HR Support for Small Business

HR Support for Small Business

Answering the BIG question – Why Outsource your HR requirements?

  • Outsourcing your HR support requirements to an HR consultant can save you both time and money. Having a human resources consultant means that you have available to you someone with more experience and specialized knowledge than you have. The extra money you save can be reinvested into the business. You might be able to hire more people or operate more efficiently which could put you a step above your competitors.
  • Experienced outsourced providers can often deal with HR processes more effectively – especially quite complex HR functions such as employee regulations, employee handbooks, investigations, disciplinaries, and workplace health and safety. This will reduce the time that employers and managers spend on HR-related paperwork and procedures, and more time dedicated to their areas of focus.
  • Outsourcing HR functions can help businesses manage employee performance and development. If desired, your human resources consultants can implement performance management plans to ensure employees comply with company policies and procedures and successfully meet business goals.
  • Business leaders often get embroiled in the day-to-day HR issues, distracting them from their main business focus. Outsourced HR consultants allow you to shift your focus back, while providing comfort knowing that the HR side of things is being taken care of.
  • HR consultants can often be brought in to help create some of the more difficult HR documents such as employee handbooks and employee files, and to help establish best practices. In turn, this documentation contains the answers to many employee questions. By having the answers at their fingers tips, employees (and employers) get consistent answers to their questions, faster.
  • Employment legislation changes regularly and it can be difficult for employers to remain up-to-date on regulations that affect the workplace. It is the job of HR consultants to stay on top of this legislation so that you don’t have to. They will make sure your policies and procedures comply with legislation and that both the employer and the employee are protected. They may also regularly maintain your documentation to make sure you are continually up-to-date.


You may not need a full scope of support and instead someone there to provide support when needed.

This is why Fresh HR insights have developed their own support package for Small Business-

 $295 per month for 3 hours support* 

Book in  Discovery Call with you TODAY and find out how we work and what you get. After all what have you got to lose compared to what you have to gain


Small Business HR Support  - HR Support for Small Business

You can also contact us using our contact page HERE

How To Dismiss an Employee

How To Dismiss an Employee

Employee dismissal is not supposed to be a difficult process. Unfortunately, some employers tend to make it unnecessarily burdensome with roll on effects. We help employers through the procedure of terminating a casual employee. As a last resort of dealing with employees, employers can often react without considering the full process and what is “Harsh, Unjust and Unreasonable”.

Employers that are not careful when carrying out the termination process soon find themselves on the wrong side of the law. When an employer does not have the knowledge of what is legal and how to conduct themselves during a dismissal, they find it impossible to prevent legal action against their business.

Imagine that sinking feeling when you receive a FWC – Acknowledgement Letter following the dismissal of an employee. Attached will be the F3 for your response. You have 7 calendar days to lodge your reply to the unfair dismissal application. You will then be sent a conciliation date and time. It can be very stressful if this is something you have not tackled before.

Various reasons can account for the dismissal; however, it is your duty as the owner of the business to act reasonably throughout the dismissal process. In other words, you are dismissing the employee with grace and within the frameworks that are set down by the FWC.

An employer must give the employee a reason why he/she is at risk of being dismissed. The reason must be a valid reason based on the employee’s conduct or capacity to do the job. An employer must provide an employee with an opportunity to respond to the warning and give the employee a reasonable chance to rectify the problem, having regard to the employee’s response. Rectifying the problem might involve the employer providing additional training and ensuring the employee knows the employer’s job expectations.

The first step to dismissing an employee is to review the reasons for the dismissal. It is important to confirm all the pieces of information presented and verify the known facts before dismissing an employee. If deemed necessary, you should set up a meeting with the employee before the dismissal. You need to offer an employee a support person as part of this process.

Additionally, employers should confirm the legalities and legal implications that are involved before looking at or heading towards dismissing an employee. The Fair Work Act presents the due procedure to follow before dismissal is decided upon. The act frowns upon any act of discrimination, assault, harassment, breach of contract, and above all, wrongful termination. You need to be mindful or unlawful or adverse actions. It really is not a black and white process.

Pre-meeting procedures

  • Decide on what form the meeting will take and the paperwork that will be involved. You can decide on a script to aid the meeting or could decide against it.
  • Decide on who will be present during the meeting: this is a tricky area of the pre-meeting procedures that employers should be clear on.
  • On the part of the employee – they will need to be offered support during the meeting. Ask, in the meeting invite, if it is their wish to be escorted by a person to provide support.
  • On the other side, employers seeking to hold a disciplinary meeting need to be careful not to intimidate the employee. When the atmosphere is intimidating, the employee might perceive that it is action to get rid of him/her, and as a result, affect the conduct of the meeting. You also MUST be careful of predetermined outcomes. No decision should ever be made without obtaining all the facts.
  • The meeting should be held at a location that offers minimum disruption. By so doing, what is private will be kept private until you wish to disclose it.

You need to note that if you do receive an unfair Dismissal application as an employer you will be required to provide evidence including evidence that a warning has been given (except in cases of summary dismissal). Evidence may include a completed checklist, copies of written warning(s), a statement of termination or signed witness statements etc. These cannot be produced after the fact, so you need to get it right every time throughput the process. Fresh HR Insights can help with this.

