New workshops – understanding psychosocial hazards

New workshops – understanding psychosocial hazards

Latest News & Events

New workshops – understanding psychosocial hazards

example flexible working arrangement

The introduction of the new positive duty to eliminate or control psychosocial hazards casts a whole new perspective on what organisations need to do to be compliant with their legal obligations and be seen to manage this duty  responsibly. It really does require a significant shift in mindset and an overhaul of how you manage policies, processes, practices and people.  

Background

At Ridgeline HR, we developed our 4C compliance model 20 years ago and it really does stand up when you look at what a positive duty requires. It is much more than just putting out a policy, telling people they have to comply with it and reacting to resolve any breaches or complaints.

That is because we have always believed that the key PEOPLE FACTORS that SMBs have to get right are the quality of relationships and the behaviour of their people. They are very much in focus under the positive duties. 

So we are well versed in all of this stuff.

Our Workshops

We are offering organisations the opportunity to leverage our experience and knowledge in this space via engaging and practical workshops for your leadership team or your consultative/safety committee or other representative body.

The workshops which run for 3 hours are highly interactive and designed to engage participants in the process of developing an appropriate and effective organisational response to the introduction of the positive duty.

 Learning outcomes

 Participants will gain:

  • Knowledge of what the psychosocial hazards are and why they are psychosocial hazards
  • A practical awareness of the questions that organisations need to be asking with respect to each of the psychosocial hazards and how risks associated with psychosocial hazards can manifest in workplaces through policies, processes, practices and people.
  • An understanding of how multiple psychosocial hazards can be in play and compound risks.
  • An appreciation of the value of recognising organisational strengths as well as areas for improvement and the difference that approaching this with a positive mindset can make.
  • An introduction to our purpose designed HEART framework for implementing an effective psychosocial hazard control plan with your people. 
  • A practical start on developing your own organisational Psychosocial Hazard Risk Control Plan.

Options

We can deliver this workshop in person or online.

We can also provide a number of ancillary services such as:

    • Our Better Workplace Projects where we take a deep dive into your organisation having conversations with a representative cross section of your people to identify strengths and opportunities for improvements
    • Conducting surveys of your people using the best practice PERMAH Workplace Wellbeing Survey and/or its companion psychosocial hazard survey and unpacking the results with you
    • Setting up, training and facilitating your own Better Workplace Team to really take hold of the well-being agenda in your workplace and collaboratively drive improvements
    • Helping to redesign and reposition your People and Culture policies and procedures to align with your new positive duty obligations 

 Contact us using the “Tell us what you need help with” form below to arrange your session.

CONTACT US

Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

1300 108 488

PARTNER LINKS

Smilsafe

TELL US WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH

Webinar #3 – What do these new positive duties mean?

Webinar #3 – What do these new positive duties mean?

Latest News & Events

Webinar #3 – What do these new positive duties mean?

example flexible working arrangement

Complying with Australian employment laws has been a challenge for businesses of all sizes for many years but that challenge has gone up a notch with the introduction of positive duties. Plus, we are seeing individuals being prosecuted and personally fined or even face jail time in serious cases under workplace health and safety laws and the Fair Work Act. 

In this episode, we’ll show you what positive duties really mean in practical terms and what you need to do to assure compliance and we’ll run you through our own HEART model for positive duty compliance.

What you will learn in the webinar:

  • What does positive duty mean legally and in practice?
  • How is it different from the pre=existing compliance regime?
  • Why has it changed?
  • Some practical examples of applying the positive duty to real workplace situations
  • What you (as a business owner, employer, manager, HR or WHS practitioner) need to know ?
  • How to use our HEART model for positive duty compliance.

Bookings at https://www.trybooking.com/CQQIC.

If you would like to learn more about ways that we can do this, please call us on 1300 108 488 or email us at enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au.

