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King Consulting HR &R publish various articles and video content about employee issues and human resources management, recruitment, and employment law under the Fair Work Act and how to avoid an unfair dismissal claim. Therefore, if you own, manage, or are thinking about starting a business in Australia this HRM Blog is a great place to start. Also, you can learn how to drive high performance and increase profits through your employees. Moreover, understand how to comply with employment law under the Fair Work Act and National Employment Standards. 

Complying with Fair Work Australia is complicated for business owners. 

Complying with Fair Work Australia requires an understanding of how to break down some of the complexity. Starting with the fundamentals of employment law under the Fair Work Act the video series will build up from the foundations 

Hi, I am Sonia King the founder of King Consulting Human Resources Management and Recruitment Consultants. My background started with studying psychology with a major in Motivational Psychology at Sydney University. After working for over 20 years in business leading large teams, and continuing studies in Human Resources Management, I founded King Consulting in 2010 to assist business owners to drive profits with their team.

I am a big fan of uncomplicating the complex by breaking it down into understandable chunks. This video series aims to do that for you about complying with employment law under Fair Work Australia.

We will start with some of the basic areas which are a cause of confusion and gradually build your knowledge. The next video will be about the National Employment Standards and what they mean for your employees in your business. We welcome your feedback in the comments below. Let us know if there is a topic you would like covered.

In the video series we will cover topics such as:

  • The National Employment Standards and what it means to you as an employer
  • 10 minimum entitlements and what you need to know as an employer
  • Some of the big news cases of breaches to employment law and what it means for your business
  • Why some businesses are getting it wrong and hitting the news
  • Modern Awards and how to find the right ones for your employees and your business
  • Understand all the terms of Modern Awards how they apply to your employees, so you don’t risk underpayments
  • Maximum weekly hours plus reasonable over time what it really means
  • The effect the hours a person works has on the hourly rate you pay
  • Free services you can tap into to obtain advice
  • Navigate to various areas of government and their roles in employment law

Other useful information in relation to complying with the Fair Work Act and National Employment Standards:

√  Navigating Employment Law in Australia Vlog

√  10 Ways to comply with FWA

  Employment Law Compliance Tool

In a Workplace, employee issues are a fact of life. However, here are some good procedures you can follow to address employee issues and minimize the impact on your business and your stress.

As a manager, you have an obligation to address employee issues as quickly as possible to nip them in the bud. The sooner you address employee issues, the sooner you can come to a resolution.

It can be challenging to address employee issues, initially. However, the effort you put into addressing employee issues early, could save you a lot of frustration and money in the future, since it will bring the employee issue to a head.

The quality of you and your employee’s workplace environment, depends on your ability to address employee issues swiftly and amicably. Workplace productivity depends on the harmony of relationships within the team, and with you as the manager.

If you do not address employee issues quickly, they can become very disruptive to the rest of the team and productivity will go down. Disharmony is a great threat to a healthy workplace.

To create a harmonious, productive, and rewarding workplace, it is crucial that you discover, reduce, then monitor the employee issues that may be present in your workplace. One bad apple can spoil the workplace for everyone, including you, so act fast to resolve any employee issues.

Employee Issues – Getting Started

It is crucial you identify what the employee issue is and how you can approach it. The response to this question relies upon the dynamics of your organization and possibly your management style. Yes, the business your organization undertakes is going to determine the kind of employee issues that may be present in your work environment.

Being aware of what employee issues you and your personnel (as well as clients and visitors) are experiencing will help you know how best to approach the matter. The following is a list of ways you can identify and resolve employee issues in your workplace.

Employee Issues in your Workplace – Documenting the Issues

Document what you have identified as an employee issue. Draft out what employee issue you have identified, either with pen and paper or type it into a word document, use your diary or calendar to make note of specific days and times, to be clear.

Leave the notes for a few hours or days, if possible, and come back and reflect on them. In time, your emotional response will have reduced, and you will be able to view the issue more objectively.

Review your notes on the employee issue now that, you are calmer and more objective, and rewrite them. Consider the issue or issues again, with a new perspective, and decide the best way to approach the employee.

Employee Issues – Research

If you have a well-versed knowledge of the best approach to dealing with employee issues appropriately, you will be able to identify the right strategy to handle the matter quickly and safely. It is ideal to research the best approach to employee issues, before commencing a discussion with the employee. That way you will have the full picture regarding the best approach to take with employee issues in your workplace.

