Release type: Media Release


Certainty for small business


The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP
Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations
Minister for Women

The Coalition Government is determined to ensure that Australia’s 3.3 million small and family businesses continue to be the job creators of the Australian economy.

The Government intends to recommend to the Governor-General that he make a Fair Work Regulation to provide greater clarity of an employer’s legal rights with respect to offsetting payments of casual loading amounts against National Employment Standards (NES) entitlements.

Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, said the new Fair Work Regulation would provide greater clarity of existing general law rights to offset payments when claims are made to pay for the same entitlements twice.

"Small businesses have told us that they are concerned that a recent Federal Court case may give rise to claims to pay additional amounts for leave entitlements when they have already paid a casual loading in lieu of those leave entitlements,” Minister O’Dwyer said.

"Every employer must comply with their legal obligations. But being forced to pay for entitlements twice is unfair and potentially crippling for many small businesses. It is critical that small and medium sized businesses have the confidence to invest in their business and employ people.”

A new regulation will provide that, where an employer has paid an identifiable casual loading to an employee engaged as a casual, it may potentially be offset against any subsequent claim for NES entitlements. It will, of course, still remain a matter for a court to decide to apply an offset in any particular circumstances.

"This is an important issue to maintain confidence in employment, for both employers and employees,” Minister O’Dwyer said.

"That is why I have also recently intervened in the WorkPac v Rossato matter before the Federal Court of Australia. My intervention and the making of this regulation are complementary measures, both seeking to provide certainty around existing general law rights and to prevent employers having to pay employees their benefits twice.”

"The Coalition is determined to put in place the right economic settings so Australia’s small and family businesses can grow and continue to create jobs,” Minister O’Dwyer concluded.