Labour market ranking drop, incentives, more

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Labour market ranking drop, incentives, more

Australia continues to drop in labour market rankings | Coalition promises incentives for employing mature-aged workers | Reinstate incentives to employ apprentices: ACCI | NSW police will receive exemption from Super contributions cap

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Australia continues to drop in labour market rankings

Australia has slipped further down the rankings in a number of key labour market indicators in the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report 2013–14.

Australia’s labour market efficiency ranking has fallen to 54th in 2013–14, down from 13th in 2011–12.
 
Australia’s ranking has also fallen in the following indicators:
    • 135th for the flexibility of our wage determination, down from 123rd last year and from 110th in 2010–11
    • 128th for the burden of government regulation, down from 96th last year and from 60th in 2010–11
    • 113th for pay and productivity, down from 80th last year and 53rd in 2010–11
    • 109th for the total tax rate, down from 106th last year and 94th in 2010–11.
Source: Australian Industry Group (a Partner Institute of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Network and responsible for carrying out the Forum’s Executive Opinion Survey in Australia.).


Coalition promises incentives for employing mature-aged workers

The Coalition has announced, if elected, that it will introduce incentive payments to employers who employ an unemployed person who is aged over 50 for more than six months.

The mature-aged job seeker must have been receiving unemployment benefits for six months or more. As soon as the person has been with the employer for six months, the employer will be eligible to receive $250 a fortnight in incentive payments for 13 months, up to a maximum of $3250.
 


Reinstate incentives to employ apprentices: ACCI
 
The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has called on both Labor and the Coalition to urgently restore incentive payments to employers for hiring apprentices, in light of the alarming drop in apprenticeship numbers revealed in today’s official data.

Today’s apprenticeship data released by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) reveals that apprenticeship commencements have fallen by a third compared to the same period last year, with young Australians the hardest hit.

At a time when both sides of politics are talking of plans for jobs growth and combating youth unemployment, one of the fundamental building blocks of skilled employment and a strong labour market, the apprenticeship, has been severely compromised by government policy.

‘Unless urgent action is taken to restore incentive payments, employer confidence in apprenticeships will collapse in line with their capability to afford to hire. This equation will only get worse with some massive apprenticeship wage increases ordered by the Fair Work Commission coming into effect from next January.’

Youth participation rates have been falling steadily over the past five years, dropping to their lowest level for over a decade. At the same time, there have been huge drops in the numbers of young people starting an apprenticeship, with 10,000 fewer under 19s starting an apprenticeship in the first three months of 2013 than in the same period in 2012.
 


NSW police will receive exemption from Super contributions cap
 
The Labor party has promised that if re-elected it will exempt the compulsory payments paid by the NSW Government to fund the police death and disability insurance from the superannuation Concessional Contributions Cap.

In essence, the death and disability entitlements in the NSW police insurance scheme were altered in 2013 so that police officers who wished to salary sacrifice into superannuation were adversely affected. The NSW Government’s mandatory premium payments for the scheme are treated as superannuation contributions.
 
Under the Concessional Contributions Cap, taxpayers can contribute up to $25,000 to superannuation before tax. However, employer insurance premiums, member contributions and the 9.25 per cent Superannuation Guarantee employer contribution are all included under the cap and in many instances substantially reduce the amounts NSW police officers can salary sacrifice.

Federal Labor has promised that it will exempt from the superannuation concessional contributions cap, the compulsory employer contribution amounts paid by the NSW Government to fund the police insurance scheme from 1 July 2014. The President of the NSW Police Association, Scott Weber, said that he is seeking similar assurances from the Liberal Party.
 
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