Employee Issues in your Workplace – Awareness

It is important to make yourself aware of your rights and obligations to your employees under the Fair Work Act. The Fair Work Ombudsman provides online courses you can undertake to ensure you are aware of the law, and how to have difficult conversations and remain compliant with employment law.

Practice the conversation, record yourself and listen to how you sound. Preparation is the key to a successful discussion. Plan out the conversation and what you want to achieve by bringing to the employee their awareness about the issue. In planning out the steps of a difficult conversation, start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Why is this an issue?
  • What are the steps in the discussion?
  • When do you want to see a change?
  • Who can help?
  • Where to from here?
  • How can you help?

Employee Issues – Listen

Listen to what the employee has to say, remain calm and unemotional. Just hear what the employee has to say. Really try to understand the employee’s point of view and what might be behind the issue. Make suggestions rather than defend, explore more, and ask for more detail rather than just comment or compete to make yourself right. Challenge assumptions in a supportive way to build the other person’s self-esteem rather than to make yourself right or look good.

Employee Issues in your Workplace – Acknowledge

Demonstrate that you have heard what the employee has said, by repeating it back as you understood it. If the employee wants to correct anything to clarify what they meant or intended, listen, and acknowledge what they have said and what you have understood.

Be someone the employee can bounce ideas off, help them clarify their thoughts and ideas.

Make sure you are not distracted by the phone or other visitors to your office, by letting the team know you are in an important meeting, and do not wish to be disturbed. This will allow you to focus on the other person and remain engaged.

Employee Issues – Collaborate

Once you have come to an understanding of the employee issue and they have understood your concerns. Agree what needs to happen next and how you will achieve the desired outcome. Together you can figure out the right solution to address the present issue and how and by when.

Set a timeline for a review of the issue and the steps that have been agreed to resolve it. Let the employee know that you will be putting this in writing and will provide a copy to them.

Employee Issues – Action

As soon as you have agreed the next actions, put it in writing and send the employee a copy. Follow up on your action plan and the timelines you agreed on. Reflect on how the discussion went, what went well and what could be improved for next time. If you did find yourself getting defensive, acknowledge it.

Common Employee Issues to Look Out for in your Workplace

There are numerous types of workplace employee issues grouped under four major categories:

Attitude: This is the most frequently encountered workplace employee issue, which includes aggression, lies, bullying and harassment, disrespect, and undermining.

Behaviour: Any harmful behaviour, such as, gossiping, backstabbing, de-stabilising, stirring up trouble, swearing, hostility, disrupting others work, being rude to customers, managers, and fellow employees, ignoring workplace safety procedures and so on.

Lateness: Regularly arriving late for work, making it hard for co-workers having to cover another person’s work as well as their own, becoming unreliable.

Absence from work: Repeatedly not attending work due to sickness, also known as absenteeism.

Written by Sonia King the founder of King Consulting HR Consultant and Mediation Expert. We provide cost effective HR Consultant, Mediation and Recruitment experts for businesses with our subscriptions, and ad hoc projects on employee issues.

This article links well with Mediation and Troubleshooting

Include the steps in the above article in your HR Strategy

Read 10 Ways to comply with FWA to find useful links and tips

 

A message to employers and employees dealing with Covid and its knock on effects.

Here is a heartfelt message to both employers and employees dealing with Covid. It is my call for calm, perspective and balance while we get through this incredibly difficult time. Dealing with the Covid Pandemic and its knock on effects to our way of life, our economy and our ability to work and earn a living is difficult for all.

This situation requires us to work together to work out the best approach:

Please be considerate to each other and respectful, this is a very difficult time for us all. Employers and Employees alike, we do not know what the future will look like or how long we will struggle through this pandemic.

Employers and employees dealing with the situation caused by Covid means you may need some extra support:

If you would like assistance in dealing with Covid and its impact on your business please get in touch if you need support to stay compliant with the Fair Work Act. Your employees may be struggling with uncertainty as well may you be.
I am here to help if you need to figure out how you can retain your team. If you want advice on what actions you can legally take at the moment.

The struggle is very real, as we all experience our own version of Hell, on Earth, during the current Pandemic and its knock-on effects.

