Refreshing Ridgeline HR

Refreshing Ridgeline HR

We have been around for nearly 20 years now and, in that time, we have served hundreds of clients across a wide range of industry, cultural, size and geographical settings. As with any business, to stay relevant and of value to our clients, we need to continuously test and refresh our offerings – always looking to be able to help in new and better ways. Over the past couple of years, we have been undertaking a deeper analysis of our strengths and how we can best leverage them to benefit both our business and those of our clients. We have done this in the context of the people and culture challenges that organisations large and small need to address in the modern world and how we can leverage both modern thinking on employee engagement and high performance on the one hand and HRM technological platforms on the other to better effect. That has led to a number of exciting initiatives that we have begun to roll out and which will come fully online in 2020. Our Better Workplace Projects Using best practice methodologies from around the world, we have put together an organisational improvement model that really works – because it is centred on and is delivered through “your most important asset”, your people.Our Practice Leader, Peter Maguire, designed the Better Workplace Projects to meet the need for Australian businesses to find better ways to lead and manage their people. Peter believes that a focus on strengths rather than risks and enabling employee engagement and wellbeing are the keys to making better workplaces where people and businesses flourish. Here is what an early adopting client, Heidi Tucker, CEO of Anchor, has to say: “Peter has introduced the organisation to a range of tools, frameworks and theories underpinned by positive psychology. These allow us to support our staff to be the best version of themselves at work. Anchor has invested in developing a Better Workplace team, a group of staff members representing all areas of the business, who act as our “employee voice”. I have found this “voice” so important because it guides myself and my senior leadership team in the right direction- where our staff want to go!!”  Our EngageMentality Coaching Programs Complementing our Better Workplace Projects, we have flipped the traditional performance management model on its head because it simply does not work. There are 4 basic tenets that underpin this model, namely:

  1. We look at the whole person through the lenses of role, relationships, values, strengths and wellbeing.
  2. We develop performance and development plans that are tailored to the individual in all 5 of these contexts.
  3. We regularly check in to see how it is going, to give credit for achievements and to tweak as necessary for areas requiring attention or things that have changed.
  4. The person responsible for my plan and my performance and development is me – my manager’s role is to coach me to help me to succeed against that plan.

Our technology solution – Employment Hero After extensive research, we have chosen and entered into a partnership with Employment Hero, a cloud-based HRM system that fully integrates with leading financial management systems such as Xero and MYOB and others. This provides a lot of functionality and economy to manage basic HRM tasks (like many other online systems do) but it also provides value adds in employee engagement, wellbeing and technological support for our coaching programs that other systems don’t have. It also helps us to automate process functions so that we can leverage our expertise more effectively where it should be directed – to helping you to improve your business and lead and manage your people better. That automation also helps you to focus on what really drives your business – your people. Our investment in facilities We have become a member of Waterman Business Centres giving us access to state of the art working, meeting and training/presentation facilities in three locations – at Caribbean Gardens, Chadstone and Narre Warren. So we now have much better capability to provide the right space for the service that you need at any given time. Our continued offerings Of course, we are not “throwing the baby out with the bathwater”. We are still providing the same old every day services that have got us to where we are now. That is the hands on help with understanding and meeting compliance requirements, writing documentation such as employment contracts and HRM policies and procedures, developing enterprise agreements, giving you a hand with staff communications and helping to resolve disagreements and to manage performance, conduct and disciplinary matters. With the range of initiatives that are outlined above, we have new and better ways of doing those things too. Our business is about “Helping PEOPLE in BUSINESS”. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we might be able to do that for you and/or your people by calling me on 0438 533 311 or email me at peter@ridgelinehr.com.au. Peter Maguire Practice Leader Ridgeline HR In 2020, we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary and we will also be growing on the back of all of this refreshment of the Ridgeline HR brand and services. We are looking for people who can do that with us as independent contractors and consultants in both our employee engagement/better workplace services and in our Employment Hero/compliance services. Have a look at what we do and how we do it if this is of interest to you. Then, if you have something to offer us, please feel free to give me a call.  [/av_textblock]

Reminder – Labour Hire Licensing about to hit

The Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018  and regulations come into full effect on 30 October 2019. As from that date, it will be an offence to provide or to use unlicensed labour hire services in Victoria. Essentially, this is any business that provides workers to other businesses or organisations whether as their own agency employees or as contractors. The Labour Hire Authority has been set up to administer and regulate labour hire across Victoria. Who is a labour hire worker? According to the Authority, the answer is : ‘Workers are generally individuals employed and paid by labour hire providers and supplied to host businesses, farms or organisations on a full-time, part-time or casual basis. In addition, if a person supplied by a labour hire provider is entitled to be paid by a host, that person will be a worker under the LHL Act if the labour hire provider also procures or provides accommodation for the person. A person who is an independent contractor supplied to a host by a labour hire provider will also be a worker under the LHL Act if the labour hire provider continues to manage the performance of the contract — for example by providing administrative and payroll functions or performance management in relation to the contractor.” There are some additional considerations which effectively broaden coverage in specific industries namely horticulture, meat and poultry processing and contract cleaning. You can find out whether any labour hire provider or temp service that your business may use is registered to operate at the Labour Hire Authority Note: maximum penalties for using unlicensed labour hire providers are in excess of $500,000. [/av_textblock]

