One of the most important (and expensive, and risky!) assets in your business are your people, so here are some top tips to help make sure Australia’s employment laws don’t ruin your New Year!
1. Check Modern Awards
Most employees are covered by one of the more than 120 Modern Awards which have been in operation since 1 January 2010. Knowing which Modern Awards apply to your employees – and complying with them in full and at all times – is not optional. Remember, Modern Awards apply as a matter of law and not choice or preference. Take the time to revisit Modern Award coverage now, and you’ll be very glad you did later.
2. Know What’s Changed
Australia’s Modern Awards were subjected to significant amendments through the course of 2018, and these changes flow through to all Award-covered employees as a matter of law. Some of the most significant changes that have been made include:
· The introduction of unpaid domestic violence leave.
· The right for casual employees to request conversion to permanent employment in certain circumstances; and
· New rules requiring employers to fully-consider and respond to requests for flexible working.
Remember that your workplace policies and employment contracts can’t undercut these legal entitlements, so it’s important to know what’s changed and to make sure you’re compliant.
3. Review Your Employment Contracts
Good employment contracts ensure everyone is on the same page and serve to protect your business’s interests. Double check your contracts now to ensure you’ve included clauses regarding the use of confidential information, minimum notice periods, and post-employment restraint clauses (where appropriate).
Remember that any changes to a contract will require the employee’s consent, so be sure to fully-discuss any proposed amendments with your employees before you ask them to sign them off!
Following just these three tips will help make 2019 a good year for you and your business.
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