Paid family and domestic violence leave arrives

Paid family and domestic violence leave arrives

Yesterday, the Fair Work Commission announced its decision to create an entitlement to 10 days of paid family and domestic violence for full-time employees (pro rata for part-time employees).

This is not unexpected as that level of entitlement has been in place in New Zealand for a number of years now and that has been used as a benchmark here in Australia.

The way is now clear for that entitlement to be included in modern awards. Also, don’t be surprised if this becomes a National Employment Standard as, whoever is elected on this coming weekend, they really can’t have a situation where award-free employees have no entitlement to paid family and domestic violence leave when award-covered workers do.

There is no differentiation for large versus small employers – all full-time and part-time employees will have access to the leave entitlement regardless of how many employees their employer has.

Additionally, there is allowance for the grant of family and domestic violence leave in advance of the employee actually accruing the entitlement.

Casual employees have been excluded from access to this paid leave entitlement but will still be able to assess 5 days of unpaid leave to deal with family and domestic violence in accordance with National Employment Standards.

One peculiarity of this decision is the way in which the leave accrues and is capped.

It accrues in the same way as personal/carer’s leave ie progressively throughout the year and ongoing but it is capped to a maximum of 10 days at any time.

For example, I might have an employee who takes 5 days of paid family and domestic violence leave in their first year and then none in their next year – this would mean that their entitlement would reach 10 days after 18 months service and stay at that level until such time as they used more paid family and domestic violence leave.

This is a hybrid arrangement that sits between leave that accrues progressively without cap (eg annual leave, personal/care’s leave, long service leave) and leave that is limited to a number of days or a specific period of time per occurrence (eg compassionate leave, jury service, parental leave, unpaid leave to deal with family and domestic violence).

That introduces yet another complication for administration of employment entitlements and modification of payroll systems to accommodate this oddity, something the Fair Work Commission seems to have a habit of doing. Perhaps it would have been better to just cap it at 10 days per annum and allow access to personal/carer’s leave for any additional leave required over and above that.

At this stage, there is no operative date – that will be dependent on the transition of the provisions to modern awards. We’ll let you know when this happens.

If you have any questions, fill out the contact us form on this website or give us a call on 0438 533 311. 

 

Is reference checking worthwhile?

Is reference checking worthwhile?

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Is reference checking worthwhile?

great resignation

That is a question that is often asked and, like lots of things in the people and culture space, the answer is “that depends on how you do them”.

Properly structured and executed, reference checks can be invaluable.

They provide a real opportunity to explore the candidate’s fit with your business and the role in question through the lens of others’ real life experiences with and knowledge of them.

However, too often, there is a standardised HR procedure with generic questions ostensibly designed to ensure equal opportunity in the selection process, but which delivers little real intelligence about the candidate’s fit with your business and the role in question.

Here are our rules for conducting effective reference checks.

Rule #1: Do your preparation

Understand the role that you are recruiting to, the skills and knowledge that are necessary to perform the role effectively and the character attributes that exemplify your culture.

As you should do throughout the recruitment and selection process, think about the best ways that you can ascertain whether someone has those qualities.

Consider what you have learned about this candidate in the recruitment process to date  – what, based on the evidence at your disposal, you have reasonably determined that you are satisfied with and what you still have questions about. 

One simple way to do this is to get out a set of highlighters (physically or electronically), look at the Position Description for the role and use the traffic light method to work through each function and attribute to give you a good graphic picture of where the candidate is at – green means “yes”, yellow is “maybe” and red is “no”.

Then consider why you think that and how you can best answer the questions that you need to get answers too.

Rule #2: Purposefully design the conversation 

Remember that you need to know if this person is a fit with the role in your business and your culture – not the referee’s. 

Also remember that the referee can only effectively answer your questions if you firstly engage with them in a positive way and secondly give them the information on your needs so that they can respond in the right context.

So, in planning the conversation, you need to: 

  • Verify that the person is happy to act as a referee for the candidate and that the time is OK with a clear indication of how long it is likely to take (book a time that is convenient for the referee)
  • Provide a concise explanation of the nature of your business, the desired culture and the contribution that this role is expected to make so as to give the referee an accurate context in which to respond to your questions
  • Pose a series of questions that are based on your needs asking the referee to provide you with evidence of the candidate’s fit with those qualities based on their experience but very much in the context of your business
  • Express gratitude for the referee’s participation (that is just courteous but, if you want an extra reason, giving thanks builds goodwill and enhances your reputation and that might just pay off sometime).

Rule #3: Make it a conversation 

People are often nervous about providing referee’s comments especially if there is anything that might not be complimentary. 

It is important that you put the person at ease by making the process as informal as possible – make it a conversation rather than an interrogation. 

Start by thanking them for agreeing to act as a referee and confirm the process and time commitment for them.  Give them a brief overview of your business and the role for which the candidate has applied. 

Ask a few questions about the referee’s background eg “before we start talking about Mr XYZ, tell me a bit about yourself and your background.” This helps to give you context about the referee and helps the referee to relax into the conversation. 

Then establish the connection and level of the referee’s experience with and knowledge of the candidate. Explore the nature of the role(s) that the candidate had, what their key responsibilities were and how effective they were in meeting those. 

Also explore the culture of the organisation – ask what the core values were and how well the candidate fitted with those, asking for examples of situations and ways in which they practised the values in real terms.

Now it is time to drill down into the questions that you identified in the planning process as needing answers, making sure that you contextualise the questions to your needs. For example, “here at ABC Inc, our staff work closely with people in difficult circumstances, and we need to ensure that we are continuously supporting them and their mental health. How do you think Mr XYZ would manage that for the team he would lead in this role and why, based on your experience with him, do you think that is the case?” 

When you have finished your questions, ask the referee if there is anything that they would like to add. 

Finally, close off the conversation, thanking the referee for their time and information about the candidate. 

Rule #4: Reflect and revise 

Now revisit those questions that you came up with in the planning phase and the Position Description for the role. Adjust your ratings where appropriate based on the feedback that you received from referees. 

Ready to make the call now?

If you need a hand with recruiting staff and getting them onboard and up and running in your business, we can help. Check out our “Find and Engage” services.

CONTACT US

Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
Abn : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

Peter Maguire : 0438 533 311

PARTNER LINKS

TELL US WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH

Fair Work Facts – Family and Domestic Violence Leave

Fair Work Facts – Family and Domestic Violence Leave

Latest News & Events

 

Fair Work Facts – Family and Domestic Violence Leave

Another Fair Work Fact explainer this time dealing with leave to deal with family and domestic violence which derives from both National Employment Standards and modern awards.

CONTACT US

Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
Abn : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

Peter Maguire : 0438 533 311

PARTNER LINKS

TELL US WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH

Fair Work Facts – Requests for Flexible Working Arrangements

Fair Work Facts – Requests for Flexible Working Arrangements

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Fair Work Facts – Requests for Flexible Working Arrangements

Did you know that employees in certain circumstances have a legal right to request flexible working arrangements and employers cannot refuse those requests except on reasonable business grounds? This is a National Employment Standard which means that the right cannot be legally overridden. Here are the basics

CONTACT US

Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
Abn : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

Peter Maguire : 0438 533 311

PARTNER LINKS

TELL US WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH

Fair Work Facts – Redundancy and Consultation obligations

Fair Work Facts – Redundancy and Consultation obligations

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Fair Work Facts – Redundancy and Consultation obligations

Another Fair Work Facts explainer in which we outline the consultation and other obligations employers have when redundancy situations arise.

CONTACT US

Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
Abn : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

Peter Maguire : 0438 533 311

PARTNER LINKS

TELL US WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH