Does your organisation have a social media policy that is rolled out to all employees, including those who do not have access to company computer equipment? If not, act sooner rather than later and set the culture for your organisation as well as the employer’s stance on anti-bullying and anti-harassment requirements across all employees. Unacceptable social media messages from one employee to another or public messages that can be construed, amongst other allegations, as defamatory, rumour mongering, vilification, may leave an organisation exposed to culpability even where the social media posts were made off the premises from a personal device. There has recently been a successful action in Australia (believed to be the first) whereby Christine Mickle, a music teacher, successfully brought an action as a result of comments posted on Twitter that were construed as defamatory; Christine Mickle was awarded a total of $105,000 damages.
How can Compliance Essentials assist with your organisation’s suite of policies and procedures? Please contact us for an initial discussion on 1300 602 880 or via our website www.complianceessentials.com.au
In a recent claim for unfair dismissal brought before the Fair Work Commission the case was found in the employer’s (Linfox) who it seems had clearly set out behavioural expectations in their organisational policies and procedures.
The matter hinged on the employee having a mobile phone switched on during working hours contrary to company policy. This contravention was one of a collection of non-compliance issues attaching to the employee’s stance on company directives including the refusal to sign a document in relation to social media.
Does your organisation have robust policies and procedures in place? Compliance Essentials can assist and with other compliance matters for your organisation. Contact us on 1300 602 880 or via our website www.complianceessentials.com.au
Is your organisation ready for 1 January 2014 and the implementation of the Fair Work Act 2009 (anti-bullying legislation)? Workplace bullying is heinous and injurious to health and wellbeing; this legislative amendment relating to anti-bullying measures will apply to employers and employees Australia-wide in less than two month’s time.
For all employers it is recommended that internal procedures are put in place to demonstrate and engage the organisational stance against workplace bullying including other behaviours such as use of social media (a potential route for bullying and vilification). There is still time to put in place robust policies and procedures with the aim of maintaining a workplace free from bullying as well as setting direction on the organisational position for internal and external use of social media by employees. It is also important to keep staff and contractors (who are covered by the legislation) up to date with in house briefings and training on ways to prevent and, in worst case scenario, internally report alleged bullying incidents. Note, as of January 2014 an employee who alleges that they are the victim of workplace bullying will have the right to address the matter directly with the Fair Work Commission, bypassing internal grievance procedures.
Compliance Essentials can assist your organisation with all compliance matters; contact us on 1300 602 880 or via our website www.complianceessentials.com.au
Looking for an electronic solution to manage and monitor your GRC functions? Compliance Essentials is a channel partner of 1FiCS – www.1fics.com
Changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 in relation to keeping workplaces free from bullying are effective from 1 January 2014.
What are the implications for employers? The provisions of the amended legislation will allow a worker who suffers bullying in the workplace to take the matter directly to the Fair Work Commission bypassing their employer; the definition of ‘worker’ extends to ‘contractors’. If the worker is successful in their action the Fair Work Commission has the power to make any orders it deems appropriate to prevent the worker from being bullied in the workplace – this is other than reinstatement, payment of compensation or other monetary penalties.
Employers have time, prior to the commencement of these provisions, to review policies and procedures, setting out expected standards of behaviour in the workplace, ensuring robust procedures for dealing with bullying claims as well as engaging in staff training across their organisation. Policies and procedures need to include a firm line on use of social media which is also a potential avenue for bullying and vilification between members of the workforce.
Compliance Essentials is available to assist employers to prepare and be ready for this legislative change; contact us on 1300 602 880 or via www.complianceessentials.com.au.
With about two and a half months to go to the end of the financial year now is the time for employers to prepare for changes to superannuation obligations that will be effective on 1 July 2013.
What do the changes mean? In summary the major changes:
- Minimum superannuation guarantee contributions (SGC) increase to 9.25% for financial year 2013-2014 (further increases will apply up to financial year 2020).
