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HR News February 27 2017

Fair Work Announced Penalty Rate Changes

If you operate in the hospitality, retail or fast food industries then you will know that this announcement has been made
For those of you in other businesses and industries what does this mean for you:
1. Watch and keep yourself up to date with how this is handled. We have already seen a number of unions, including the CFMEU (who do not cover affected employees) lobby for the penalty rate decision to be reversed
2. Changes in the Fair Work area are announced well in advance of them being implemented. These penalty rate changes do not come into effect until July.
3. Staff wages and fair payment are always under the spotlight of the media and Fair Work – it is one area of your business that you must get right.

Here are a few other articles and comments for your info

– AHRI on impact of penalty rate changes

How Much Time Is Meant By “Notice”

This week HC Magazine had an article about how much time gap needs to be in between announcing a restructure and then announcing redundancies.
This isn’t an easy time for a business or its people.
Many people have felt that damage to morale, culture and productivity is done when there is a long delay between announcing a restructure and then redundancies.
I have a colleague in a large organisation where a general restructure was announced – without the new org chart – and several months went by before redundancies and the new org chart were announced.
In that time period there was a lot of stress, tension and distraction among the teams.

The HC Magazine article asks if it is possible and legal to announce both on the same day.
The answer, sadly, is that it depends.
Notice periods are often set out in Modern Awards or the agreement covering the business. That is your guide on how much notice is required.
Make sure you check before you speak.

Trends Towards Contractors Not Employees

For me as a HR consultant, I often work with businesses as a contractor for a project or on an ongoing arrangement that allows my clients to access my expertise on a level that suits their business.

It seems that the trend of HR resources being contracted in rather than employed is a growing one as outlined in this article from AHRI

As with any contractor you need to be on the lookout for:
1. Clearly understanding what it is that you need done, otherwise how can you strike a contract?
2. Remember that a good set of skills and culture fit with your other staff is vital. You will not generate good HR outcomes if staff and managers lack trust and rapport with the person they are expected to go to with questions.
3. Performance should be reviewed on an ongoing basis to make sure that the contract scope continues to deliver what is needed.