How to conduct a disciplinary meeting that may lead to dismissal

During the meeting it is essential to provide an adequate explanation for the disciplinary – this would have already been set out in the disciplinary invite, you will go over it.  As an employer, where it is clear that the employee is indeed guilty of the allegations, you need to understand that a dismissal equals no more income, therefore, it becomes understandable if the employee gets angry or upset. Make sure you allow time for a break to gather their thoughts.

The employer should not get angry in return. Ensure that your conversation stays calm, do not force the employee to keep quiet, and above all, allow freedom of expression.

In a situation where the employee has not provided any reason for the allegations you still need to consider all the facts. Take time after the meeting – jumping straight to the conclusion of dismissal may indicate a predetermined outcome and therefore you may not be seen to be procedural fair. FW may deem the dismissal to be a fair reason but that the process was harsh – there would therefore likely be some form of payment to the employee for this.

If you have decided to go to dismissal, we suggest a final “show cause’ letter and meeting. This tells the employee that you are considering terminating their employment and gives them the last chance to tell you why you should reconsider. If nothing new, then you would be safe to dismiss.  The dismissal should be issued in writing. After this, take care of issues relating to settlements of entitlements and other relating issues.

Post meeting

An employer should co-ordinate the leaving process of the dismissed employee. Ensure to treat the dismissed employee with respect throughout the ordeal. The employee should be allowed unrestricted access to his personal items and also goodbyes from all other employees. If the employer wants to pay in lieu of notice the employee can leave that day.  This is often the best solution as rightly so the employee will be upset, and the business needs to move on and go into damage control to clear up what’s left behind.

Employers should treat employees with social, physical and legal respect during the dismissal process. Fall short of this and the law will make you pay.

The above is a very generalised process and does not take into account any mitigating circumstances nor does it take into account any specifics of a situation. We therefore highly recommend if you are looking at terminating an employee you contact us BEFORE you say or do anything.

Here is something to note – if you do get a F3 did you know “The employer can object to an unfair dismissal application on a number of jurisdictional grounds. A jurisdictional objection is not simply that the employer thinks the dismissal was fair. For example, the employer may object because the employer does not think the employee is eligible to make the application.”

Counting the Cost of Unfair Dismissal

Counting the Cost of Unfair Dismissal

When we think of the issue of unfair dismissal, there will always be disputes about who actually bears the ultimate cost, the employer or the employee. While some would say it is the employee, other schools of thought seem to think it is the employer. But who does bear the cost? A sneak peek at what unfair dismissal is.

According to labor law, an unfair dismissal is an act of employment termination, made without good reason or contrary to the specific legislation. Put in another way, when there is a good reason for dismissing an employee, but the dismissal happens through the wrong procedure.

Now when an aggrieved employee wants to raise a claim of unfair dismissal, they have to lodge an unfair dismissal application to the commission responsible for handling such matters in the country.

For example, the Fair Work Commission is responsible for such in Australia. When this procedure is completed, the commission urgently sends a due copy of the application to the employer who then reciprocates and send a response to the commission and the ex-employee. More often than not, the commission tries to settle the matter through agreements, but where this is not possible; it progresses to a legal hearing.

To examine which party bears the ultimate cost of unfair dismissal, it is important we examine it from different perspectives:

Financially, in most cases, for an aggrieved ex-employee to lodge an unfair dismissal application against a former employer, they will have to pay a particular fee, before they can start the process. This is currently $71.90This fee can be waived in cases of serious financial hardship.

Thereafter, the cost reduces considerably on the side of the employee and in some cases, the fee may even be refunded if the application is not accepted. For the employer, especially employers or large companies who are being accused of unfair dismissal, they will bear the cost of hiring a Human Resource/ Employment Relations Consultant or a lawyer to ascertain if truly there’s legal backing for unfair dismissal.

Also, in a case where the employee was truly unfairly dismissed, the compensation paid by the employer is usually hefty, when compared to the compensation paid by the ex-employee, if any at all when the claim is unsubstantiated. While the Fair Work Act in Australia allows costs payment if either of the party acted unworthily or without genuine cause. It should also be noticed that the same act states that all parties bear their own cost.

Note; Compensation is capped at 26 weeks’ pay and the total amount of compensation able to be awarded is half of the high-income threshold amount that applies immediately before the dismissal. This is currently $71,000 as the high-income threshold until 30 June 2018 is $142,000

Additionally, either parties can be detrimentally affected by an unfair dismissal application. Look at it this way, it can affect the employee’s ability to get another reasonable job or affect the company’s productive. If a person starts an unfair dismissal application against their former employer and after the whole proceedings, they are found to have acted inappropriately or without cause, they might find it considerably difficult to get another good job as acts like this are closely monitored by other employers.

For an employer found guilty of unfair dismissal, not only would they lose customers trust, but there will also be internal employee uproar. The public sentiment would be in support of the unfairly dismissed employee, and the image of the company will be damaged. Before long, stakeholders begin to express their dissent and the company has to deal with it.

Before embarking on dismissing an employee unfairly, it is noteworthy employers come to grasp the cost that they would be paying. Whether the dismissal was intentional or not, as far as it is unfair, employers end up bearing the greater cost. No matter how you look at it, it ultimately affects the profit gearing and perceived image.

The team at Fresh HR Insights fully understand and appreciate the costs involved with terminating an employee either because of their conduct or their capability. Which ever it is we strongly advise to tread carefully and follow a process. If you need to terminate give us a call on 0452 471 960 or alternatively book a time to chat through our booking system.

Some facts: More than 90% of unfair dismissal claims in 2017 were resolved before they reached a hearing involving a Fair Work Commissioner, but experts say disputes can still cost businesses significant time and money even if they never make it to the formal hearing stage.

The Fair Work Commission’s annual report in 2016-17 revealed 14,587 claims were made for unfair dismissal against Australian businesses in the 12 months leading up to June 30. On average, this is 280 claims a week.

If you want to find out more about the Disciplinary process, we have developed an eBook that will guide you through the process step by step and provide tips and templates. For the month of March 2019 this eBook is on sale. 

In House Training

Managing Separation and Termination training – Duration 3-hours for up to 10 people

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understanding Legislation
  • Knowledge of what Fair Work look for in an unfair dismissal claim
  • Procedural Fairness awareness
  • Skills and Knowledge for Disciplinary Action
  • The role of Managers and Supervisors
Managing Separation and Termination - Counting the Cost of Unfair Dismissal
The ergonomic office

The ergonomic office


The ergonomic office – Fresh HR Insights has much advice to give employers with regard to providing a good health and safety standard in the office.   Offices have much improved from the days of tall stools and long-legged desks, and lowly paid staff hunching their shoulders over ledgers. At least we like to think so!   Now, in the 21st century, it really is incumbent amongst employers, to make sure that all employees have equipment that does not harm their physical and mental health. Many labour under the false illusion that the office is a safe place just because it is an office.  Wrong!

Fresh HR Insights has seen more injuries and conditions arising from desk and screen work in the recent years.  For example, small muscle fatigue of the hand from extensive keyboard work that develops into a serious repetition strain injury. Sore eyes gained from background light onscreen that become acute eye strain.  Lower back pain caused by poor posture that becomes chronic spinal inflammation. These conditions have impacted on the lives of thousands.   To develop these conditions at work can cost employers a lot.  Workers compensation, loss of team members, increased recruitment costs, high staff turnover and a lot of sick leave soon adds up to a big financial problem.

Fresh HR Insights response to employers who frequently ask what to do when faced with these situations is…. ergonomics! Create an ergonomically friendly office space for your staff and these problems can go away.

These simple steps will help employers develop ergonomically sound office work stations and practices which are conducive to maintaining and protecting staff posture, comfort, health and safety. Also by following this link you will find governmental advice on how to set up an ergonomically friendly office

Ensure staff know they can take a break from sitting at a desk and encourage them to walk around to stretch their legs.  Sitting for too long can be harmful.

Give staff a varied menu of tasks on and off the computer and allow them to alternate these to prevent strain. Staff should take a pause every hour from repetitious work.

Make sure desks and chairs are suited to the physical needs of staff.  Position computers and screens at appropriate height and distance from the staff member and ensure keyboards are ergonomic  – enabling palm and wrist resting, light touch keying, adjustable and

Make sure ergonomic principles are a matter of policy within the office.

Follow this link for governmental advice on how to select furniture

Good examples of ergonomic desks and chairs are those that are designed to be adjustable and to reflect different sizes and statures of the anatomy.

Best buys for any office would be a scattering of task chairs – suited for the short-term work, intensive chairs for those who need support over longer periods of time and who have some posture issues, and therapod chairs – for those needing a level of specialised support at their desks.  These, at the time of writing, can be sourced from $425 to $1,338 approximately each. 

Similarly, electric height adjusting desks will ensure staff can sit with physical ease with an appropriate arm reach: these can currently be sourced from $1424 to $1925 per desk.

These prices are small to what you may have to pay out if you don’t go the ergonomic way!

Our Preferred Supplier for your 

Ergonomic office

Office National Yatala
3/65 Christensen Road,
QLD – 4207 

Call: 07 3807 4447

Screen Shot 2018 03 14 at 5.57.43 AM - The ergonomic office
Screen Shot 2018 03 14 at 5.57.32 AM - The ergonomic office
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New Year, New Start, New Employees

New Year, New Start, New Employees

New Year, New Start, New Employees.

New Employee Recruitment – Why getting recruitment right is vital and if you don’t, guess what?

There was the case of the small business that advertised a position for a new receptionist. The appointed interview panel agreed to a points system for assessing the performance of candidates and agreed the post would be offered to whoever achieved the highest score. The interviews went ahead, and the best candidate was agreed. Just the post was offered, the department head decided to give the job to his niece instead. There was a great deal of acrimony and the result was a number of senior personnel handing in their resignation. 

Let us, and you, start on the right track.

New Employee Recruitment. A fresh start for everyone is a good idea, and the New Year is as good a time as any to check you are doing everything right by your employees and by potential employees. 2018 has come – and the year ahead may bring many unexpected things your way: success, opportunity, laughter, lawsuits (we hope not), new premises, a new strategy, an industry award, and new staff. If you are looking for new staff, either replacing those who have left or expanding parts of the business and creating new roles, then Fresh HR Insights can help you.

