Deborah Peppard - HR Director
A few of our clients are small businesses with around twelve staff - for one of them, what should have been a simple situation regarding annual leave became a frustrating series of poor behaviour that culminated in a tough decision being made once they received the advice from HR Staff n' Stuff as their in house HR consultants.
The story commences with the appointment of a new senior person in their business. The new employee informed the business owner that they had a pre-planned holiday booked for two weeks within the first few months of starting. Although the new employee wasn’t entitled to leave, the business owner agreed to honour this time off - it was a reasonable request and can quiet often crop up when new team members commence. But some will always try to push the envelope....
July 1, 2019 marks the start of a new financial year and with it comes changes to minimum wages as set out in the Modern Awards as determined by the Fair Work Commission. Since 2017, there have also been changes to penalty rates that have significant implications for employers so let’s take a look at them.
Sham Contracting – is it really a big issue? The Federal Government recently announced that the Fair Work Ombudsman will receive $2.3 million each year for the next four years to establish a unit dedicated to addressing the problem so yes, it is considered a major problem. But what is sham contracting and how do you make sure your business isn’t involved in it?
One fine Tuesday morning, George doesn’t show up for work. There’s no phone call, email or text message to advise he won’t be in so by 10:30 am, you try contacting him. There’s no answer so you leave a message. You also try calling his next of kin as advised on his HR file but they don’t respond either. Further attempts are made over the course of the next three days to contact George but you still don’t know where he is or if he is coming back. You have a business to run and you need people to either show up for their rostered hours or advise that they need to utilise some of their personal leave. So what can you do?
An employee has just approached you with a request to ‘cash out’ a portion of their annual leave. Roger doesn’t want to take the time off – he just wants the cold, hard cash in this instance. He’s got seven weeks up his sleeve and he’s requested to cash in one week of his accrued annual leave. Do you want to agree to this request and are you obligated to sign off on Roger’s request?
A case involving a fast food giant, a specific shift start time, a required arrival time, a sneaky cigarette, a ladder, a broken leg and an overturned WorkCover claim all came together recently in a Queensland court with a decision that may have far reaching implications for businesses throughout Australia. How is this even possible you wonder….
Melbourne is notorious for delighting the population with all four seasons within the space of a few hours, so we know to take a sunhat and a raincoat whenever we leave the house. But as summer slowly comes to an end and autumn starts showing herself, much of Australia’s outdoor based workforce will experience the same erratic weather patterns. So it’s timely to have a look at the laws about working in storms and heat…..
Deborah Peppard - HR Director
It can be challenging for most businesses to navigate the myriad of rules and regulations that they must comply with, and this gets even trickier when trying to make sense of the various employer obligations regarding people: discrimination laws, privacy laws, Fair Work legislation and more. Over time the facts can be distorted until there is a particular belief about what employers can and can’t do, should and shouldn’t do etc. Deb Peppard attempts to’ bust four common HR myths’ to help you get a handle on the facts!
For many of us, it is difficult to comprehend that Domestic and Family Violence is a prevalent societal problem in Australia. Sadly though, it is a major issue that does not discriminate based on gender, financial status, education level, cultural identity or age. In response to this issue, one area of support that is now enshrined within our Modern Awards is a provision for leave to support those who need it most.
The HR Staff n' Stuff team all contribute to our blogs. Enjoy the read!