Every single one of us is struggling with something right now on top of the usual life challenges, mental/emotional turmoil, we have the very real Covid-19, pandemic and its knock-on effects to deal with creating a Hell, on Earth. The pain of being alone and isolated is just one of the many unpleasant experiences we might be having. People have all sorts of different issues going on right now. None of us are immune to some sort of anguish over the situation we find ourselves in. Some are finding it hard to be alone so much, while others are struggling to constantly be around the people they live with, be it their spouse, their child or children, parents or share house members. I am not writing this article to offer some magic, mystical cure, I really wish I had one, rather it is to share that all of us are experiencing difficulties now and no one is truly immune to the anguish. It is my hope that by reading this post, you gain some comfort in knowing you are not alone.

Sick of hearing about Covid-19?

Most of us are sick of hearing about Covid-19, but we must keep tuned-in to keep aware if there is anything we need to know, act on, or do, to protect ourselves and others. Every news medium, including our social networks and friends are all having something to say relating to Covid-19, including me, right now in this post. Because the Pandemic and its knock-on effects, are top of mind for everyone in some way or form today, we all have something we want to say, share, or offer. We must acknowledge that this event is going on, it is frightening, shocking, and impacting us all, around the world.

Loneliness is widespread

We are social creatures and no matter how much or how little socialising we like, we need to have some, and the choice to socialise or not, lest we go a bit crazy. Remember the film, the Shining? Jack Nicholson goes completely nuts do to the big empty space, no choice but to stay in and try to write a book. No interactions with anyone outside of the big hotel he and his wife and child were looking after. Not another interaction with any other living person or situation for a long winter. His mind went wandering and found some creative escapes with disastrous results. Many of us are experiencing something like Jack Nicholson did in the Shining, in some form, with too much time on our hands and too many worries, too much sadness, can drive us all a bit crazy. We are working from home, no one to talk to other than the odd distraction, no choice of hanging out at a café, restaurant, pub, or other venue and strike up a chat with a stranger. If we are still working outside the home, we must keep our distance. Social Distancing is just not mentally healthy for us, but essential right now to stay physically well and stop the spread of Covid-19. As humans, we have a need to touch, embrace, hold, smile, acknowledge another person, whatever form of interaction we can, just to stay sane, but now we must not.

Hell, on Earth, Fear is real

We are all lost, confused and uncertain about what the future holds both the near and far future. Plans have had to be changed, weddings, trips, holidays all have had to be changed, even funerals for lost loved ones. This is one of the saddest times for many as we have become much more global, people from all over the world live in other countries to their families. That means, many people cannot simply return to their families regardless of the circumstances. A colleague of mine recently lost her mother to Covid-19 in another country. She not only has to grieve the loss of her mum, also the knowledge that, her mum died alone, due to no one being able to visit with her. Even if we want and can afford to, we cannot go wherever we want, whenever we want, now. Here in Sydney, we have a bit more freedom now, but with the news of what is happening in Victoria, many of us are afraid to venture out again, in case we also experience a second wave.

Stress is high

Many have lost their jobs, their incomes, their livelihood’s, but still must pay the rent, the mortgage, buy food, pay for utilities and whatever else is needed to live. There is some great assistance for many from our Government here in Australia, but others have not been so fortunate. In other countries too there is no assistance during this time of stress and challenge. We have international visitors in Australia who have not been able to return home and many are stranded here with no jobs, no income, no help. It is very distressing.

Hell, on Earth, Anger and frustration are elevated

Some people are experiencing anger, frustration, and generally highly negative emotions on many levels and circumstances. Looking for someone to blame for this situation is normal but not very helpful. No one purely benefits from this Pandemic situation. In some way or form it is affecting everyone negatively. There are conspiracy theorists all over the place looking for some master mind who benefits, but even if there was, the situation will likely negatively impact them as well, in some way. Others are just downright cranky and rude to the shop attendants and anyone else they can snap at. It is another symptom of the fear and anxiety we are experiencing. Husbands and wives are snapping at each other, finding flaws they did not notice before. Parents are struggling to deal with their children and children are finding more flaws and irritations with their parents. All of which is in some part attributable to being afraid, frustrated, anxious, and uncertain.

Sadness and other uncomfortable emotions abound

For those of us who have strong empathy for others suffering, the sadness is overwhelming when we are aware of their suffering. It can often bring up past pain of our own. My colleague’s loss of her mum brought up some very strong sadness in me, for the loss of my dad, more than 30 years ago and yet still so easily brought to the surface again. That left me in a sad space and low morale all day and into the evening. This sort of uncomfortable emotion would likely be happening for many people. None of us are immune to uncomfortable feelings in times of great duress, which we are all experiencing now.