Fresh HR Insights does not want anyone to get into hot water so early in 2018, so let this New Year be the start of good practice in your workplace.   Recruitment is not easy, but if done properly it will bear you benefits that mean you will avoid the “lawsuits” in the list above!

It is important that you know the law regarding employees and that you recruit fairly and widely, this will help you reach as many of the right people possible for the job. Don’t forget a secretive closed appointment will create suspicion and anger – always be fair and accountable and old and new staff will respect you. 

Remember in August last year, the case of the Railway Union which lost the battle to keep jobs advertised internally? Well we don’t want that happening to your business.  Make sure you advertise externally, as well as internally, and that the details of the job are clear, and that terms are conditions are lawful and appropriate to the job.

Good practice is as important as compliance with the law! When you are shortlisting for interviewing make sure the criteria of selection is fair and if possible involve a panel to oversee the process and to make decisions, then respect what that panel decides!

When you interview, make sure the candidates know what your plan of interview is, how long it will be and with whom they will be interviewing. Make the interview fair to all. When you make your selection, make sure you make a job offer that is as promised within the advert placed at the start of the recruitment.

Fresh HR Insights has a lot of experience in recruiting in small and large businesses and has developed many materials that will inform you. We will hold your hand from start to finish. In the words of Oprah Winfrey:

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right


Screen Shot 2017 11 26 at 3.49.51 PM - New Year, New Start, New Employees


Grab your Recruitment eBook NOW


New Employee Recruitment can be difficult to navigate but not any more with our COMPREHENSIVE eBook that includes all the templates, advice and tips you will need.


Recruiting and selecting the most appropriate person for the job is a complex task which requires trained staff who are aware of anti-discrimination laws and guidelines. Fresh HR Insights Pty Ltd has developed a comprehensive guidelines that will help you to implement a consistent method of recruitment and encourage applications from the widest possible pool. Our comprehensive Recruitment and Selection eBook contains some best practice guidelines for developing selection criteria, advertising, short listing, application forms, testing, interviewing, referee reports, and making the decision, when recruiting and selecting the most appropriate person for the job.

Grab your Recruitment eBook NOW




The Scoop on Probationary Periods – A time to engage your new Employee for future success

The Scoop on Probationary Periods – A time to engage your new Employee for future success

Fresh HR Insights can help make probationary periods work for the employee and employer

Probationary periods at the start of new employment have been common practice in Australia for a long time. However, they can be instigated and served in an unsatisfactory manner which can defeat their purpose.  They are a means by which an employer can see demonstrated the suitability and fitness of new employees to the job.  It is a period of time (i.e. 3 months), when an employee is first employed, and allows either the employer or the employee to terminate the employment for any reason.  The purpose of a probationary period is for both parties to decide whether the employee is suited to the position and/or employer’s business. ‘Trying out the Employment’

 A probation period also entitle’s an employer to dismiss an employee without the risk of an unfair dismissal claim if he/she is found to be unsuitable. The Fair Work Act (Act) has replaced the reference to “probation”: with the need for an employee to serve a “minimum employment period” before the employee can lodge an unfair dismissal claim.

Many of us, in the employer role, have interviewed fantastic candidates for the jobs we are advertising, who have sailed through into first place on a mix of charm and know-how, only to find that much of the personality was thin and that real knowledge on the job is scant and above all, with a daily demonstration of a “lazy and late every day” attitude, that the motivation shown in interview simply wasn’t true!

On the other hand – employees can be put off leaving one place of work to go into another knowing there is no secure contract of employment until weeks, maybe months down the line. And however excellent a new employee, being scrutinised can be stressful.

Almost 1 in 5 new employees fails to get past their probation period according to new research. Some of the main reasons why new starters fail in their probation periods are;

  • Poor performance is the most common reason for failing to pass probation
  • Lateness was a close second’
  • Gross misconduct was next
  • Sickness came in in fourth place

The research also revealed that 60pc of companies have a probationary period failure rate of 10pc, and that almost 80pc of companies are willing to give staff another chance by extending probation periods.

Turning the negative to positive

Fresh HR Insights believes that probationary periods can work for everybody as long as expectations on both sides are managed professionally.

Know what it is  A probationary employment period is a short “starter” contract which is precursor to an intended longer term or permanent employment contract, for an employer to consider whether a new member of staff can reach and maintain the standards required for the job.   It can also be a time for the newly recruited individual to consider whether the workplace is where they want to stay. 

Manage well and motivate your new employee for the future. As an employer, you should ensure the newly recruited staff member takes part in an induction, meets all staff, is aware of company policies and procedures, understands the culture of the company and, crucially, is fully aware of all the requirements of the new role.    In the event that training was offered during the interview process, this must be honoured as quickly as possible so that the new member of staff is equipped for the role in question. It is essential that your new employee is given the best possible start in your company and the optimal conditions for exercising the role intended for him or her.

Always make your intentions clear and be honest

Fresh HR Insights stresses the importance of openness.

