The Workpac v Skene decision has caused widespread concerns in business circles, the principal controversy being the apparent ‘double dipping’ by employees who receive the benefit of the casual loading – said to be in lieu of leave entitlements, redundancy and notice of termination – and then also receive the value of permanent employee entitlements.
The Federal Government has stepped in to resolve various concerns, making regulations effective on 18 December 2018, to clarify that an employee’s casual loading payments may be offset against certain National Employment Standards entitlements owing to the employee.
Fresh proceedings have commenced with industry champions campaigning for change. The Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations and the CFMMEU have been granted leave to intervene in the proceedings.
Meanwhile, in what has emerged as a key development of 2018, employment matters are increasingly attracting the attention of class action lawyers and litigation funders. Class actions, a common feature of employment law in the United States, are now threatening to change the landscape for many employers in Australia.
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