IR Q&A issue 4
Q: I provide a work truck for my carpenter so I don't have to pay the travel allowance. Is he still entitled to receive the travel allowance under the Award?
A: In short, the answer is yes. Clause 25.8 of the Building and Construction General On-Site Award 2010 provides that the travel allowance is payable on any day for which the employer provides a vehicle free of charge to the employee, and the employee is required to drive this vehicle to and from their home to work.
There can be instances where an employee might not be entitled to this allowance, such as:
- Where the employer provides or offers to provide transport or covers the cost of reasonable public transport;
- Where there is a written agreement, such as an IFA or an Enterprise Agreement, which removes this entitlement but the employee has been adequately compensated through a higher hourly rate of pay.
Q: How is the industry specific redundancy scheme under the Building and Construction Award different to a normal redundancy?
A: Clause 17 of the Building and Construction General On-Site Award 2010 provides for an industry specific redundancy scheme where a redundancy payment is to be made when an employee resigns or is dismissed. There are circumstances in which this payment is not required to be made - being where dismissal occurs as a result of serious misconduct or refusal of duty.
There is no exemption for small businesses.
The redundancy pay is calculated on the continuous service of an employee (noting that it is not available for casual employees and there are special rules for apprentices):
Employers may make contributions to a redundancy pay scheme to offset the redundancy pay entitlement. This scheme is required to be an Approved Worker Entitlement Fund under the Fringe Benefits Tax Regulations 1992 (Cth).
This differs from 'redundancy' where generally a position is no longer required to be undertaken by a person. There are specific rules around what is deemed to be a 'genuine redundancy' and where it is found that the redundancy was not genuine, an employee may be able to make a claim for unfair dismissal.
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