Arrange regular meetings with the new employee so that problems can be resolved in a timely way and ensure that a review takes place half way through the probationary term so both sides can air what they like and don’t like.  Remember to write down all decisions keep the employee fully informed at all times. 

If you encourage your employee to be frank and honest, also, about any difficulties, and to put them in writing to you, their confidence will grow in you and in the company and additionally, there will be no surprises by the end of the period.  If all goes to plan, after 6 months, you should be formalising a full-time contract with your employee and welcoming them officially to the team. We recommend the use of “Successful Completion of Probation” letter’s

If you want more information you can contact Fresh HR Insights on OR you can download “The Scoop on Probationary Periods” – this includes all you need to know PLUS your Probation letters and New Employee induction checklist.

The Scoop on Probationary Periods

Probation Period

Probation policy

There is no law determining the length of a probationary period. However, there is an expectation that the employer will be reasonable. It is typical for a probationary period to last no longer than six months, and three months where an employee is moving to a new post internally.

Good induction programs can increase productivity and reduce short-term turnover of staff. These programs can also play a critical role under the socialisation to the organisation in terms of performance, attitudes and organisational commitment.

A Comprehensive induction programme for employees will;

  • Help new employees to understand their role and become confident and effective
  • Provide clear guidelines as to where they fit in within the Company
  • Facilitate safe and effective working within a new environment
  • Encourage commitment to the Company
  • Quickly dispel the feeling of being out of place

Here is a sample of our Induction and Probation Process

Meetings should be booked in advance and will normally only take 30 minutes. Meetings should be held at the end of week One (1), Week Three (3) and week

Day One: The Supervisor should meet with the new employee as much as possible during your first 30 days to review progress on objectives as well as allow you to ask any questions.  You should ensure that the new employee feels comfortable to approach you should they have any concerns.

Day Two:  Day two is all about navigating the workings of the individual teams and the introductions to the products and services and then their workstation. On Arrival the new Employee should be offered a hot drink and given the opportunity to spend 5-10 minutes with their new team. They will then be given the opportunity to walk around the workspace in order to gain an understanding of the services offered and the working space. The position descriptions have clear KPI’s and these should be referred back to and be signed off as the new employee adjusts to their new position

Day two is the first opportunity for the new employee to start working within the role that they have been employed. The Supervisor should ensure that all the equipment is in place prior to this afternoon so that effective training can commence straight away, this will be different for each position and may include but is not limited to:

  • Ensure that all company equipment is working properly.
  • Write e-mail signature and set e-mail preferences
  • Check access to intranet & all MS office programmes
  • Check office phone and voicemail are working effectively and record message
  • Check stationery provided is adequate

60 Day Probationary Period Review

Every workplace is different and employees work much better when they are clear on expectations. It is unreasonable to expect that a transition into a new role will go brilliantly. People are a product of their previous environment, so what may have been common practice in another environment, may not be here at the Company

The objective of monthly reviews during the 60 Day Probationary Review  period is to keep communication flowing and address any concerns, teething problems, training or accountability issues and provide clarity on priorities, early rather than leaving everything to the end of the three-month probationary period. Employees will feel more positive and focused about their contribution – this leads to a happier, more settled employee and a productive workplace. The purpose of this meeting is for the employee and the supervisor to discuss the past weeks and highlight any areas that may need to be addressed.

Typical examples are:

  • Planning – or lack of
  • Communication
  • Positive attitude
  • Work-load
  • Expectations and deliverables
  • Training
  • Retention
  • Presentation
  • Follow through
  • Attention to detail
  • Adherence to Deadline

The employee will have an opportunity to communicate how they feel they are performing within the guidelines given for the role.  We will discuss what areas are enjoyed, what areas if any, are proving difficult, expectations and accountability.  This is also an opportune time for the employee to articulate whether the role is as depicted during the interview process. The Supervisor will then give feedback on how the employee is performing to our expectations and document Action Plans if required.

  • Book a time and advise the Employee of the meeting and the purpose. Allow approximately 30-45 minutes.
  • Clarify their perception on the accuracy of the depiction of the role, during the interview process. “Is the role as we depicted?”
  • Invite candidate to talk about their role covering the above, talk about issues they may have and any improvements that they have made. (Document issues or concerns raised and come back to them at the close.
  • The Manager gives feedback on performance. (Highlight any relevant issues with examples if possible)
  • Discuss issues raised (Document specific action or outcome)
  • Discuss appropriate training, retraining, refocus and appropriate time lines. The Employee will receive a copy of documented Action Plan.
  • It is important to include expected milestones against each responsibility in the Job Description for the probation period.
  • Advise an appropriate date to revisit the above and review the second month. End positively
  • Document Action Plan and ensure Employee receives a copy within two working days of the meeting.

60-day Objectives and beyond

After the employee has been at the company for 60 days (or 2 months) a meeting will be held with the Supervisor and the employee to discuss the performance so far and agree on the objectives that will take them up to the end of the probation period.

It is essential that you add any new objectives that are developmental or work related to your original 60-day plan, this allows you to manage your time and ensure that work overload does not occur. You should also remove any completed objectives and store these as a review of progress for the 90-day probationary review meeting.

