The perils of employing casuals has hit the media again. Back in 2018, the Federal Court determined in WorkPac Pty Ltd v Skene that a casual employee may be able to claim annual leave and personal leave even though they were knowingly engaged as a casual employee and were paid the applicable loadings. Or in simple terms – double dip. Naturally enough, this set off alarm bells for employers with casual team members but a case that was decided this month has further ramifications.
Kristi Sinclair - HR Professional
Covid-19 has resulted in a huge work from home experiment that may result in changing the way many businesses operate when restrictions lift and we move to our new normal. As many business leaders have learned, the sky hasn’t fallen in with teams working off site but others have come to understand that some employees are better suited to working on site. With any new process, it’s worth looking at the learnings we can take from this experience and weigh up the pros and cons to help you decide how you direct your teams when the world opens up again.
HR Staff n’ Stuff are huge advocates of having clear and appropriate policies in place to protect both the employer as well as your employees. They establish standards of behaviour and allow for consistent and fair responses from employers if they are breached. If established correctly, communicated clearly to employee and consistently adhered to, they are a valuable asset when an employer needs to defend themselves in an unfair dismissal claim. However, use them inconsistently and it will cost you!
The JobKeeper Scheme is an extremely important piece of the survival puzzle for many businesses and, as with many decisions occurring during the pandemic, adjustments and updates have occurred along the way. There have been a few – mostly helpful – updates to the JobKeeper Scheme that have come into play as it goes live. To make it easier for you, we have a quick overview.
For the last six or so weeks we have seen considerable and fast-moving change as we all adapt to the transformations that Covid-19 has wrought upon the world. It’s stating the obvious but with so much still to learn about the virus, our lawmakers are constantly playing catch up as they try to adapt current laws and enact new ones that will allow businesses to survive and jobs to be maintained. With so much change, there are many questions that arise so let’s take a look at an area that is impacting many of our clients – when can an employer actually direct an employee to take leave?
Look at the news and we see leaders of all shapes and sizes talking about what we need to do and how we will operate in order to make it through the pandemic. It’s clear that there are some strong and worthy leaders out there whilst there are some just trump(et)ing noise. A crisis is THE time when you will see who truly shines as a leader in your business. Whether it’s you or members of your team, strong and positive leadership will help your business as we navigate everything COVID-19 is throwing out.
Your team is working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s the right thing to do as you are all connected into the business network and everyone has the tools and access they require to do their job. But this is making you extremely stressed, worrying about productivity and how remote working will impact the survival of your business when restrictions are lifted. You are not alone so let’s take a look at how you can make this situation more successful.
Happy Easter from the Australian Federal Treasury – the JobKeeper subsidy passed through Parliament last night and now we have some surety as to what you can do as an employer. To provide you some peace of mind before the Easter break, here is a quick overview as to what’s happening:
In these times of rapid change as we respond to Covid-19, there are a lot of employers operating like cowboys but eventually, they will be caught out by Fair Work and the lawyers that are going to have a field day in a post coronavirus world. Operating ethically and legally is just as important now as it ever was so just because someone else is doing something, it doesn’t mean you should. So let’s take a look at what’s happening and what you can and can’t do as employment law currently stands.
Yesterday Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the Federal Government will release $130 million with the single objective of keeping Australians in jobs to offset the impact of COVID-19. In short, it is a payment of $1500 per employee per fortnight (before tax) as a wage subsidy paid to employers. Employers who apply for the payments will have a legal obligation to ensure the full amount is passed on to eligible employees.
So, what does this mean to you and your business and how do you access this support?
This week, Scott Morrison made further announcements relating to the coronavirus and the changes we need to make to minimise the infection numbers across Australia. More businesses will be impacted as they will not be allowed to operate as normal from midnight 25 March 2020. The other key message to come from both Scott Morrison and the state Premiers is that Stage 2 requires those who can work from home, to do so effective immediately. Clearly not all industries can manage this but there are options for others who previously felt it was impossible.
Over the weekend there have been a number of significant developments as our State and Federal Governments react to the impact of the Covid-19 coronavirus. Following is a summary of information that you will need to be across as a business owner and employer that will help you navigate your options and support your team.
As an employer and business leader, we know this is a challenging time. Good leaders make plans for the future but the coronavirus (Covid-19) has come out of nowhere and the situation we all find ourselves in is unprecedented. There is already significant information about the virus – reporting exposure, symptoms, flattening the curve, self-isolation and hygiene considerations – so we aren’t going to rehash all of that information. Rather, we will provide some answers to a few frequently asked HR questions that many of you are facing.
