In the past year, many changes have been made to the function of payroll. This includes the introduction of finer details in the way we report information to the Australian Taxation Office via Single Touch Payroll, the introduction of Stapled Superannuation, and regular updates to Modern Awards.
Single Touch Payroll Phase 2
Single Touch Payroll Phase 2 reporting is now live as of 1 January 2022. The introduction of further reporting requirements for payroll allows government bodies to access payroll data for employees throughout the financial year, removing the need for payroll to be responsible for manual reporting such as to the Department of Social Services, Services Australia, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
To ensure you are ready, we have popped together a few points below to check your system is prepared for this reporting:
- Pay Categories are set up to report individual components of payroll in line with the disaggregation of gross earnings;
- Deduction Categories are set up to indicate what type of deduction this falls under in line with reporting requirements (with Child Support Deductions and Child Support Garnishees non-mandatory at present, these are indicated if this is to replace all manual reporting to Services Australia);
- All paid leave is mapped to indicate the correct type of leave;
- Employees on Working Holiday Visa’s have their home country listed within payroll;
- Invalid tax file numbers listed as “987-654-321” (indicating the employee quoted an invalid tax file number) are reviewed and updated accordingly to ensure they are not taxed at the highest tax rate.
As of the 1st of November 2021, if you have new employees that are eligible to choose a super fund and you are required to make super guarantee contributions, if they do not provide their superannuation details you will now need to request their stapled superannuation details from the ATO Online Services.
You must still initially offer employees a choice of super fund, and if they have chosen one you can pay contributions to their chosen fund. If your employee does not choose a super fund, you will need to follow this procedure to obtain their stapled super fund.
Before you request stapled superfund details for an employee you will need to check that the authorised representative has access to the Employee Commencement Form within the ATO online Services, so that payroll and/or onboarding staff can perform these requests. You must also have already established an employment relationship by either submitting a tax file number declaration or more commonly, a Single Touch Payroll pay event, which initiates the employment relationship with your employee.
To request stapled super fund details, the ATO has provided five steps to perform this:
- Log in to ATO online services;
- Navigate to the ‘Employee super account’ screen via the ‘Employees’ menu and select ‘Request’ to open the form;
- Enter your employee’s details;
- Read and click the declaration to sign it;
- Submit your request.
The ATO has not placed a limit on the number of requests employers can make, and if you have a large number of employees you need to check there is a bulk request form available.
To avoid penalties for late superannuation guarantee payments, you must pay contributions to a stapled super fund if you have requested the superfund information for your employees, and the ATO has provided these details.
Ensure Your Modern Awards Are Up To Date
In 2021 the Fair Work Commission announced a 2.5% increase to the national minimum award and all award wages. These wage increases were released in a phased approach with most awards increasing from the first full pay period on or after 1 July. The Retail Award followed in the first full pay period on or after 1 September 2021- and from the 1st of November 2021, minimum wages in 21 Modern Awards increased:
- Pilots Award
- Cabin Crew Award
- Airline Ground Staff Award
- Airport Award
- Alpine Resorts Award
- Amusement Award
- Dry Cleaning and Laundry Award
- Fitness Award
- Hair and Beauty Award
- Hospitality Award
- Live Performance Award
- Models Award
- Marine Tourism and Charter Vessels Award
- Nursery Award
- Racing Clubs Events Award
- Racing Ground Maintenance Award
- Registered Clubs Award
- Restaurant Award
- Sporting Organisations Award
- Traveling Shows Award
- Wine Award
For most employees, their minimum wage is determined by the award that covers the industry they are employed in, or by their occupation. This increase applies to anyone who is paid minimum award wages or the national minimum wage.
It is strongly recommended that your payroll system be checked, to ensure that any updates to awards have been applied, and your employees have been paid at the applicable rate.
About Employment Innovations
Employment Innovations is one of Australia’s leading providers of employment services designed to increase productivity and ensure compliance. Its services and solutions include all the tools that every Australian small to medium sized employer needs – including workplace advice, legal services, payroll solutions, migration, human resource management and HR software.
The information provided in these blog articles is general in nature and is not intended to substitute for professional advice. If you are unsure about how this information applies to your specific situation we recommend you contact Employment Innovations for advice.