Resilience, Mental Toughness, Mindfulness and other tools and tonics to cope with, Hell, on Earth

We can try some techniques to help us cope, but that is what they are, tools to help us cope, not a cure or a remedy. This situation is beyond a simple technique to distract our thoughts and feelings to become happier. We are all going through different experiences and challenges. Many of us cannot relate to each other’s experiences now. Each of us are having our own unique to our own situations, health, wellness, finance, and experiences, so suggesting we can relate to each other is just not realistic. We can only allow each other to express and experience our feelings and emotions without judgement and platitudes. There is no normal right now, and here in Australia it seems normal, is a long-distant memory. We have endured too much in the last few years, from the disturbing news of slaughtering racehorses, drought, to horrendous bush fires, floods and now Covid-19. Yes, we really are experiencing hell, on earth, so let’s be gentle on ourselves, and each other, while we each get through this.

Other helpful resources:

√    A message for employers and employees dealing with the pandemic

√   Mediation and troubleshooting issues

√   Employee management resources

Covid19 Management Actions you can take right now, to deal with Covid19 and look after your business and employees here are seven (7) actions you can take:

Leave available – Management actions to take step one:

Look at each employee’s leave available to them including personal, annual, long service etc. and let them know what they have available. Even though each one has a pay slip that should have this information please take a moment to let them know. Many employees will not be keeping on top of their pay slip information, so do not assume they are.

Government stimulus package – Management actions to take step two:

Review the Government stimulus package and see if this will be enough for you to sustain and maintain your business with the existing employees. If the answer is no, let them know as soon as possible so they can start to access support to keep their household afloat. The good news is the new start allowance has been increased which will make life a bit less financially stressful.

Communicate with your employees – Management actions to take step three:

Talk to your employees about their willingness to assist your business to continue to employ them by reducing their wages and/or hours/working part time. Ask them if they have any helpful ideas, they would be willing to consider assisting in keeping them employed.

Support – Management actions to take step four:

Be kind and supportive of yourself and your team. This is an unprecedented event which we did not foresee unfolding. It is not business as usual in Australia or anywhere else now and probably will not be for some time to come. Help each other as much as possible and look for ways to offer support.

Tech alternatives – Management actions to take step five:

Look at your business as it is now and start taking action to ensure it can be sustained in the future. If there is a need for meetings, make them virtual. Use technology as much as possible to communicate without having to be physically in the same place. Tools you can use at low cost:

  • Facebook, Facetime
  • Zoom
  • Skype
  • Microsoft Teams

There are many more tools available and articles about them such as this one by Techradar comprehensive list of both free and purchased tools.

Bizarre behaviour – Management actions to take step six:

Be realistic with yourself and others, the situation we are faced with, is not one we have ever experienced in our lifetime before. We are all going to have different responses and reactions. Some are going to seem quite bizarre and uncharacteristic. For example, the hording we have seen and the lack of care for others. Some will be downright rude and hostile looking for who to blame, finding ugly images of wet markets, such as the one in Wuhan, where this virus is purported to have originated.

Take stock of this reality – Management actions to take step seven:

It is time for us all to be fully present to the reality we face. This is not a scary movie, it is reality. As we move into more drastic measures to reduce the number of infections, from social distancing to lock down we need to keep busy with productive things. Look for alternative ways to deliver your business. Talk to experts in their respective fields to help you, your team and your business through this period. Experts such as accountants, psychologists, counselors, your local member of parliament and of course, your human resources management team. If you do not have a human resources management team in house support is available.

We are offering a free consultation, depending on the complexity of the issue you can contact us with your top concerns and we will do our best to assist you free of charge and at least point you in the right direction to other resources you can use. You can contact us using the contact form on our website, through our Facebook page or via LinkedIn.

Other helpful resources you might find beneficial:

  10 Ways to stress less about your employees 

10 Ways to comply with the Fair Work Act

Do not dismiss

#Australia on Fire, donate, support, help, learn and change:

#Australia on fire, we love Australia and urge everyone to give generously, during the current crisis of drought and bush-fires from hell. As we have all seen and heard everywhere, we look our country is in a diabolical state with bush fires and drought. There has been a lot of hate, anger, resentment, finger pointing and hostility in the news, on social media and between the media outlets themselves. I for one have opted out of taking any notice of any of that BS. Instead, I have focused on all the wonderful stories of charitable giving, community support, people rallying together to support each other.

