months an independent review of their operation will be conducted with a report tabled in Parliament.

Further details of this amendment has been provided to TTIA Members by circular today.

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12 Sep NATIONAL DAY OF MOURNING

The federal government have announced that Thursday 22 September will be a one-off public holiday as a national day of mourning to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

The following day, Friday 23 September, is a public holiday in Victoria only. The holiday gives Victorians the Friday off before the AFL Grand Final. Victorians will therefore have a four-day weekend.

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24 Aug NEW LEGISLATION – PAID FAMILY AND  DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LEAVE 

Members may be aware from recent widespread media reports that the federal government has introduced a bill to create a national entitlement to 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave (FDVL) into the National Employment Standards (NES). 

The proposed entitlement replaces the current NES entitlement of five days unpaid FDVL and is available where an employee needs time off work to do something to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence in circumstances where they cannot attend to matters outside of work hours. It is not uncommon for entitlements that were initially introduced by government on an unpaid leave basis to be converted to paid leave entitlements at a later date. 

TTIA Members will have received a comprehensive article on this issue in a recently emailed TTIA general circular.

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16 Aug GOVERNMENT RESTORES PANDEMIC LEAVE PAYMENT UNTIL SEPTEMBER 30

The government has reinstated the pandemic leave payment for workers

who have to isolate and are unable to work but do not have sick leave.

The leave payment had originally expired on 30 June, however due to an

escalating COVID wave, the decision has been made to extend the payment

to 30 September 2022.

Application for the payment can be made from Wednesday 20 July, and

eligibility will be backdated to 1 July.

There has been no suggestion of the extension of mandated mask wearing,

although social distancing and the wearing of masks indoors in crowded

areas is strongly encouraged.

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30 Jun UNFAIR DISMISSAL HIGH INCOME THRESHOLD

Commencing 1 July 2022 the new high income threshold for unfair dismissal claims will increase to $162,000.

This means that employees earning more than $162,000 per year will not be able to lodge an unfair dismissal claim with the Fair Work Commission unless covered by a modern award or enterprise agreement.  Employees earning less than $162,000 per year may lodge an unfair dismissal claim regardless of whether they are covered by a modern award or enterprise agreement

TTIA has an in-house legal unit which is able to assist with unfair dismissal or any aspect of the termination of employment process.

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15 Jun ANNUAL WAGE REVIEW – DECISION

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has announced an increase of 5.2% to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) from 1 July 2022. 

  1. The Panel of the FWC has awarded an increase of $40 to the NMW which amounts to an increase of 5.2%.  The NMW will rise from $772.60 to $812.60 per week or $21.38 per hour amounting to a 5.2% increase.

 The Panel observed that this level of increase will protect the real value of the wages of the lowest-paid workers.

     2.   Modern award minimum wage rates above $869.60 per week will receive a 4.6% adjustment, wage rates below $869.60 per week will be adjusted by $40 per week.

 In most modern awards the effect of the Panel’s decision will be that the 4.6% adjustment will cut in around the C10, level 5, or trade level, and the flat $40 increase will apply to the lower classifications.

 TTIA will send out updated summary sheets to Members in due course.

 Please Note:  Superannuation Guarantee will increase to 10.5% from 1 July 2022.

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17 May RECENT CHANGES TO THE TIMBER INDUSTRY AWARD 2020 IN MAY 2022

As part of the ‘plain language’ re-drafting aspect of the 4 yearly review of modern awards, the Fair Work Commission has recently made a number of changes to the Timber Industry Award 2020.  Whilst many of the changes are, as the name suggests, ‘plain language’ amendments, there are also other changes that members should be aware of.  We have made some comments about various changes – Members see emailed Member Alert dated 17 May 2022.
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