6 Month Probationary Period Review –

The purpose of this meeting is for the employee and the Manager to discuss the past three months and highlight any areas that may need to be addressed as we move forward to ongoing employment.

Typical examples are:

  • Planning – or lack of
  • Communication
  • Work-load
  • Expectations and deliverables
  • Training
  • Retention
  • Presentation
  • Follow through
  • Attention to detail
  • Adherence to deadlines

The team member will have an opportunity to communicate how they feel they are performing within the guidelines given for the role. We will discuss what areas are enjoyed, what areas if any, are proving difficult, expectations and accountability.

Within the initial three months, the basics of the role should be under control; a good grasp of the broad business offering, strong ownership of the role, competence across the business administration and relationships developed with key clients and stakeholders.

  • Recap on outcome of previous Reviews, Invite employee to talk about the past three months in total, talk about issues and improvements that they have made. (Document issues or concerns raised and come back to them at the close.)
  • The Manager gives feedback on performance over the past six months. (Highlight any relevant issues with examples if possible here)
  • Discuss issues raised
  • Set expectations for the next 3 or 6 months which will be reviewed at the next performance review.
  • Discuss appropriate training, retraining, refocus and appropriate time lines.  The Team member will receive a copy of documented Action Plan.
  • End positively.



Probation Pass Letter


/      /20

Dear <Employee’s Name>

Your employment with XXXXX was subject to a probationary period of 6 months

We are pleased to confirm that you have successfully completed the probationary period of your employment with XXXXX

Your employment record will be updated to reflect that you have satisfactorily completed the probationary period.

Thank you for the effort you have applied to your new position to date. We hope to have a continuing successful and enjoyable working relationship with you.

Yours faithfully





Probation Termination Letter


/        /20

Dear <Employee’s Name>

We refer to our meeting with you on <Meeting Date>

The purpose of this letter is to confirm the termination of your employment with XXXXX effective today.

As set out in your contract dated <DATE>, your employment was subject to an initial probationary period of six months.  During your probationary period your suitability for the role of (role title), and performance and progress in the role was assessed.

XXXXXX has therefore decided to terminate your employment during your probationary period.  The decision to terminate your employment has been made on the basis that various aspects of your performance and suitability for the role are unsatisfactory.

As a consequence of the termination of your employment, you will be paid the following amounts:

  • Pay In Lieu of Notice Amount, being 1 weeks’ pay in lieu of notice; and
  • Pay In Lieu of Leave Amount, being pay in lieu of accrued and untaken leave entitlements.

Please arrange for all company property in your possession, custody or control to be returned to me by Property (Return Date).

I take this opportunity to remind you of your continuing confidentiality obligations after the termination of your employment, as set out in your contract.

We thank you for your efforts and wish you the best for the future.

Yours faithfully,




The Recognition Revolution

The Recognition Revolution

“There are two things people want more than sex and money: recognition and praise”

Mary Kay Ash, Founder; Mary Kay, inc.

There a revolution going on in today’s workplaces. Employees want respect, and they want it now. They want to be trusted to do a good job; they want autonomy to decide how best to do it; they want to be asked their opinion and involved with decisions – especially those decisions that affect them and their work, and they want to be supported, even if they make a mistake.

Most important, they want to be appreciated when they do a good job. 

These considerations are more important for today’s employee’s than they were in previous eras – or even five to ten years ago for that matter. Providing workers with recognition and respect can make a world of difference in getting the best efforts out of them, keeping them, and helping you develop a reputation for treating employees in a way that helps attract talent to work for you and your company. 

But what is recognition?

Recognition is a positive consequence provided to an employee for a desired behaviour or result. Recognition can take the form of acknowledgement, approval, or the expression of gratitude. It means appreciating someone for something he or she has done for you, your company, the group you belong to or even your customers and clients. It also can come in the form of asking someone’s opinion, involving them in a decision, or encouraging them in their career.  Recognition can be given while an employee is striving to achieve a certain goal or behaviour, or once he of she has completed it. 

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Employee Recognition can be broken down into the three following groups:

  1. FORMAL RECOGNITION; A structured or planned approach to recognition for a desired outcome or performance. This may include Years of Service Awards, Employee of the Month awards, Top sales Person for the Month or Achievers Award. The recognition can be significant and symbolic, given the public forum in which it is typically presented. 
  2. INFORMAL RECOGNITION; A spontaneous gesture of thanks for a desired outcome or performance. Examples here may include; Creating a “pass around” award to acknowledge exceptional customer service; bringing in coffee and doughnuts or even Pizza to celebrate success. Recognition of this type is increasingly more important to today’s employees than formal recognition. I like to think if them as the “warm fluffies” 
  3. DAY-TO-DAY RECOGNITION; Daily feedback about positive employee performance. Examples include; Dropping by to tell someone “good job” on an assignment; a simple thank you in person or in front of a team for a job well done (It all starts with a thank you and sometimes that’s all it takes). This is the ultimate for of recognition – it’s where the rubber meets the road in creating a results-orientated culture of recognition for your Company


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Knowing that you have someone there when you need them in times of turbulence

