Final Pay is what an employer owes an employee upon employment ending.
It is an employer’s obligation to pay the employee any:
- Outstanding wages for hours that the employee has worked;
- Any penalty rates or allowances that the employee is entitled to in response to hours worked;
- Accumulated hours of leave, inclusive of annual leave loading;
- Accrued or pro rate long service leave;
- Payment in lieu of notice (if applicable to termination circumstance); and
- Redundancy pay (if applicable to termination circumstance).
Any employee who receives annual leaving loading during their time of employment also has it paid out when employment ends. This is paid out even when an award or registered agreement states that it is not.
If operating on a Modern Award, final pay is generally paid within a 7 day period of employment ending but may differ between industries. If an employee has a registered agreement, it should be consulted to determine the time frame in which the final pay must be paid.
Employment Separation Certificate
On occasion it is required that an Employment Separation Certificate be supplied by the employer to The Department of Human Services upon ending employment. This often relates to the need to determine an individual’s job seeker status to help the government pay the correct amounts of social security benefits from the appropriate dates. Find out more at Employment status verification – Services Australia
An employer must provide an employee with a written notice of the intended date of termination, as determined within the National Employment Standards (NES). The minimum notice period is determined within the NES or in accordance with the relevant award or registered agreement specific to that employee.
Below are the minimum notice periods in accordance with the NES, for continuous periods of employment:
- Less than 1 year = 1 week
- 1 – 3 years = 2 weeks
- 3 – 5 years = 3 weeks
- Over 5 years = 4 weeks
Special consideration is given to employees over the age of 45 who have worked a minimum of 2 years continuous employment with an employer, receiving an extra week of notice making it 3 weeks’ notice instead of the usual 2.
This notice starts from the day after the employer or employee has informed the other of the decision to end employment. The last day of notice is the official end of employment date.
If an industrial instrument (award or registered agreement) state a longer notice period, then the longer period is applicable.
No Notice Period
Although it is compulsory in accordance with the National Employment Standards for all employees to be terminated with notice. This is not applicable in the circumstance of causal, fixed term seasonal, or daily hire employees within some industries and occupations.
It is also not applicable in instances of Serious Misconduct, as circumstance may warrant payment in lieu of notice, with final pay given without the need for the employee to return to work. For more information see our Misconduct Info Guide.
It is critical that employers understand their obligations surrounding termination, as employees can make claims to Fair Work should they feel that they have been treated unfairly. This will see an investigation of ‘unfair dismissal’ into business practice, and may negatively impact business relations, reputation, result in penalties or reinstatement of the employee. Assurance HR specialise in the interpretation of awards and are well versed in creating registered employment agreements on behalf of our clients. Allow us to help reduce the timely efforts and stress associated with such tasks. Call us today on 1800 577 515 and speak with our team of professionals.