Supporting World Mental Health Day

Supporting World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day is on Thursday 10 October 2019. This presents a great opportunity for all of us to do something positive to make a difference to people who we are connected with. You can start by making a public commitment – make your promise at https://1010.org.au/make-a-promise/ and share it around. Here is mine. Why would you want to do this? Because the statistics tell us that:

  • Globally, one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 – 29 year olds
  • One in five Australians has suffered from mental health issues in the past year
  • We all know people who have lost family or friends to suicide

And we can all make a difference – here are some ideas from the World Health organisation who just asks that we each spend 40 seconds on World Mental Health Day to make a difference. WHO – flyer-40seconds-web If you are an employer, did you know that WorkSafe in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services, has created a toolkit to help businesses make mentally healthy workplaces. It is called Workwell and you can access it at: https://www.workwell.vic.gov.au/toolkit. Perhaps you would like to explore other ways in which you can create a practical, caring and supportive environment in your business where people feel psychologically safe and engaged. It is a proven fact that, if you help your  people to flourish, your business will too. Give me a call on 0438 533 311 if you would like to learn more about what you can do as an employer – we’ll be happy to help. Peter Maguire Practice Leader [/av_textblock]

Lots of changes from 1 July 2019

It seems that the pace of change in workplace relations keeps accelerating just like it does in other aspects of business and life.

Part of our role is to keep you informed about changes in your responsibilities as an employer so here are the “heads ups” on what’s changed from 1 July 2019 and a few other things that you need to be aware of.

Increases in national minimum wage and award rates

The Fair Work Commission increased the National Minimum Wage (for award-free employees) and award rates by 3% effective from the commencement of the first full pay period commencing on or after 1 July 2019. More information available at the Fair Work Ombudsman who publish pay guides and have a pay calculator tool.

Increases in unfair dismissal and high income thresholds

The high-income threshold under the Fair Work Act 2009 has increased to $148,700 (employees who earn more than this and are not covered by an award or have signed a high income declaration are not eligible to make unfair dismissal claims).

Also the maximum payout for unfair dismissal claims (which is equivalent to 26 weeks’ pay)has increased to $74,350.00.

Superannuation contribution cap

The maximum superannuation contribution base will increase from $54,030 to $55,270 per quarter meaning that the maximum contribution per quarter under the Superannuation Guarantee (9.5% of ordinary time earnings) from 1 July 2019 is $5,250.65.  

Portable long service leave for some industries

The Victorian “Long Service Benefits Portability Act 2018” comes into effect from 1 July 2019.

From that date, workers in the community services, contract cleaning and security industries will be entitled to portable long service leave for all service in the industry regardless of how many employers they might have or for how long they work for an individual employer in the industry. This is funded by an Employer Levy to apply to the Portable Long Service Benefits Scheme as follows:

  • 1.65% for community services
  • 1.80% for contract cleaning
  • 1.80% for security

For more information, see our earlier article

Reductions in Sunday penalty rates in some awards

The final set of reductions in Sunday penalty rates which have occurred over the past few years in various hospitality and retail awards take effect from 1 July 2019. The awards are:

  • Fast Food Industry Award 2010
  • Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010
  • General Retail Industry Award 2010
  • Pharmacy Industry Award 2010

All of the details can be accessed here.

Fair Work Information Statement

Under National Employment Standards, all new employees must be provided with a Fair Work Information Statement which explains a range of workplace rights and where to go for assistance with those. This has been updated and the new version that must be provided to new employees from 1 July 2019 and instructions on how to issue it can be accessed below.

Fair Work Information Statement 2019

Other stuff

There have been other recent changes and more coming on a range of employment matters including:

The Bottom Line

With all of this change, you want to ensure that you have access to competent professional advice on workplace relations and compliant employment contracts, policies and procedures.

We are of course happy to help. If that is something that you want to explore, please contact us.

Hoping you have a great 2019/2020 year.

 

Labour hire licensing starting

The Victorian “Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018” partially came into operation on 29 April 2019.

The first step in this is that labour hire firms wanting to operate in Victoria have to get a licence within 6 months (ie by 29 October 2019).

When the Act comes into full operation, it will be an offence for a labour hire firm to operate without a licence and also for a business which hires an unlicensed labour hire operator.

If you currently use labour hire services, you should enquire as to whether they are intending to obtain a licence and validate their eligibility to legally operate before 29 October 2019.

If you provide people to work inside businesses in any way, you should also investigate the question of whether your business qualifies as a labour hire operator under the Act.

Further information can be obtained from the Labour Hire Authority.