CONTACT US

Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

1300 108 488

PARTNER LINKS

Smilsafe

TELL US WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH

Webinar #2 – Understanding the Fair Work system and the players

Webinar #2 – Understanding the Fair Work system and the players

Latest News & Events

Webinar #2 – Understanding the Fair Work system and the players

example flexible working arrangement

Our Australian system for regulation of employment rights and obligations is very complex.

In this episode, we explain how it all works, who the various regulators are and where you should go for what.

What you will learn in the webinar:

  • What responsibilities do each of the regulators have?
  • What sorts of issues do they deal with?
  • What powers do they have?
  • Which are federal and which are State-based?
  • What do you as a business owner and employer need to do to protect your business and yourself?
  • How to navigate the Fair Work Ombudsman and Fair Work Commission websites?
  • Where can you find resources that can help you with managing these obligations as well as resources that can help you with managing people generally?

Bookings at https://www.trybooking.com/CQQHJ.

If you would like to learn more about ways that we can do this, please call us on 1300 108 488 or email us at enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au.

CONTACT US

Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

1300 108 488

PARTNER LINKS

Smilsafe

TELL US WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH

How to classify employees under awards

How to classify employees under awards

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How to classify employees under awards

confused employer

The problem

Most employees in Australia are covered by a Modern Award. These set out the rates of pay applying to different occupations or work covered by that award as well as lots of other conditions of employment like allowances, penalty rates and overtime. Not complying with modern awards is a breach of the Fair Work Act and can attract very significant penalties as well as embarrassment with staff and in the broader community.  It is therefore very important that employers understand which Award covers the work their employees perform and what their entitlements are under those Awards.

A common frustration for employers is classifying employees. All Modern Awards have a classification structure that applies to employees based on the work they perform, a qualification they use for their work or a certain level of competency in the industry and via that classification structure the employees’ pay and entitlements are determined.

Generally, the way that you determine how employees are classified would be by doing the following:

Find the correct Modern Award

All Modern Awards have a coverage clause that dictates the type of work or industry that the terms of the Award apply to. While it may seem easy to identify the Award that covers employees based on the work of the employer there can often be stipulations or exemptions that mean certain employees or work are not covered by that Award. There can also be multiple awards applying to one employer.

For example, a civil construction business has a workforce that includes plant operators and labourers, forepersons, managers, engineers, surveyors, estimators, clerical staff, mechanics and truck drivers. That means that the following Awards would apply to various staff:

  • The Building and Construction General On-site Award 2020 
  • The Professional Employees Award 2020
  • The Surveying Award 2020
  • The Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2020
  • The Clerks – Private Sector Award 2020
  • The Road Transport and Distribution Award 2020 and
  • The forepersons would be award-free.

So what you need to do is look for awards that might cover your particular industry and then awards which might cover particular occupations or capacities that you employ people in.

Classifications

After determining which Award applies to your business you then need to match your employees against the classification structure.

Each Award defines ways that employees are classified against a pay scale. There is no universal classification structure and different Awards do it in different ways.

Some of the different classification structures include:

  • Competency based – Employees are assessed against a competency system and once they prove competent at certain tasks or jobs they would move up the classification structure. i.e. an employee that can perform three tasks competently is more valuable that one who can only perform two.
  • Work based – This system matches employees against the highest value work or task that they perform in the classification structure. For instance, an operator of an excavator would have a higher classification depending on the amount in tonnes that it can hold in its scoop.
  • Qualification based – Employees in fields where a certain level of education is required will be classified based on the highest level of qualification that they are required to use during the course of their work. This is common in fields like IT, accounting, and medical professions among others.

After you have determined which level an employee fits into you can then work out what their pay and entitlements are under the Award.

While we lay it out as simply we can here this can be a daunting task especially when some employers have little knowledge of Awards and how they work.

Need help?

