Updated Fair Work Statements

Updated Fair Work Statements

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Updated Fair Work Statements

example flexible working arrangement

There are a range of statements which employers must give to new employees before, on or as soon as possible after commencement and they are updated each year. Here is the new set as at 1 July 2024. 

The Fair Work Information Statement

This must be provided to all new employees regardless of how they are engaged ie whether full-time, part-time, casual, seasonal or other fixed term.

It provides employees with a variety of information on entitlements and protections at work as derived from legislation, awards, enterprise agreements  and employment contracts as well as where to go for help. Download it below.

Fair Work Information Statement 010724 

The Casual Employment Information Statement

This sets out the grounds on which employment might be deemed to be casual. It also provides informatIon on a casual employee’s rights in relation to casual conversion and avenues and processes for resolution of any disputes in relation to a declined request to convert to full-time or part-time employment. You can download it below.

Casual Employment Information Statement 010724

Please note that employers have more extensive obligations for providing casual employees with the Casual Employment Information Statement – both on commencement and:

  • In the case of a small business (less than 15 employees), after 12 months of employment
  • In the case of a larger business, after 6 months, 12 months and annually thereafter.

Fixed Term Contract Information Statements 

From December 2023, new rules governing fixed term contracts limited the duration of contracts to a maximum aggregate period of 2 years and the number of extensions of fixed term contracts to one only.

All fixed term employees must be provided with the Fixed Term Contract Information Statement which sets out these rules, some of the differences between continuing employment entitlements and those applying to fixed term employees (eg in relation to redundancy and notice) and where to go for assistance in the event of a dispute over fixed term employment. You can download it below.

Fixed Term Contract Information Statement June 010724

What do you need to do?

You need to ensure that you comply with the above requirements to issue these notices to employees in line with their employment status. Failure to do so is a breach of National Employment Standards and can result in substantial fines.

Have you checked on the status of your compliance with Fair Work, modern awards, regulations and other employment-related legislation in recent times? If not, you should check in on that.

If you would like to learn more about ways that we can help you with 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

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Changes to the Child Employment Act

Changes to the Child Employment Act

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Changes to the Child Employment Act

children on laptop

Did you know that you need a child work permit to have an employee under the age of 15 work in your business? In this article we’ll outline how they work and what exemptions there are as well as the changes coming on 1 July 2023.

How it works

Children under 15 can be employed in a business subject to a few qualifications:

  • They must be at least 11 years old to do delivery work or 13 to work in retail or hospitality and must be supervised at all times by someone who possesses a valid Working with Children Clearance.
  • An employer must have a permit before they engage an under 15 year old. Failure to have a permit is a crime and employers may be penalised accordingly.
  • There are restrictions on how many hours they are allowed to work and when those hours can be, including start and finish times.
  • Employees under 15 years of age have increased break times and frequency compared to older employees.

What exemptions are there?

While most businesses are subject to the above rules family businesses are exempt from needing a child workers permit and some of the rules regarding age restrictions, hours of work and rest breaks do not apply so long as they are directly supervised by a parent or guardian. If someone other than a parent or guardian is supervising the employee then the exemption does not apply.

Similarly the entertainment and advertising industry have their own rules that differ from the rules that apply to most other industries. They can be found in more detail by following this link. Child employment permits – entertainment and advertising

Changes

As of July 1 2023 the Child Employment (Amendment) Act 2022 is being introduced. This Act changes the system of employing children from having to apply for individual permits for every child to employers being able to hold a licence under which they can employ multiple children.

it also clarifies several grey areas including definitions regarding what constitutes a family business, what employment means in several contexts in different industries and supervision rules. 

For more information on the changes please look at this page. Changes to the Child Employment Act

Child employment laws are enforced by the Wage Inspectorate Victoria.

If you need any assistance with anything mentioned please check the Victorian Governments web page regarding child employment here or if you need further assistance please give us a call on 1300 108 488.

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

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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

1300 108 488

PARTNER LINKS

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New minimum payments for part-time employees under Social and Community Services Award

New minimum payments for part-time employees under Social and Community Services Award

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New minimum payments for part-time employees under Social and Community Services Award

Social services

The Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 covers employers in the:

    • crisis assistance and supported housing sector;
    • social and community services sector;
    • home care sector; and
    • family day care scheme sector.

Currently, there is no minimum period of engagement for part-time workers under that Award which is quite unusual. Employers and employees could agree to work less than the new minimum payment period.

The Fair Work Commission has decided that, from 1 July 2022, there will be a “minimum payment” provision which requires that the minimum engagement/payment for a shift or period of work in a broken shift of a part-time employee will be:

    • 3 hours for social and community services employees (except when doing disability services work) and
    • 2 hours for all other employees.
There is a transitional period that runs from 1 February 2022 to 1 October 2022 to enable consultation between employers and employees who have an Agreement for less than the new minimum payment periods made prior to 1 February 2022.
 