We offer a FREE 30-minute General HR Consultation for all new Connections with Fresh HR Insights Pty Ltd. Paulette is an Employment Relations EXPERT with extensive qualifications and global experience she is positioned as one of the very best Employment Relations Consultants in South East Queensland. Grab your FREE 30-minute consultation valued at over $125

Untrained Employee = unhappy employees

Untrained Employee = unhappy employees

Untrained Employee = unhappy employees

Untrained employees are unhappy employees – Business has always been an evolving field ever since eternity where innovation and being “in-step” has been paying dividends in terms of revenue increase and an increase in productivity. This is truer today than any other time in the business as small business revenues are getting more and more intricately woven with the factors which never really mattered just a few decades back. Workplace training, training employees and using training as an investment in the business are such trends. Workplace training, which was once considered as lost time in business, is now one of the most emphasised concepts and business strategy anchors.

Most business giants and some of the smart small businesses now perfectly understand the wisdom of training employees and consider it as an investment in the business to revenue increase and increase productivity. In fact, a trained employee is a happy employee and an untrained employee is an unhappy one. Here are some of the defining reasons that how an untrained employee is an unhappy employee:

How untrained employees are unhappy employees?

  • The chaos and confusion. A new workplace comes with new surprises for new graduates and freshmen. Fresh from the theoretical part of their education, the new employees have little or no experience of the routine running of an active and thriving business. It takes quite some time for these fresh inductees to start knitting into the fabric of a fast moving business. Workplace training is the best mean to reduce the “downtime” and “time lost in the business” for such new employees. Training makes it easier for them to understand the demands of the workplace, dynamics of the business, rules of the business and the policies of the employers. The resultant clarity (owing to the employee training” removes the cause of confusion and chaos that comes naturally with a new workplace or lack of experience.
  • They never believe the workplace owns them. Investing in the employee training is a vital source of establishing the precious bond between the employer and the employee. An unhappy employee has a universal thinking that the employers just want work out of him or her without having to think of any personal benefit (except for the agreed pay and perks associated directly with the job). Training of employees doesn’t fall in the category of the agreed upon benefits, whereas, training employees plays a vital role in employee development on personal level as well. Training employees on one hand builds the workplace efficiency of the employees (contributing to revenue increase and increased productivity) and on the other imparts a sense of “being owned” in the employees (this creating happier workforce).
  • Untrained employees lack the much needed confidence. Under performing and unhappy employees are many times those who do not carry the right amount of understanding related to their particular job. Employee training ensures that each employee understand the requirement of his or her job and be more productive, efficient, confident and happy at the workplace.
8 Tips to build your dream workplace for small business owners - Untrained Employee = unhappy employees
Opening a Job Vacancy without a Position Description

Opening a Job Vacancy without a Position Description

Opening a Job Vacancy without a Position Description

Why this will not get you the best result

There is much to consider while opening a job vacancy. Apart from deciding when and where to post the vacancy, and how many days to allow for it, one of the most crucial elements is the content and style of the vacancy announcement.

There are various types of vacancy advertisements. They may be posted in the newspaper, on the official website or spread to the current employees of the company. They are perhaps most intimately aware of what the company requires and may recommend the vacancy to suitable candidates.

One of the most important strategies in recruitment is the ‘Seller’ approach instead of the traditional buyer outlook. The recruiter must sell the idea of the job to the job market. This includes, but is not limited to, presenting the most lucrative company policies to the potential candidates. In order to convince a talented and successful person to work for you, your announcement must stand out from the hundreds of announcements which gather under the “SEEK, Indeed, Facebook, and LinkedIn’’ banners. Therefore, in order to reach the most eligible candidates, the job vacancy announcement must be tailored to catch their attention.

What will make your job vacancy announcement attractive? First and foremost: the Position Description.

A position description is an effective tool in dealing with the expectations of employees. If your company is well reputed, many of those reading your vacancy announcement will jump to conclusions regarding the prospective salary and benefits you may be offering. Unrealistic expectations result in disappointment, and this generates a bad vibe about your company. Thus it is more effective to include the position description in the advertisement, so as to clarify what the requirements are and what you will be offering for it.

Apart from the consideration of expectations harboured by prospective employees, not including a position description may land your company into trouble under employment legislation for recruitment and may bring you a bad case with the Fair Work Commission. Publicly displaying your position description provides transparency to your organisation.

Posting a vacancy position without a position description may result in fewer applications by job seekers, as they are not sure what will be required from them and thus do not wish to risk being rejected. Thus, posting a detailed position description will prepare the employee for the tasks they are expected to perform. They will not fully understand the position that they are applying for. You may also get applications from candidates that do not meet any of the requirements of the role. 

Highlighting the extra benefits your organisation provides, such as health care, paid vacations or work-from-home days will make your advertisement intriguing. A highly skilled job seeker would be keeping a keen eye on all news of ‘‘Position vacant Gold Coast’’, and a recruiter must aim to hook their attention with the position description. Position descriptions reveal the work culture of your organisation, as well as the level of operations. Thus, in order to attract the highest ranking candidates, they must be convinced of the advantages or working for you.  Without it, your vacancy announcement will only generate irrelevant applications.

