Broadspring Consulting

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Insights To HR News August 7 2017

Employee Exits are in the news – again or is it still?

From a HR and leadership perspective the news and cases are all about what to do – or not do – when an employee exits the organisation.
There is equal mileage to be gained from addressing tips for employees when they leave an organisation.
Fair Work cases can go “either way” when it comes to unfair dismissal claims and typically focus on these key issues
1. Was the decision to terminate employment fair in terms of the action or incident that occurred?
2. Was proper process followed
3. Was the decision to terminate employment based on facts and evidence

When an employee resigns similar thought processes ought to occur. Too many people leave a job with no clear idea of where to go next and often end up in a similar problem situation elsewhere (referred to as jumping out of the fry pan and into the fire)
If employees are considering resigning they should consider:
1. Is the resignation coming from emotion or a considered decision?
2. Is the resignation delivered in a reasonable way (it is a very small world and reputations can be destroyed in a heated resignation)
3. Will the change in employment fit within the overall career/resume plan?

The point this week is that regardless of which side of the equation you are on – employee or employer – ending the employment relationship is not a decision to be made lightly,

Career Progress – who is responsible?

Several conversations and articles have appeared recently comparing competency models and structures for employee career progression.
That is on top of the age old question of who pays?
Many employers are reluctant to pay for tuition or reimburse fees (especially for university and TAFE courses which run into the $000s because there is no guarantee of return on that investment.
One small business client paid $50000 for an employee to gain a qualification and the employee resigned months after completion.
The employer was fairly miffed to say the least. The question is whether the employer received any additional benefits while the study was being completed? And then whether that benefit was worth what was paid.
On the other hand, if no support had been given the employee may have resigned three years earlier than they did.
A course or qualification is not career progression on it’s own, but is one fo the most common questions.
In the Broadspring view, career is the responsibility of the individual and work related skill development should be a focus of the employer.
Yes, both parties have a role to play and benefit to be gained.
Small employers find this very challenging and may not be able to offer promotion but can often offer good skill broadening opportunity.
The best outcome is when both parties work together to deliver mutual benefit.

Taking Sick Leave

Provisions for sick and personal leave are enshrined in the National Employment Standards. We know that.
Sick leave can often be misused by people who see it as an entitlement much like annual leave. We know that.
Sick leave can indicate that there is more wrong with an individual than their health.
Trends in how sick leave is being taken can indicate a range of factors that employers (and employees) should be concerned about.
Policies can request the provision of a sick certificate on “reasonable” grounds. These are usually
– sick day the work day before or after a public holiday
– leave taken in what seems to be a pattern (ie every second Friday)
Some employees get agitated when asked to provide a sick certificate however it can be in their best interests.
Taking sick leave in one day stints can:
– not allow enough time off to fully recover from the illness or injury. Going to a Doctor can result in more than one day off if that is what is needed
– erode the sick leave balance to a low level that is then insufficient to provide paid leave for a significant illness or injury (such as glandular fever or a broken leg)

Regular patterns in the taking of sick leave can indicate a lack of morale or engagement at work.
This should be looked into as the causes of low morale may be readily addressed.
Excessive sick and annual leave balances can indicate that an employee is reluctant to take leave even if they need it. Are they fearful of something or someone at work? Is there something that they are trying to make sure does or does not happen by always being at work?
Whatever the situation, sick leave is something we all should keep an eye on.