Danielle Stone - HR Professional
With the ongoing challenges of managing a global health issue, it is important to look at what the facts are and how it may impact your business. Aside from the challenge of being able to source sufficient toilet paper, businesses face the prospect of managing employees who many be exposed to COVID-19 despite the strict border controls now in place. Compounding the issue is that this a first of its kind issue and the advice changes daily as the situation evolves and we learn more about the virus and its impact. As your HR Consultants, we advise you keep abreast of the changing advice and remain flexible as you manage the updates and the effect on your employees and your business. To help you, we have an overview that is current as of today.
Did you know that there are situations in which an employee can resign and it can be deemed a dismissal? Sounds like convoluted word play I know, but it can then allow that employee to lodge an unfair dismissal with Fair Work!
That’s right, an employee who resigns, in certain circumstances can lodge an unfair dismissal claim. Let’s take a deeper look at this….
Employees. Choose the right people and you are on the way to success.
Maybe it’s not that simple – there’s training, leadership, fostering a positive culture, motivating, communicating, professional development and all the other things your favourite HR Staff n’ Staff HR consultants can help you with - but getting the right personality with the right skill set and you are laying a solid foundation. If you are at the start of your business journey, or looking at the structure of your established workforce, there are different categories of employment that you can consider and what you choose will be dictated by the needs of your business. Let’s take a look at the types of employees you can consider….
Why would a HR Consulting company write about GPS? Sure, our team use it in their cars or on their phones to get to meetings in locations that are unfamiliar but that doesn’t warrant a blog article does it? Well sort of …..
Whilst some of us remember the joy of trying to fold a map, the introduction of GPS means there is a whole generation of travellers who have missed out on learning the finer art of map origami. At the touch of a screen, a guided map and a sultry voice pop up to guide us to our destination without a paper cut in sight
You can not pick up a newspaper or turn on the news without hearing about Wage Theft. From George Calombaris, Woolworths, Heston Blumenthal, Bunnings right through to the good old ABC, some very big names have been caught out underpaying employees less than their legal entitlements. But why is this happening and how can it be avoided?
It’s hard to miss the media reports saturated with news about novel coronavirus with significant focus on the number of infected and sadly, the accompanying death toll. The outbreak has now been declared a Public Health Emergency by the World Health Organisation and the Australian Government has stepped up border controls with restrictions placed on entry to those who are from, or have travelled through, mainland China (exceptions are made for Australian citizens). At this point, there is no need to panic, however as an employer, you have an obligation to maintain a safe workplace and the following information will assist you in supporting your employees as we await updates on how this health issue progresses.
We all take it for granted that we will go home at the end of a long work day. We might kick off the shoes and have a beer or get sweaty at the gym or hang out with the kids – regardless, we all make plans for what we will do after work finishes for the day. But the stats are there to show us that some workplaces are inherently more dangerous than others given the sheer nature of the work or sadly, through neglect or deliberate disregard by employers. There is significant legislation around workplace safety however the Victorian Government is ramping things up come July this year – so let’s take a look at what you need to know….
It’s frightening how quickly we are hurtling towards Christmas and clicking over to a brand new year and in fact, a whole new decade! It’s safe to say that 2019 has whizzed past us all very quickly. The saying goes that the past informs the future so let’s take a look at what has happened at HR Staff n’ Stuff over the year as it may help you determine some of the actions you want to take in 2020!
Have you ever been on the receiving end of a gaslighting experience? Prove it.
Easier said than done actually and that is why gaslighting is such an insidious and damaging behavior that has the capacity to do extraordinary damage within your workplace if you don’t deal with it quickly and effectively.
This week the HR Staff n’ Stuff team were lucky enough to attend an HR Employment Law Masterclass where we heard updates on areas that affect a wide range of our clients. One major area that was covered and has had significant changes of late is related to the Whistleblower laws. This is a complex and large piece of legislation that you hopefully won’t ever need to use but we have a summary of considerations businesses need to be across.
T’is the season to be jolly, or at least it nearly is and that means the annual Christmas parties are about to commence. Before you dust off the tinsel and the dancing shoes, you need to go through our checklist below so you can be sure you don’t end up with any after party surprises that could cause more pain than your regular hangover.
As HR Consultants, we are asked to advise on the how, when and what of giving an employee a warning....a lot. It may seem simple enough – you are the business leader, your employee is behaving poorly or not delivering so you bang out a letter and put them on notice. Right? Well yes, if you want to get hit with action by Fair Work, or completely disengage an employee. But if you want to do it the right way which will protect your business and show that you have been fair and followed process, and you are genuinely focused on trying to get the employee to do what is required, read on…
The HR Staff n' Stuff team all contribute to our blogs. Enjoy the read!