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New Car Allowances From 1 Jan 2015

9 Jan 15

The Real Estate Industry is put on alert regarding new vehicle allowances for salespersons, property managers, sales associates and property management associates (including employees in strata) in accordance with the Real Estate Industry Award 2010.

The allowances apply in every State and Territory (with the probable exception of sole traders in Western Australia) with the only exception being for a salesperson on commission-only (providing they are legally on commission-only).

The Territories and some States have not previously had a vehicle allowance for all or some of the above employees.

The immediate problem to grapple with is the complexity of the vehicle allowances.

There are three types of allowances, namely:

Six different amounts for a lump sum per week, with each different amount calculated on the age of the car and the engine capacity and can range from $109.61 to $203.57 per week. If the employer chooses this allowance it must be by written agreement; or
Six different amounts for a standing charge per week + XX cents per kilometre, with each different amount calculated on the age of the car and the engine capacity and can range from $40.45 to $113.52 per week with the cents per kilometre ranging from $0.13/km to $0.19/km; or
$0.78/km

Part time and casual employees’ allowances have a formula as does a full time employee who only uses their car 1 or 2 days a week.

Under the Real Estate Industry Award 2010 those employers who require an employee to use their own car for work duties must figure out the car allowance and pay it – not to pay this allowance as from 1/1/15 means the employer can be prosecuted for breaching the award and receive a substantial penalty. Also an employee can back claim for up to the past 6 years for non-payment or underpayment.

How to treat the allowance in terms of being included in salaries or being a debit against a salesperson’s commission needs specialist advice, as does many other questions which arise from these new allowances. For example the top allowance is $10,585 per annum – a princely amount particularly if the employer did not have to pay it prior to 1/1/15.

Members of the Real Estate Employers’ Federation SA/NT have been guided through these new allowances as far back as 2010 when the 5-year transitional period began and finishes for car allowances on 31/12/.2014.

If you are not a member of Real Estate Employers’ Federation SA/NT then you can find out about membership at www.reefsant.org.au . We assist Members with all types of real estate specific industrial relations and human resources management issues.

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