The ACTU is providing its affiliates with a bargaining toolkit which includes proposed clauses for new enterprise agreements. The thrust of these clauses is to “claw back” amounts employees will either lose or be required to pay as a result of the proposed budget measures introduced by the Government.
The ACTU have made it clear the proposed clauses will not be pursued if the budgetary measures are not passed by Parliament.
If they are passed, employers can expect claims for clauses to cover:
Employers will be asked to pass on the 0.5% increases in superannuation contributions proposed by the previous Government until 2018. The current Government has frozen future increases until 2018.
It is proposed that the 0.5% increases be applied even if the employer is paying superannuation contributions above the legislative minimum, (currently at 9.5%). This means that an employer paying a 11% superannuation contribution (1.5% more than the minimum) will still be required to increase the amount by 0.5% each year for the length of any enterprise agreement.
Payments to replace the Low Income Superannuation Contribution
The Low Income Superannuation Contribution is a scheme in which the Government pays a contribution into the superannuation funds of employees earning less than $37,000 per year. The contribution is either a sum equal to 15% of the employer contributions or $500, which ever is lesser. The Government proposes to scrap the scheme.
The proposed clause will require employers to make extra superannuation contributions so that the employees maintain the level of contributions they have previously received.
Reimbursement of Medicare co-contribution when medical certificate required
The proposed clause will require the employer to pay the proposed $7 Medicare co-contribution where an employer requires an employee to provide a medical certificate as evidence when claiming paid personal leave.
Child care allowance
The Government proposes to freeze the current childcare rebate at a maximum of $7,500 per annum, rather than increasing it by CPI each year (as is currently the case). The proposed clause will include a child care allowance of $13.75 per week, per child for employees who place their children in childcare and when the cost of that childcare exceeds $7,500 per annum.
The proposed clause will, in response to the increase in the fuel excise, require employees to be paid a higher “per kilometer” allowance where they use their personal vehicle for business travel. The allowance will be set at $0.78 and will be indexed by reference to the “Percentage Change from Previous Period; Automotive Fuel; Australia” as published by the ABS and not by reference to rates provided by the ATO.