Your Workplace Christmas Party

Do you have your HR Policies in place to cover issues that may occur at a Christmas party (or other social event), such as harassment (including sexual harassment), work health and safety, discrimination, drugs and alcohol, and code of conduct.

In order to assist you as an employer in navigating your workplace Christmas party, we have created a checklist for your business to use before, during and after the party. Download your free copy of the checklist HERE….

By Greg Arnold

Director and Principal Consultant

Effective Workplace Solutions

The Woolworths Debacle – Is it Really “Wage Theft”?

The term “wage theft” is a relatively new term that seems to have had its origins arising from the 7-Eleven case a few years back and continues to be widely used to describe situations where employees have been underpaid by their employers. It continues to be a provocative and rhetorical term that is used by Unions and the media when reporting on the most recent cases involving Caltex, Pizza Hut, Dominos and indeed the ABC.

But are these cases really cases of wage theft, or as the ACTU describes the cases as “worker exploitation”; or are they simply cases of unintentional mistakes?

I would estimate that probably 90% of underpayment matters that I have dealt with over many years of experience, are not through the employer intentionally trying to “rip off” their employees, rather it has been mistakes in payroll, or employers not properly interpreting the Awards and legislation; or indeed some employers being naïve or under a myth or misapprehension about how to play employees. A perfect example of such a “myth” being that if you pay employee’s a “salary”, then you don’t have to pay them overtime.

Continue reading

Medical Certificates for Sick Leave

Can you ask for further details?

In recent times many of our clients have asked if they can challenge a medical certificate or ask for further details about the employee’s illness or injury.

One recent example was where an employee who was absent for 4 weeks has provided a medical certificate as evidence of the illness. As is often the case, the certificate states the employee was unfit for duty due to a ‘medical illness’. That particular employee had a poor record of absenteeism and had previously requested annual leave for this period, but this request had been refused. Given the circumstances, the employer asked for more specific details about the employee’s illness, because there were concerns about the genuineness of the absence. The employee has refused to provide any further details.

Continue reading

drugs and alcohol in the workplace

Drugs and alcohol at work – a dismissible offence?

Dismissing an employee who turns up for work while drunk or on drugs might seem like the right thing to do at the time, however, hasty decisions could expose employers to substantial legal risk.

While in certain circumstances it may be reasonable to dismiss an employee who has tested positive for drugs or alcohol, it is critical for employers need to follow their own workplace policies.

Continue reading