Give us a call on 1300 108 488 or email enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au to arrange your free first consultation to see how we can help with advice and support on this or any other HR matter

CONTACT US

Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

1300 108 488

PARTNER LINKS

Smilsafe

TELL US WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH

Using PERMAH for your POSITIVE DUTY

Using PERMAH for your POSITIVE DUTY

Latest News & Events

Using PERMAH for your POSITIVE DUTY

example flexible working arrangement

Above image is courtesy of The Wellbeing Lab/Michelle McQuaid Group.

 

Background

Under Workplace Health and Safety laws, a positive duty to eliminate or control psychosocial hazards has been imposed on all persons conducting a business or undertaking.

This means that the traditional compliance approach of issuing a policy and procedures, providing them to workers, requiring their compliance with them and acting on incidents or breaches when they are reported is not adequate any more.

It is necessary to conduct a thorough risk assessment to see whether any risks from each of the 14 psychosocial hazards in the Model code for managing psychosocial hazards published by Safe Work Australia and as set out in legislation enacted by each State or Territory.

There is also a duty to consult workers at each stage of the process and especially in relation to identifying risks and designing and implementing control plans and measures. 

One way to start addressing both the risk assessment and consultation obligations is to survey workers with an appropriate survey instrument. Our choice to do that is the PERMAH Workplace Wellbeing Survey.

Why have we chosen PERMAH?

The PERMAH workplace wellbeing framework is based on the ground-breaking wellbeing theory developed by Professor Martin Seligman as published in his celebrated work “Flourish”.

The PERMAH survey tool has been used by the Australian Human Resources Institute since 2018 as a national workplace wellbeing benchmarking tool and Small Business Victoria as the centrepiece of its small business wellbeing programs.

A unique feature of the PERMAH Survey is that every person who does the survey gets their own individual State of Wellbeing Report plus a template for developing a wellbeing plan plus access to a heap of wellbeing resources….all for free.

Organisations with 30 or more employees can acquire an annual licence and obtain organisational reports which show the aggregated findings on wellbeing in the organisation through the eyes and experiences of its people.

We have a team of people who have undertaken Certificates in Creating Wellbeing and in Leading Psychological Safety and Care and are accredited to debrief people on their PERMAH Survey results.

With the advent of the positive duty to eliminate or control psychosocial hazards, the survey has been augmented with a panel of additional questions specifically related to each of the 14 psychosocial hazards detailed in Safe Work Australia’s model code.

So we believe that the PERMAH Workplace Survey with the Psychosocial Hazard Panel Add-on ticks all of the boxes – it is science-based, it has credibility being used nationally by AHRI, it is affordable, it provides free and practical wellbeing advice and resources to everyone who does it and it addresses the psychosocial hazards in a practical and cost effective way.

How we can we help

Our “Using PERMAH for Positive Duties” service incorporates the following elements:

  • A 12 month licence for the PERMAH Workplace Wellbeing Survey including the add-on psychosocial hazard panel.
  • Ability to undertake the survey as an organisation multiple times during the licence period.
  • Templates and an animated video for communications to employees on the PERMAH Workplace Wellbeing Survey, why your organisation is doing it and how employees can participate.
  • Professional analysis of survey results, provision of a supplementary report and management debrief on the results.

We have the flexibility to package these elements in a variety of ways and to undertake other services such as individual PERMAH debriefings, training programs and facilitated sessions with leadership groups or consultative or safety committees.

Where to now?

If you would like to learn more about the positive duty to eliminate or control psychosocial hazards and your options for addressing it, we’ll be happy to advise you. Just give us a call on 1300 108 488 or email enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au.

 

 

 

 

CONTACT US

Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

1300 108 488

PARTNER LINKS

Smilsafe

TELL US WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH

Managing disconnection from work

Managing disconnection from work

Latest News & Events

Managing disconnection from work

example flexible working arrangement

The impending legislated right for workers to disconnect from work outside their contracted working hours has the usual subjects again yelling that “the sky is falling” on employers.