- The concessional cap for superannuation contributions remains at $25,000 nothwithstand the increase in employer SGC contributions
- The age cap of 70 for SGC contributions is lifted
- SGC contributions are not required for an employee under 18 years of age and working less than 30 hours per week
- Additional information will be required in the content of employees’ payslips
Compliance Essentials is here to assist your business to fulfil its compliance obligations. Contact us on 1300 602 880 or via our website www.complianceessentials.com.au for a no obligation chat.
Some of the mistakes that businesses make when it comes to compliance are very simple, and because of that we are launching a series of posts looking at some of the matters which can be very easily rectified.
Follow our blog to receive our posts hot off the press.
Need to look at the bigger picture? Contact us on 1300 602 880 or via the website for an initial discussion as to how Compliance Essentials can help your business.
Changes to Fair Work came into effect on 1 January 2013. What do these mean to an employer?
Over arching all the changes, Fair Work Australia was renamed the Fair Work Commission; the web address for information is now www.fwc.gov.au.
Included in the legislative changes:
- The time limit for lodging an unfair dismissal claim increases from 14 to 21 days;
- the time limit for loding a general protections dismissal claim reduces from 60 to 21 days from the date of dismissal;
- Changes come into effect with regard to enterprise agreements
For more information go to www.fwc.gov.au. Need help with HR management or other compliance matters? Contact Compliance Essentials on 1300 602 880 or via our website at www.complianceessentials.com.au.
So what is the issue with ‘compliance’? Has the word acquired a bad image or does it go deeper?
One of the issues – the decision makers in some organisations fail to admit that ‘compliance’ is relevant to what they do, whereas in fact every organisation has compliance obligations.
Forget the handle and move away from the concept of policing. The issue does not necessarily lie with the concept of compliance, the issue rests with not acknowledging and accepting that adopting a compliant culture can bring benefits.
Organisations that can’t see the gain unfortunately don’t acknowledge the potential of pain until it happens to them. Using the analogy of insurances, it isn’t common practice to wait, for example until there has been a theft or involvement in a car accident, to think about insurances; most of us buy the required policies to protect ourselves and/or our businesses in case the bad things happen outside of our control. In a similar way, using best endeavours to proactively implement compliance in an organisational environment is a means of taking control as well as protecting a business from the risk of serious compliance breaches that could, amongst other outcomes, cause injury, have a financial impact, damage reputation.
Why not take the benefits, which are manifold, and will ultimately make a contribution to the bottom line.
By the way, it is calculated to be far more costly to remedy a proven compliance breach than to be in control with the implementation of a compliance plan………….
The Compliance Essentials Team
Most businesses are looking for ‘win-win’ situations to grow their business and to keep the bottom line healthy. Outsourcing some of the functions in an organisation can almost certainly by a ‘win-win’ for both parties. What does outsourcing provide for an organisation? Someone assisting your organisation who is a specialist in their field, be it accounting, HR, payroll, comany secretarial or other function, without incurring the administrative and financial costs that attach to engaging a permanent employee. Outsourcing can offer the perfect solution for an organisation in a period of growth or in transition or bridging a gap.
Compliance Essentials can offer outsourced solutions that can assist your organisation. Check out our website at www.complianceessentials.com.au or call us to arrange an initial, no obligation, chat.
Paying workers fairly is good business practice and Fair Work Australia continue to hunt down miscreant employers who do not abide by this principle. It is reported that a restaurant owner in Canberra has recently had to find $50,000 as a consquence of not paying workers fairly.
As part of the practice of searching out employers who do not implement fair pay it is also reported in the press that Fair Work Australia will be targetting brothels in Victoria in the coming months, conducting audits to establish that the remuneration for receptionists in this business is fair and proper. We await the outcome of these audits with interest.
Compliance Essentials can assist your business to stay on the right side of the regulators; contact us on 1300 602 880 for a no obligation discussion or via our website at www.complianceessentials.com.au