Protect online account administration reduces the paper workload for employers; free business support and training is available

Online administration

Online administration - Protect: Severance and Income Protection benefits

Protect keeps ahead of the pack by drawing on the best professional advice, and introducing new initiatives to benefit employers and their workers.

In recent years, we have reduced the paper workload for employers through the introduction of electronic banking and administration access. A secure website portal allows you to lodge your contribution returns online and make payments via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) – improving the accuracy of reporting and ensuring that funds are allocated promptly to your employees accounts.

Protect’s Employer Relations Officer is available to assist you in lodging your Contribution Returns online.

For more information or to book a free training consultation, complete our enquiry form or contact us.

Automated severance account arrears advice

Protect is legally obliged to ensure that all employers comply with their severance and insurance contribution requirements, and to advise your workers of instances of non-compliance. If your employer contributions are in arrears, this can jeopardise your workers’ severance and/or insurance entitlements, leaving you liable.

As such, we have in place an automated arrears process to inform you, and your affected employees, if your severance/insurance contributions and/or paperwork is not up to date.

Due dates for employer contributions
Employer contributions are due on the first day of the following month, and must be paid by the 14th day of that month (for example, the November contribution is due on 1 December and payable by 14 December).

On the 16th day of the month, our automated administration process may generate an email to any employer with outstanding Contribution Returns or missing paperwork, advising of the arrears and requesting immediate resolution.

On the 23rd day of the month, if severance contributions are still outstanding, an SMS may be sent to your affected Protect workers. The notification to employees asks them to log on to their Protect web account, check if any contributions are outstanding and, if so, contact their employer to resolve the matter.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to do if I employ a new worker or one of my workers leaves?
In most instances, a workers membership of Protect is portable between employers - it is simply a case of updating their file.

To add a new employee or remove an existing employee, log into your employer account. For assistance or to register for online access, complete our
enquiry form or contact us.

What do you mean by ’Calculator Day’?
The calculator day determines the number of weekly payment periods (either 4 or 5) due in each month. The default calculator date is Tuesday; please contact us if you wish to change this day to coincide with your payroll.

5 weekly payment periods were due in August 2011 as there were 5 Tuesdays in that month; the 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th of August (refer to the column headed ‘Wks’ on page five of your Contribution Return to see the calculation of payment periods, as determined by your current calculator day).

If a worker’s employment ends on a Wednesday, and my calculator day is a Tuesday, do I have to pay contributions for that week?
Yes. Because your employee worked part of the week, your whole contribution must be paid for that week.

Exception: Some Enterprise Bargaining Agreements (EBAs) permit employers to pro-rata payment of contributions on a daily basis - please check your individual agreement.

One of our employees has taken extended authorised leave without pay. Do we have to continue paying severance and/or income protection contributions to Protect?
This answer depends on your individual enterprise agreement. Generally, severance contributions are not payable when an employee is on voluntary unpaid leave for personal reasons.

However, Protect income protection (insurance) contributions
are payable for the first 28 days of unpaid leave.

Exception: Some agreements specify that severance contributions are payable for the entire period of authorised, unpaid leave. Please check your individual enterprise agreement.

One of our employees has an accepted workers’ compensation claim and is on extended leave. Do we have to continue severance and/or income protection contributions to Protect while s/he is on leave?
This depends on your individual enterprise agreement. However generally Protect contributions are payable when an employee is receiving workers’ compensation benefits or is on any other form of paid leave, such as long service leave.

Exception: Check your individual enterprise agreement.

What does ’On-site’ and ‘Off-site’ mean?
This depends on your individual enterprise agreement. Generally ’on-site‘ means that your employees are working in the construction industry and Protect severance and/or income protection contributions are therefore payable at a higher rate.

Note: The lower ‘off-site’ rate is the default rate applied to your Contribution Return. It is your responsibility to amend the rate applied in your Contribution Return and advise the correct site location for each month.

If you pay the ‘off- site’ rate and we become aware that the ‘on-site’ rate was applicable for that period, we will amend your Contribution Return/s and require immediate payment of outstanding contribution amounts. We may also apply penalty interest and institute a collection process.

How do I check my enterprise bargaining agreement?
If your enterprise agreement is registered with Fair Work Australia or the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, you can seek assistance and search your agreement (or any variations to the agreement) online at www.fwa.gov.au or you can contact Fair Work Australia on 1300 799 675.

If you require further assistance, contact your employer association or the relevant union that is a party to your enterprise agreement.