The thrust of the proposed changes is to discourage employers from making unreasonable contact with or demands on their employees outside their contracted working hours, to provide for people to be paid for time worked outside their contracted working hours and to have access to the Fair Work Commission to make their employer stop making unreasonable connection with or demands on them outside their contracted working hours if the Commission finds the employer to be doing so.

There will be exceptions such as if the contact is due to an emergency or for welfare purposes. People who have roles that require them to be on call as a normal feature of their job won’t be an issue as long as the connection is reasonable in that context.

It has also been made clear by the Minister that it would be reasonable to contact relevant employees if a worker did not attend work and the employer needed someone to take their place or for normal rostering purposes.

Of course, if the contact is unreasonable, that might well constitute an unreasonable job demand in any case and therefore constitute a risk arising from a psychosocial hazard under Workplace Health and Safety laws.

Do you need to contact your employees outside their contracted working hours?

For the vast majority of workplaces, the answer is probably “no, other than in the case of an emergency or for welfare purposes” – just what the proposed legislative change says.

Sure, there will be times when you are working into the night and want to get an email off to an employee for their  attention when they come in in the morning ….. but you don’t need them to see it tonight so either delay sending it until the morning or use the scheduling facility on your email service for it to automatically go to the employee’s inbox at the start of their day in the morning.

It really is that easy to manage in most cases.

What about if the employee wants a flexible working arrangement?

One of the arguments that the naysayers are putting up is that this right to disconnect will adversely affect employers’ willingness to offer flexible working hours or hybrid working arrangements.

One of the things that should be covered off in the discussions and agreement about a flexible working arrangement is how communications and connection are going to be managed by the employer and the employee.

For example, let’s say a single mum who is an accounts clerk asks for a flexible working arrangement under which she would work from 9.30 am to 2.30 pm each day and from 8.00 pm to 9.30 pm each night so that she could manage her parental responsibilities in the morning up to school drop off time and from school pick up time through to the children’s bedtime. She might come into the office in the day and do the night work from home.

The arrangement with the night work might be that she can perform tasks which do not require interaction with others (eg data entry, accounts processing, etc) but that anything requiring contact with another person is to be done either by a scheduled email issuing the following morning or deferring that item until she came into the office the next day. 

You should Include that communications protocol in the flexible working arrangement agreement to ensure that it is understood and complied with.

And guess what? That pattern of hours of work becomes that employee’s contracted hours of work so there isn’t an issue of a need for that employee to disconnect in any case because they are working.  

Again, it really is that simple to manage in most cases.

Do you really want to be contacting your employees outside their contracted hours?

Because we live in such a digitally connected “look at it now” world, if you send something to an employee outside their contracted working hours, there are many who will not be able to resist having a look.

If, by having a look, that raises something for them that creates some level of anxiety and that in turn interferes with their state of mind and/or their sleep and/or their leisure time/rest and recovery and/or the relationship with their partner……..well, do you really want an anxious, tired, sleep deprived employee coming into work the next day?

The answer should be self-evident.

Other considerations

As noted above, a failure to ensure that there is no unreasonable connection with employees outside their contracted working hours could give rise to risks associated with psychosocial hazards and Workplace Health and Safety laws require employers to exercise a positive duty to eliminate or control such risks. There are a number of psychosocial hazards that could come into play in this regard. We have a blog and explainer video on each of the 14 psychosocial hazards on our website – you can access them here

Additionally, the Fair Work Commission has just begun a review of modern awards with respect to “Work and Care” and the issue of disconnection from work will no doubt be a prominent issue in considerations in that review. See https://ridgelinehr.com.au/award-review-on-work-and-care-underway/

We will keep you informed of further developments as they occur and ensure that we tell you what the real effects of legislative changes are rather than what the scaremongers would have you believe.

If there is anything here that resonates with you and you would like to explore further, give us a call on 1300 108 488 or email enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au. We would love to have a chat about it.

 

 

 

 

CONTACT US

Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

1300 108 488

PARTNER LINKS

Smilsafe

TELL US WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH