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…
Deborah Peppard - HR Director
Communication is the exchange of understanding. What this really means is that what you’ve communicated to an employee has been received in the way that you intended, and that you’ve gotten a response back to let you know that that’s the case.
Anything less isn’t communication. It’s just making noises with your mouth. Those noises can cost you time and money so you want to make sure they are being understood.
There are three major mistakes managers make when communicating:
Deborah Peppard - HR Director
You’ve invested time and money into recruiting the best candidate for your business and you ticked all the boxes in terms of interviews, capability assessments, reference checks and you have a candidate that is an absolute standout. But how about a pre-employment medical? Can you require it as a pre-requisite to employment and what can you do with the results?
24 hours or 1,440 minutes or 86,400 seconds. It doesn’t matter who you are, we all have the same amount of time in a day. It’s how you use it that counts. When running or leading a business, it often feels like there are never enough precious, magical time to get everything done while also managing to have a personal life but there are ways to take back from time thieves. We all know the changes in our lives that “apps” have brought but how do you even find time to work out which ones are applicable to you? Well fear not fine reader, we’ve taken a look at a few and have 7 time saving apps that might help you streamline your work and give a bit of your day back to you….
Deborah Peppard - HR Director
Small businesses typically take a fairly informal approach to appointing new staff. Often it is done verbally and if there’s time, there may be a short written position description. Many don’t go the extra step in drawing up an employment contract. While there is no legal requirement for you to provide an employment contract, it should be high on your priority list if you want to protect your business. Here’s why:
HR Staff n’ Stuff has supported many clients who have needed to implement Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs). We always highlight the need to follow process to protect both your business and the employee. When used correctly, they can have incredibly positive outcomes but when used inappropriately, they can cost a business an absolute fortune!
A recent case proves how costly it can be if you get it wrong.....
Deborah Peppard - HR Director
Feel like you’re in a constant operational cycle, and never get the chance to be more strategic? Feel like you are always working IN rather than ON your business?
Here are 9 quick ways to help you get off the roundabout and stay focused on what you really want to achieve so you can continue to take your business forward.
Last week we looked at some tips on how you can make your recruitment process more successful but have you ever wondered how you can get to know a candidate more thoroughly outside of the information they share with you in a CV or the technical skills they display when you set a capability assessment? Face to face interviews will give you some insight but we all know candidates who have interviewed exceptionally well but in reality, they turn out to be completely wrong for your business.
Rest assured, there is a solution!
To those who haven’t done it, recruitment looks easy but the reality is that most small businesses get it wrong. OK, so that’s a bold statement and maybe a little harsh, but true nonetheless. As HR consultants working with a wide range of industries, we see the damage that poor recruiting can do to a business. Recruiting the wrong people ends up costing time and money – time and money that is limited and really needed elsewhere in the business. There are two main reasons that small business owners get recruitment ‘wrong’ - and we have 12 tips to help you get it right for your business!
The HR Staff n' Stuff team all contribute to our blogs. Enjoy the read!