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....
It’s the middle of winter and for many the thought of a tropical island holiday is the only thing that keeps them getting out of bed on these chilly and bleak mornings. We know that all full-time employees receive four weeks annual leave per year with part time employees receiving the pro-rated equivalent. Now Virgin, Netflix and Melbourne-based Inventium have all upped the ante and now offer unlimited annual leave – should you?
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?
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….
Dina Fergadiotis - HR Advisor
The hot weather is just around the corner and of course that can mean excessively hot work environments for some employees, especially those working onsite, in factories and in warehouses. Excessive heat has potential to cause a significant safety hazard in work places that can lead to symptoms such skin irritations, dizziness, dehydration, excessive sweating, heat stroke or, in the extreme, death.
So how do you protect your employees while balancing the needs of your business?
Danielle Stone - HR Advisor
Flexible working arrangements have become the new normal in workplaces in recent years. Until recently, it was mostly working parents that requested greater flexibility in the workplace but over time it has become far more common for a diverse range of employees to request a transition to flexible working arrangements for a variety of reasons.
So as a business leader, should you consider these requests?
Yes! In a perfect world, all businesses would be able to offer their employees such flexibility as there are significant benefits to you as an employer, as well as to your employees, but in reality, there are many things to consider.
Amie Graham - HR Advisor
For some, the freedom of choosing what they wear to work each day is a joy – for others, it is just another chore that needs sorting in the morning! For the one quarter of workplaces in Australia that have a uniform for their employees, this leaves a considerable number of us choosing what we wear to work. So how do these daily choices impact your businesses and what ability to you have to exert any control over how your employees present themselves?
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!