Weekly Bulletin


Number 03       28 January 2024


Good news - the Albanese government's new tax plan will provide cost-of-living relief for Australian workers and their families. Calculate your Cost Of Living Bonus Under the changes, all Australian workers will receive a cost-of-living bonus.
For example, a worker on average annual earnings of $72,753 will get a $1,428 tax cut. That's an extra $28 in their pocket each week. Under the new changes, all workers will benefit, and will pay less tax than they do now.
Use our calculator to work out how much your cost-of-living bonus will be - all you need to know is how much you earn per year
This is a huge difference from Morrison's tax plan, which - not only was going to give the biggest benefits to the top 10% of earners - left out entirely those workers doing it the toughest and delivered crumbs for the average working family: giving nothing to people earning under $45,000 a year.
A minimum wage worker will get an extra $15 per week - under Morrison's plan, this was going to be just 44 cents, a pittance in the cost-of-living crisis.
The cost-of-living bonus is due to kick in from 1 July 2024, once passed parliament.


We often get questions about long service leave. The Commonwealth LSL Legislation provides for 3 months LSL after 10 years. This covers Telstra Aus Post, NBN etc. If you are covered by state laws in NSW and Vic, it is only 2 months.
The complications arise as LSL is measured in calendar days, including weekends. Three months is 91 calendar days. So 7 days of LSL is one week. It is even more complex for shiftworkers who work longer shifts, and therefore less days.
There are some obvious fixes eg convert it to working days, but legal technicalities might arise. We cannot give you any simple rules.


Casualties of a broken system: Less than 5% of casual workers who want permanent jobs can secure one
An estimated 554,000 long term casual workers would prefer to be permanent according to a new ACTU analysis of ABS data.
Despite this strong demand, less than 5% of those casuals have been able to convert to permanent work under the current law. The law reflects the Morrison Government's flawed changes to casual work in the Fair Work Act in 2021.
The remaining parts of the Closing Loopholes Bill which will be debated again by Parliament in early February seek to fix this by introducing a commonsense definition of casual employment, and a fairer way for an eligible worker to choose to become permanent or remain a casual.
The new ABS survey finds that 70% of casuals have been with their employer for more than 12 months. 29% of these long-term causals want to change to permanent work and list job security (61.2%) and paid leave entitlements (20.2%) as their top reasons for wanting to do so.
The ACTU research also finds that despite entitlements to extra loading, casuals employees earn $11.90 less than their permanently employed counterparts. $31 an hour compared to $42.90 per hour - the highest pay gap ever in both dollar and percentage terms. There are also now 2.73 million casual workers in Australia - the highest number ever.
The research also shows that the cost-of-living crisis is hurting workers in casual and other forms of insecure work the hardest. 53% of insecure workers now report being financially worse off than they were 12 months ago, a 20% increase since 2021, and higher than any other group of workers.
The ACTU is calling on the Parliament to urgently pass the Closing Loopholes Bill No.2 which is due to be debated in February 2024.
ACTU President Michele O'Neil: "Too many casuals are casuals in name only. Most casuals work regular hours, week in week out, and have been in their job for more than a year. The Morrison Coalition Government made this erosion of job security completely lawful.


We acknowledge the FWC web page as our source for this.
These changes won't start before1 January 2025.
From 1 Jan 2025. intentional underpayment of wages by employers will become a criminal offence.
Employers will commit an offence if:
- they're required to pay an amount to an employee (such as wages), or on behalf of or for the benefit of an employee (such as superannuation) under the Fair Work Act, or an industrial instrument
- they intentionally engage in conduct that results in their failure to pay those amounts to or for the employee on or before the day they're due to be paid.
Exceptions These provisions don't apply to certain employees for:
- superannuation contributions
- payment for taking long service leave payments
- payment for taking leave connected with being the victim of a crime
- payment for taking jury duty leave or for emergency services duties.
These laws also don't apply to employers who:
- unintentionally underpay their employees, or
- pay incorrect amounts by mistake.
Penalties For a company The following penalties will apply:
- if the court can determine the underpayment, the greater of 3 times the amount of the underpayment and $7.825 million, or
- if the court can't determine the underpayment, $7.825 million.
For an individual The following penalties will apply:
- maximum of 10 years in prison
- if the court can determine the underpayment, the greater of 3 times the amount of the underpayment and $1.565 million, or
- if the court can't determine the underpayment, $1.565 million.
The Fair Work Ombudsman will be responsible for investigating suspected underpayment offences.

  • 0428 942 878 dan.dwyer@cwunion.net Dan Dwyer
          Secretary/Lawyer - industrial matters & advice
  • NSW Home Page
  • 03 9663 6815 cdtsvic@cwu.asn.au Administrative
          eg payments, applications (Open 8am-4pm MTWT)
  • Vic Home Page
  • Authorised by Dan Dwyer Secretary - CWU Telecommunications & Services Branches.

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