KNOWLEDGE CENTRE

Real Estate Awards

Major changes to the Real Estate Industry Award are imminent!

There are some significant changes coming to the Real Estate Industry Award (‘the Award’) commencing on 2 April 2018.

If you are an employer in the Real Estate sector, it is crucial that you are up to speed with the latest changes so that you can put systems and procedures in place to ensure you meet all the required minimum standards.

Fair Work has been ruthless when imposing fines on businesses who aren’t complying with Minimum Standards or Awards. Just last month, Fair Work issued a $200,000.00 fine against a small business for deliberately underpaying employees, stating that ignorance is no excuse and simply won’t wash anymore.

To make sure your business is ready for the changes ahead, Enterprise Legal has summarised some of the major changes below.

Classifying your Employees

You can no longer rely on your employees’ job titles when classifying them under the Award. Instead, you need to turn your mind to each employee’s skills, actual duties and responsibilities.

This could be problematic for employees that wear many different hats, but it is always better to err on the side of caution when unsure by seeking expert legal advice.

Commission-Only Arrangements

Employers need to take great care when engaging new commission-only employees as there are strict criteria that must be met before an employee can be engaged on this basis. Notably, the employee must satisfy the new Minimum Income Threshold Amount (MITA) from $52,733 as at 2 April 2018.

Employers also have an obligation to assess existing commission-only employees at the end of every 12-month period. If upon review an employee received less than the MITA over the previous 12 months, that employee cannot be employed on a commission-only basis moving forward.

Minimum Commission-Only Rates

The minimum commission-only rate is now 31.5% of the employer’s gross commission (excluding GST and conjunction commission).

Minimum Wage and Allowances Increase

The weekly minimum wage rate has increased as follows:

  • Level 1 (Associate) (First 12 months of employment) at $728.20
  • Level 1 (Associate) (After 12 months of employment) at $768.60
  • Level 2 (Representative) at $809.10
  • Level 3 (Supervisory Level) at $890.00
  • Level 4 (In-Charge) at $930.50

Changes to allowances will see employers pay for things such as motor scooter use and/or use of a personal mobile phone for business purposes.

Employers also need to be aware of the significant extension to post-employment commission entitlements.

How can we help?

Now is the perfect time to review your current employment contracts to ensure it will continue to comply considering the radical changes to the Award. Things to consider in such a review are employee classification (with reference to each employee’s actual duties, tasks, skills and responsibilities), current pay vs. minimum wages and post-employment commission obligations.

Enterprise Legal is offering the following fixed fee services exclusively to Real Estate businesses of Toowoomba and the Darling Downs to assist in light of the radical changes:

  • For a fixed fee of $660.00 (per agreement) we will review and amend current employment agreements to ensure it is consistent with the Award changes, including facilitating rolling it out
  • For a fixed fee of $1,650.00 we will perform a ‘Business Health Check‘ where we investigate your compliance with the Award and other laws, including minimum standards and provide a compliance report with recommendations where appropriate.

For more info contact the team at Enterprise Legal today on (07) 4646 2621.