October 2020 HR Update

Published October 2020

Happy Birthday, Edwards HR!

This October, we are celebrating two whole years of working with the best clients in Australia! So from the bottom of our hearts – thank you! We couldn’t have done it without you.

We know that everyone loves a good birthday cupcake, so this month, we are asking our clients to kindly leave us a review on Google. In return, we’ll have half a dozen cupcakes delivered to your office – don’t worry, we will check the address with you first.

For those of you who have already left us a review in the past, give us a call or drop us an email – we have something special in mind for you too!




October has been an exciting month all ‘round with Edwards HR also welcoming Cindy Bennett to our team as a HR Business Partner.

Cindy joins us with a wealth of knowledge across all areas of generalist HR, with many years of experience in heavy industry including working with some of the best at Repsol, Metals X, PetroChina and BHP. She’s an avid motorbike rider and animal lover so we know you’ll have something to chat with her about over a coffee!

You can reach Cindy directly on 0497 497 342 or at cindy@edwardshr.com.au .




The ATO has confirmed that employers must adjust their payroll systems and processes by 16 November 2020 to accommodate the income tax cuts announced in the 2020-21 Budget.

This means ensuring your payroll system is calculating ‘take home’ pay on the new tax brackets.

While the simplicity or complexity of adjustments will be different between businesses and the systems they use, we encourage all businesses to speak with your Accountant and/or payroll provider to ensure necessary adjustments are actioned. The ATO is also working with payroll software providers as they update their software. You can read more on the ATO website here.




This year, increases to minimum award rates have been staggered throughout the year with the next group taking effect from the first full pay period commencing on or after 1 November 2020.

The Clerks – Private Sector Award and most heavy industry awards fall in to this group including those relating to asphalt, building & construction, black coal, cement, lime, quarrying, concrete, electrical, manufacturing, mining, mobile crane, oil refining, pest control, rail, road transport, stevedoring, and storage services (among many others).


If your employees are covered by an award, familiarise yourself with the new rates then ensure any necessary changes are passed on from the applicable pay period. Remember to check whether any allowances are impacted, where relevant.

Now is also a good time to check that each employee is correctly classified under the Award level or classification for the work they perform, especially if their job has changed over time.

Any changes to employment details or entitlements (including pay rates) should be confirmed in writing for each employee.

Other checks may also be necessary for employees paid an annual salary or flat rate, or if you have a registered enterprise agreement.


The Fair Work Commission is continuing to review and update modern awards throughout 2020. For most awards, the biggest change is to the layout and language, meaning they should be simpler to read and understand (we hope!) along with the inclusion of simpler pay rate tables. Rules and entitlements won’t change significantly in most cases but you should still take the time to understand any changes that affect your business and employees.

Effective 13 November 2020, the 10 modern awards listed below have been updated and both current and new versions can be found on the Fair Work Commission’s modern award list.

  • Broadcasting, Recorded Entertainment and Cinemas Award 2010
  • Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award 2010
  • Fitness Industry Award 2010
  • Funeral Industry Award 2010
  • Horticulture Award 2010
  • Live Performance Award 2010
  • Racing Clubs Events Award
  • Telecommunications Services Award
  • Timber Industry Award
  • Wine Industry Award



In addition to the ATO’s extension of JobKeeper to 28 March 2020 (with changes to eligibility and payments), the JobKeeper provisions of the Fair Work Act have also been extended with changes. This includes provisions for legacy employers who are no longer eligible to receive payments for employees.

The Fair Work Commission website has updated information on their website relating to:

Legacy employers – information on legacy employer eligibility and meeting the 10% decline in turnover test

Information for eligible financial service providers – guidance on how to apply the decline in turnover test for legacy employers, providing a decline in turnover certificate and a template certificate

JobKeeper enabling directions and agreements for legacy employers – information about how to use some of the extended JobKeeper provisions for legacy employers.

The JobKeeper scheme – overview page also has useful information about the JobKeeper scheme.



Working from home is becoming the new normal and we’re expecting this trend to continue well in to the future. It’s important that businesses establish clear guidelines and document the arrangement with each employee working from home, and our FREE toolkit (usually valued at $495) will do that and more!

You’ll have a complete Policy, Employee Agreement and Home Workspace Assessment Checklist. Just add your logo, insert your company name and viola – you’re good to go!

Download on our website and use code COVIDFREE on checkout (no credit card details are needed). https://www.edwardshr.com.au/shop

This FREE deal is available until 31 October 2020.



Edwards HR is the first choice in HR for heavy industry and professional services businesses, and we are here to help. Here’s how you can reach us:

Emma Edwards:

Phone: 0459 818 011

Email: emma@edwardshr.com.au

Cindy Bennett

Phone: 0497 497 342

Email: cindy@edwardshr.com.au

Feel free to share this update on to any other businesses who would benefit from the info.

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