What are your organisation’s New Year’s workplace relations resolutions?

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By Nikita Barsby, Senior Associate and Gemma Little, Lawyer

What are your organisation’s New Year’s workplace relations resolutions?

The New Year presents a great opportunity to critically review your organisation’s workplace relations infrastructure and arrangements, to ensure that these are working to sufficiently protect the organisation’s interests.

Investing the time and effort into ensuring your organisation has solid workplace relations infrastructure in place, not only provides peace of mind, but is also likely to save your organisation significant time and expense in the future should any workplace relations issues arise.

Key issues to consider when reviewing your organisation’s workplace relations infrastructure include:

Compliance with the Fair Work Act Is your organisation aware of, familiar with and compliant with all applicable statutory obligations, including under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and the National Employment Standards?
Modern award obligations Is your organisation aware of, familiar with and compliant with both its monetary and non-monetary obligations under applicable Modern Awards?  Note that simply paying above award rates does not mean that your organisation is compliant.
Casual employees Are casual employees engaged by the organisation at risk of being characterised as permanent employees at law, particularly in light of the recent decision in WorkPac Pty Ltd v Skene [2018] FCAFC 131?
Employment contracts Is your organisation sufficiently protected by appropriate terms in its employment contracts including terms on confidentiality, intellectual property, goodwill, and key stakeholder relationships?
Policies & procedures Does your organisation have sufficient policies/procedures in place to address key risk areas for employers such as workplace safety, sexual harassment, bullying, discrimination, social media, IT security etc?
Record keeping Does your organisation have adequate and compliant record keeping procedures including with respect to accrued leave, overtime, TOIL and other entitlements? Are these compliant with the Fair Work Regulations 2009 (Cth)?
Onboarding and exiting processes Does your organisation have adequate onboarding and induction processes? Are exit interviews conducted with departing employees?
Managerial resources and training  Do managers within your organisation have sufficient resources to enable them to adequately manage staff? Have managers been trained in key risk areas such as performance management, dismissals, sexual harassment and bullying?  How frequently is refresher training conducted?

MDC Legal are employment law specialists assisting employees, employers and industrial organisations, giving us a unique and comprehensive insight into employment law issues.

We regularly assist employers to audit their workplace relations infrastructure and practices so that they can identify key risk areas and assess what improvements can and should be made to better protect their interests.  We can also assist the organisation to prioritise any necessary improvements, so that these can be addressed in order of importance as and when best suits the organisation.

This marks Day 12 of MDC Legal’s 12 Days of Christmas blog series. Feel free to contact us if you would like to know more about our fixed fee audit service.