 
If you need assistance, please feel free to give us a call on 0438 533 311. Take advantage of our offer of a free first consultation.

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

Can flexible work be for everyone?

Can flexible work be for everyone?

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Can flexible work be for everyone?

juggling flexibility

So we have the “perfect storm” of lots of factors causing constriction of the labour market in the post-lockdown environment.

There is lots of talk about working from home and hybrid working from those who had to work from home during lockdowns and would like to keep doing that for at least some of the time.

Correspondingly there is a common call to employers to be flexible in this if they are going to be competitive in that tight labour market.

But what about all of those people who can’t work from home because their job (as distinct from their boss) doesn’t allow them to.

Clearly factory workers and drivers and construction workers and those in essential services and health care and childcare and aged care and many, many more cannot do their jobs at home.

So does that mean that they cannot have some flexibility?

It shouldn’t although the options might be more limited.

Here are some to think about:

    1. Introduce RDOs to give people a day off every month
    2. Have an early finish on Friday to let people get organised for the weekend
    3. Allow people to adjust their hours to attend to personal commitments (eg an employee works an extra half hour on each of four days to get two hours off on the other day – perhaps to help with remedial reading at school or to coach a child’s sporting team)
    4. Look at job sharing arrangements where a couple of employees work part-time in the same job
    5.  Trial a 4 day week (it is working well in some places)
    6. Allow people to purchase additional annual leave for extended holidays
    7. Let people use their personal/carer’s leave more flexibly to meet important personal needs that don’t involve sick leave or caring requirements
    8. Extend the use of compassionate leave to more than just the immediate family and household (eg to attend funerals for close friends and other relatives like uncles and aunts and cousins and nephews and nieces

Then there is the law

In some cases, an employee will have a legal right to request flexible working arrangements under National Employment Standards.

The Fair Work Act provides that employees who have worked with the same employer for at least 12 months can request flexible working arrangements if they:

    • are the parent, or have responsibility for the care, of a child who is school aged or younger
    •  are a carer (under the Carer Recognition Act 2010)
    • have a disability
    • are 55 or older
    • are experiencing family or domestic violence, or
    • provide care or support to a member of their household or immediate family who requires care and support because of family or domestic violence.

This includes casual employees who have a reasonable expectation of continuing employment.\

Such requests can only be refused on reasonable business grounds and an employer has to respond in writing within 21 days saying whether they accept the request and, if not, why not.

Awards provide additional detail on how these are to be managed and employees are able to take the matter to the Fair Work Commission for review if their employer refuses their request.

Conclusion

There is a lot to think about in this space whether you are wrestling with hybrid working, wanting to enhance your value proposition as an employer or grappling with your legal obligations.

If there is anything in this that you would like some further advice on, give us a call on 0438 533 311. Take advantage of our offer of a free first consultation.

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

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FWC introduces loaded rates into the Hospitality Award

FWC introduces loaded rates into the Hospitality Award

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FWC introduces loaded rates into the Hospitality Award

bar fair work loaded rate

On 3 September 2021 the Fair Work Commission introduced loaded pay arrangements into the Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2020. These arrangements allow employers to pay certain employees a higher base rate of pay in lieu of employees receiving payment for overtime, penalty rates and the split shift allowance. The change was brought about after a submission to the Fair Work Commission from the Australian Hotels Association, who claimed that it would simplify Award compliance for employers.

What are the rates and who can be covered?

There are 6 tiers of loaded rates that range between 110.20% and 131.05% of an employee’s ordinary hourly rate. The rates vary depending on how many days of the week the rates apply to, which can be Mon-Fri, Mon-Sat or Mon-Sun, and the maximum amount of weekly hours an employee can work under the arrangement which can be either 40 or 45 hours per week.

It is important to note that the loaded rates can only be applied to employees who are full-time, over the age of 21, are level 3 or above in the Award, not receiving supported wage rates, and do not work on a roster with an RDO.

At this stage employers do not need an employee’s agreement to institute a loaded pay arrangement, however they must give employees at least 7 days notice of their intention to introduce the change. Arrangements must be made in writing and in accordance with Schedule L of the Award which you can view here.

Limitations

The loaded rate does not mean that employees have no entitlement to overtime, penalty rates or allowances. It just limits the circumstances where they will be payable.

The following list contains the parameters for a loaded rate and all time worked outside ranges specified or scope of the arrangement will still attract overtime/penalty rates:

  • Monday to Friday: a maximum of 11.5 hours (excluding meal breaks) per day / shift rostered between 7:00am and 12:00am (midnight);
  • Saturday: a maximum of 10 hours (excluding meal breaks);
  • Sunday: a maximum of 10 hours (excluding meal breaks); and
  • if the period between shifts is 3 hours or less, a split shift allowance must be paid

Additionally public holidays payments are excluded from these arrangements and must be paid per the Award.

If you have any queries, please contact us on 0421 592 541 or 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