As the founder of King Consulting Human Resources Management and Recruitment Consultants I urge everyone to offer support wherever you can. We have donated to the Red Cross, RFS, Drought Appeal, and medical supplies to WIRES for the wounded wildlife. If you cannot donate money, offer your support in other ways.

Contacts for donations:

Red Cross

Rural Fire Service

The Salvation Army

Port Macquarie Animal Hospital

WIRES

If you do not have money to donate you can donate food and other items through GIVIT

There are other options for donating as well such as volunteering your time, your vehicle, your home and checking in to see if you have anything available that is needed. The Rescue Collective have lists of items needed.

Other ways you can support and encourage:

Be kind to each other, everyone is feeling discouraged and fearful in every community in some way, so just be kind. If you do not have funds to donate, you can donate, food, clothing, sheets, blankets, and medical supplies. Share stories on social media to support the actions of others who are providing support such as the ones listed above. Support is also being provided by our own Government as well as the Defence Force who are providing support such as in evacuations. All the volunteers providing support and aid on the ground.

Watch out for stories of acts of kindness and share those wherever you can. We need to lift each other up and keep up the efforts to get through this crisis. There are so many wonderful stories of people going to great lengths to support, donate and act.

Here are a few of the stories of kindness being reported by various media outlets around the world:

  1. Muslims donate 36000 bottles of water
  2. Celeste Barber, Pink, Ash Barty and non-celebrity, every day people have given generously
  3. Prime Minister Scott Morrison announces $2 billion bushfire recovery fund to support rebuilding efforts

Of course, there are always despicable idiots who will try to scam others so be careful to check the credentials of any one presenting to be collecting for a charity. Read the warning placed by Scam Watch.

#Australia on Fire with compassion and action:

We can act with compassion and stop looking for someone to blame. Focus on what you can do, what we each can do as grown up people capable of looking after ourselves and each other and the country and planet. Learn about what you can do to make a difference now and in the future in terms of water use, waste, and environmental impact. Wherever possible chose an environmentally friendly option. Change your plumbing so your wastewater goes on the garden, chose your electricity provider and appliances based on their green energy rating. Eat less meat and grow your own vegetables wherever possible.

Check out some of these great tips:

Top 10 things you can do about climate change

Ten simple ways you can act on climate change

How to act on climate change form the comfort of your own home

#Australia on Fire is a time for change

We can all learn and act rather than being afraid and blaming. In the words of someone I recently had a conversation with about the bush-fire and drought crisis in Australia, he said: “I didn’t cause it”, no but you can help prevent more of it. Learn about what we can each do differently, act on the knowledge that we can each make a difference. Stop whining about big business, government and things beyond your control. Take control of what you can and act on it.

Many in business find it difficult to comply with the Fair Work Act (FWA). The following are 10 easy ways to comply with FWA:

1. The first thing to comply with FWA is the National Employment Standards (NE. The 10 minimum entitlements of the National Employment Standards (NES) start with knowing what they are. These entitlements apply to casual, part time and permanent employees:

National Employment Standards NES is a core foundation to comply with FWA

The 10 minimum entitlements of the NES are:

Maximum weekly hours

Requests for flexible working arrangements

Parental leave and related entitlements

Annual leave

Personal/carer’s leave, compassionate leave and unpaid family and domestic violence leave

Community service leave

Long service leave

Public holidays

Notice of termination and redundancy pay

Fair Work Information Statement

2. 10 Ways to comply with FWA requires that this Fair Work Information Statement be given to all your employees and can be found on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s site and looks as follows:

Comply with FWA and provide The Fair Work Information Statement page 1

The Fair Work Information Statement Page 2

Who’s covered by the NES

All employees in the national workplace relations system are covered by the NES as a minimum regardless of the award, registered agreement or employment contract that applies.

Casual employees only get NES entitlements relating to:

unpaid carer’s leave

unpaid compassionate leave

unpaid family and domestic violence leave

community service leave

the Fair Work Information Statement.

In some states and territories long serving casuals are eligible for long service leave.

Where there is an expectation of ongoing work for a casual and the casual has been employed regularly and systematically for at least 12 months, they have extra entitlements under the NES.

These are:

  • the right to request for flexible working arrangements
  • access to parental leave

3. 10 Ways to Comply with FWA understand which Modern Awards are relevant to your industry and employees

Are specific to an industry for your business and the function your employee performs. Therefore, your business may have multiple Modern Awards depending on what type of employees you have and their roles in the business.

Comply with FWA and know your Modern Awards

What industry is your business in and what function does your employee do? For example: If your business is in the storage and wholesale Industry then your business Modern Award is the Storage Services and Wholesale Award.

However, if you employ a bookkeeper or administration person then they are under the clerks – Private Sector Award and so on for each of your employees depending on the work they perform.

Important points you need to look at to understand how to apply Modern Award to your employees:

Look at point 4. Coverage which explains the industry the award covers for employees based on your business industry. It will also notify you of other Modern Awards that cover employees in slightly different functions even though they work in a storage and wholesale business.

For example, using the Storage Services and Wholesale Award 2010 (MA0000084):

Comply with FWA Modern Awards Point 4. Coverage

To get even more clarity about which of your employees are under this award refer to classifications.

See image below which gives an example of the employees’ type of responsibilities, training and experience covered by this award:

Comply with FWA know your Modern Awards Classification by duties and skills

4. 10 Ways to Comply with FWA Minimum Wages

This is determined by the Modern Award of relevance and by the national minimum wage.

10 ways to comply with FWA Minimum Wages in Australia 2019

Continuing with the Storage Services and Wholesale Award example. You can see below how to determine the minimum wage applicable to your employees based on their level of skill and experience as well as responsibilities:

FWA Minimum Wage by Classification in Modern Awards

5. 10 Ways to Comply with FWA Average Maximum work week 38 hours plus reasonable additional overtime. Understand the effect of extra hours on a person’s wages is that it decreases the hourly rate earned.

“I work 42.5 hours per week, but my pay slip is only for 38 hours, how is that fair or even legal?” Quote taken from a whirlpool forum discussion.

I know how you feel, I used to be an employee and would have questioned that discrepancy too. How is it that we are only supposed to work a maximum of 38 hours per week on average according to the National Employment Standards? However, most of us work a minimum of 40 hours plus and do not get paid overtime.

The confusion lies in the fact that the average maximum working hours of 38, is based on the Fair Work Act and is about the minimum entitlements for employees. On the other hand, businesses generally do not operate on a 38-hour week. Typically, operating hours are 8:00 or 9:00 am start and 4:30 or 5:00 pm finish with no fixed lunch break times. Rather, people take lunch when they can and for not much longer than 30 minutes.

Remember, the 38 hours is an average plus reasonable additional over time. It is also important to bear in mind that this is based on the modern awards and minimum wages. If a person is paid minimum wage at an hourly rate, their wages must fully compensate them for all hours worked.

The fairness test:

However, there is a test of fairness and reasonableness, the more hours worked for the salary given, the less earned per hour. For example, if the salary received is 80,000 and the hours worked each week are an average of 50 then the hourly rate is just over $30. The minimum wage is $19.49, so we see that even at $30 per hour, it is still a lot more than the minimum wage.

On the other hand, if on the same salary the hours worked are 100 then the hourly rate is only $15.38. Consequently, if a person’s salary is not high enough to cover all the hours worked it could put them under the minimum wage. Therefore, it would not comply with FWA for minimum wage. Further, that minimises a person’s sleep, rest, social and other things that make life enjoyable. That is one of several factors considered for fairness and reasonableness. Other factors are the impact on a person’s health and well-being, family obligations, the business needs, industry standards, and so on.

On balance:

The Fair Work Act considers both the needs of employees and of the business. Consequently, as business owners and employers we need to keep in mind if the demands we place on employees for their salary in terms of work hours, stress levels etc. are fair and reasonable. As employees we need to consider if the salary, received is suitable for the demands of the job and our lifestyle expectations.

6. 10 Ways to comply with FWA Allowances, penalty rates, over time, shift allowances, uniform allowances, travel allowances, meal breaks (paid and unpaid) are important for compliance.

Depending on the industry you are in and the employees job function check the Modern Award to see if there are any special allowances you need to provide for your employees to comply with FWA.

1 of 10 ways to comply with FWA Penalty Rates and Allowances in Modern Awards

7. 10 Ways to comply with FWA Leave annual, personal/carers, long service, domestic violence, leave loading, parental leave. Various types of leave are to be provided for your employees to comply with FWA.

Modern Awards Leave Entitlements

As you will see from the screenshot below there are various types of leave entitlements available depending on the circumstances:

Leave types available 2019 to comply with FWA

As you will see in August 2018 there is leave now for Domestic Violence.

Because of regular changes, I highly recommend you register with the Fair Work Ombudsman to receive updates by email. See the screen shot below of the registration link available on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website:

Register for updates to comply with FWA

8. 10 Ways to comply with FWA Policy and Procedures you need to check which of these is relevant to your business and employees to insure your business is operating in line with the FWA and Australian Legislation:

Other Governing laws your business needs to comply with in Australia are important to have addressed with your employees. If you have good policy and procedures in place it will save your business from fines and potential losses in productivity and court cases.

List of Policy and Procedure Documents your business may need to have depending on what type of business you are in are below:

  • Equal Employment and Anti-Discrimination
  • Bullying and Harassment
  • Performance Management
  • Grievance
  • Leave
  • Expenses
  • Social Media
  • Internet, Email and Computer Use
  • Security and Privacy
  • Whistle blower
  • Code of Conduct (The way we behave around here)
  • Alcohol and other drugs
  • Smoking
  • Work Health and Safety (Occupational Health and Safety

9. 10 Ways to comply with FWA means having Performance management procedures for fairness and to avoid an unfair dismissal or adverse action:

There are specific procedures to manage performance in a fair and compliant manner. You can find a checklist and instructions on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s site:

10 ways to comply with FWA Managing Performance Check List

The Fair Work Ombudsman provides some excellent tools, tips and courses to help you learn about managing employees in Australia. You can do the courses anonymously or register and receive a certificate.

It is tough to run a business and be across all the important areas of legislation at least we can obtain free courses and guides to help. Click on the link here to go to the various managing employee courses available free of charge.

These courses only take a few minutes and could save your business thousands and improve productivity, so they are well worth your time.

10. 10 Ways to comply with FWA means Keeping accurate records, pay slips etc. This is an important aspect of employment law in Australia. Employers must keep time and wage records for 7 years to comply with FWA. If a Fair Work Inspector (FWI) asks for these records, you must provide them:

The records in relation to employees have specific requirements. In summary they are:

  • Weekly time and wage records
  • Employer and employee details
  • Leave
  • Superannuation
  • Ending employment and the reasons

For more detailed information you can go to the link provided above about keeping accurate records. Further, you can do the online course provided by the Fair Work Ombudsman which will teach you how to make, update and manage employment records for your business.

In conclusion, the above 10 Ways to comply with FWA will provide you with the basic information you need to know. It is essential for anyone employing or considering employing people to work for them in Australia to know these 10 Ways to comply with the FWA.

Putting it all together to make sure your employees are better off overall known as the BOOT Test. First, the NES entitlements must be adhered to with your employees. Make sure the average weekly hours and reasonable overtime plus the employees circumstances and wages meet the fair and reasonableness test.

Check the Modern Awards for your industry and the work an employee performs for the minimum wage entitlements based on their level of skill, experience and responsibility. Further, check for any other allowances to be provided.

Your business must keep accurate records, so invest in a quality accounting system. There are many low cost options available that have provisions for the Australian work place system. Accounting systems like Xero, SAASU, Quickbooks and MYOB are low cost and meet the Australian work place system including single touch payroll.

If you get these 10 things right for your employees, you will be able to relax knowing your business complies with employment law in Australia. Consequently, your employees will typically be more productive, and you and your business will be less likely to end up with fines and time costs incurred in a Fair Work matter.

For further information in short tutorials you can check out our Vlog on National Employment Standards and Navigate Industry Awards. If you would like support or advice about human resources management or hiring your next employee please get in touch.

If you would like to know if your business has all the right ducks in a row to comply with FWA you can contact me to receive a free analysis with suggestions for any areas of improvement.

 

 

 

In this Vlog we look at The National Employment Standards (NES) and what you need to know as an employer in Australia.

The National Employment Standards (NES) are the first item you need to look at for your employees’ minimum entitlements.

There are 10 minimum entitlements. These are the minimum safety net provisions for all employees across Australia. Regardless of whether a person is on a high or low income these minimum entitlements must be adhered to.

Hence, the reason why I say it is the first thing you need to cover when employing people in Australia. Go to https://www.fairwork.gov.au/employee-entitlements/national-employment-standards. The maximum weekly hours are an average of 38 hours per week plus reasonable additional overtime. This is the topic of much confusion. We will cover more of that topic in another series.

New leave entitlements recently included to the NES and other changes you need to be aware of:

There are leave allowances to be aware of some of which are more recent additions such as domestic violence leave. Some people are still confused about personal, sick and carers leave. It is a total of 10 working days which can be for illness, caring for an immediate family member or member of your household. If there is a need to take a day to attend to a personal matter is another leave day that can come from either personal/carers or annual leave.

Annual leave is 4 weeks or 20 days per 12 months which accumulates. It is important to be familiar with the Fair Work site and obtain updates such as on 21 august 2019, the Full Federal Court of Australia handed down a decision in Mondalez Australia Pty Ltd v AMWU [2019]; which dealt with the method of accruing and taking paid personal/carer’s leave.

Consequently, this leave must be calculated on working days, not hours. Many employers and payroll systems had been calculating leave in hours rather than days which is not the intention of the legislation in the Act.

Register yourself with the Fair Work Ombudsman for updates on any changes

As you can see by the changes in the NES Fair Work is not a set and forget exercise. It is evolving, legislative changes, court rulings and social awareness combine to create standards you must remain aware of in business. Therefore, I highly recommend you register with the Fair Work Ombudsman to receive updates. https://www.fairwork.gov.au/my-account/registerpage.aspx Enter your details and you will receive email updates to any changes as they occur or are announced.

Get in touch if you need support with your employees.

In this video we show you how to Navigate the complexity of employment law in Australia.  

As Consultants in Human Resources & Recruitment we have put together a video series for business owners on how to navigate employment law in Australia.

Hi, I am Sonia King the founder of King Consulting Human Resources Management and Recruitment Consultants. My background started with studying psychology at Sydney University. After working for over 20 years in business leading large teams, I founded King Consulting in 2010 to assist business owners to drive profits with their team.

The video’s are short and to the point and in this first one, we cover the what you need to know to navigate employment law in Australia.

I am a big fan of uncomplicating the complex by breaking it down into understandable chunks. This video series aims to do that for you about complying with employment law under Fair Work Australia.

Consequently, we will start with some of the basic areas which are a cause of confusion and gradually build your knowledge.

In the Vlog Navigating employment law in Australia, we will cover topics such as:

  • The National Employment Standards and what it means to you as an employer
  • 10 minimum entitlements and what you need to know as an employer
  • Some of the big news cases of breaches to employment law and what it means for your business
  • Why some businesses are getting it wrong and hitting the news
  • Modern Awards and how to find the right ones for your employees and your business
  • Understand all the terms of Modern Awards how they apply to your employees, so you don’t risk underpayments
  • Maximum weekly hours plus reasonable over time what it really means
  • The effect the hours a person works has on the hourly rate you pay
  • Free services you can tap into to obtain advice
  • Navigate to various areas of government and their roles in employment law

Navigating employment law in Australia Video tutorial

Continue watching for our Navigating employment law in Australia video series

The next video will be about the National Employment Standards and what they mean for your employees in your business. We welcome your feedback in the comments below. Let us know if there is a topic you would like covered. If you would like support with a human resources management issue please get in touch

Watch this 2-minute video to learn how to navigate the list of Industry Awards (Industrial Instruments) on the Fair Work Site.

This video provides a quick tutorial to navigate industry awards in Australia. We orientate you to the Fair Work Site and where to find the A-Z of Awards for your business industry. There are many awards for various industries. We will provide other tutorial navigating industry awards and other relevant employer related areas to assist you with compliance.

The Professional Employees Award covers many professionals such as scientific, medical, technical and accounting/audit. The employees may be covered in another award depending on what industry the work is being performed in.

The focus for this video is on the Professional Employees Award. However, other videos will navigate to other Industry Awards. Further, we started with the one most people have difficulty finding.

Navigate Industry Awards on the Fair Work website | Tutorial

Further videos will provide more information to help business owners to comply with employment law in Australia. Therefore, we welcome you to ask for a video on a related topic.

King Consulting HR&R provide your business with outsourced Employee Management, Employment Law Compliance and Recruitment Services. Consequently, we welcome you to please get in touch if you would like support with any of these business matters in your business.

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