The value in having an employee handbook

The value in having an employee handbook

The value in having an employee handbook

HR outsourcing is the new money saver in a world where you are constantly looking for ways to save money. Organisations have gone to an extent where only their HQ is in one place and all other products are being manufactured and packaged in other countries or locations to save costs.

This is where the beauty of human resource outsourcing comes in. In a world like this the value of having an employee handbook or ready reference is of utmost importance. This is especially true for small business HR. Amidst all this madness, Fresh HR Insights as Gold Coast’s HR Consultant stands out as they provide you with the ultimate bible on the way that you do business. 

The first and foremost question that may arise is the actual need for an employee handbook.

But why do you need one you ask??

  • If you have an employee you instantly inherited a raft of legal obligations that you must fulfil. With most of these legal obligations if something goes wrong the first thing the courts will ask you is what was your written policy on this issue
  • A well-drawn Employee Handbook can be an important record that will assist and support you as an employer, should any legal issues or claims be brought against you
  • A well-written handbook ensures your employees know your expectations, clearly understand the rules of conduct in your company, and are aware of the benefits to which they are entitled
  • An employee handbook represents an important communication tool between your company and your employees
  • An employee handbook leaves nothing to chance and can be used as a bench-marking tool for performance

This is an essential tool for the formulation of a company’s policies and procedures. The performance and conduct of outsourced personnel are heavily dependent upon the input and output of this handbook.

To develop this handbook one needs expert HR advice from professional HR services like what Fresh HR Insights provides as a Gold Coast based HR Consultant. They are human resource specialists with expertise in fair work issues. They have expert HR teams that help Small Business HR departments formulate policies and procedures for outsourcing and developing the employee handbook. They are also experts in developing innovative solutions for your HR problems. Not all small business HR teams understand the challenges they may face while handling outsourced employees. Gold Coast HR Consultants, on the other hand have developed professional HR services that will make your handbook a tool for easing up your HR worries.

We will not only handle your current outsources employees, but have an expert HR recruitment process. The new recruitment process is time taking and may deplete a small business HR department of its resources. Therefore, professional HR services like what we provide give you a fresh recruitment policy along with help in the complete hiring process.

The performance and conduct of these new recruits are also monitored so the managers at the top level in the company have a complete picture of how each and every task is being carried out. This big picture was not always available to managers and top hierarchy as the outsourced employees worked in total darkness. Gold Coast HR Consultants will help you get rid of this old problem. Not only will they help you get rid of this, but will also help throughout the process of recruitment and the challenges further ahead.

The best thing about this expert HR facility is that you can buy their services on whatever frequency you require. It ranges from professional HR services on an hourly basis to contractual basis. You can hand over your entire small business HR department over to us or collaborate with our professional HR service providers to formulate and use the outsourced employee handbook. Therefore, if you are in need of such a professional service that can help you not only with finding the right people to do the job, but also keep track on their progress and help you attain professional excellence while doing so.           

Customised Employee Handbooks for all Business sizes, Industries, locations across Australia and culture’s 

We have 3 options when it comes to our Employee Handbooks. From a Simple handbook through to a Comprehensive Employee Handbook. ALL our Handbooks are customised to your specific Business and Industry. We do not sell generic handbooks or off the shelf solutions. We FIRMLY believe in a personal service and bringing the HUMAN back into Human Resource Management.

If you are undecided about whether to invest the time in creating a handbook, consider some of the other uses for a handbook in addition to communicating important information to employees.

Provided the appropriate content is there, the handbook can serve a number of purposes:

  • A motivator. A handbook can give employees a sense of being a part of something larger. If your handbook includes information about the business’s history and goals, it can provide a positive motivation for keeping employees excited about their jobs and involved in the company’s success.
  • A reference. With a handbook, everyone knows the rules of your workplace. When an employee breaks a rule, you can refer to the handbook. It helps make enforcement and discipline easier.
  • Your shield from charges of discrimination or unfair treatment. If discrimination or unemployment claims are brought against your business, your handbook can provide persuasive evidence that you had clear, reasonable rules against certain conduct which were communicated to employees and fairly enforced.
Workplace bullying – the impact beyond the workplace

Workplace bullying – the impact beyond the workplace

Workplace Bullying – The impact beyond the workplace

Most people might not agree with the phenomenon of “workplace bullying” or the fact that it actually exists, but the truth is that it not only exists, but it also results in the creation of an unhealthy environment in the office. In literal terms, bullying is usually seen as acts or verbal comments that could possibly mentally hurt or isolate a person in the workplace. Sometimes these acts could also involve physical assault such as hitting, tripping, pushing, slapping, spitting or in worst case scenarios, stealing or destroying possessions of the other i.e., deleting someone’s important work files from their computers in their absence, etc.

Workplace bullying is when your boss or coworkers assert power over you through aggression, which results in you feeling intimidated, offended, degraded or humiliated. Verbal bullying is more likely to take place in workplace related situations, such actions include spreading malicious rumors or gossip to portray a negative image about an employee, excluding or isolating someone from social gatherings happening inside the office, withholding necessary information or purposely giving the wrong information to an employee to restrict him/her from giving the required output to the boss, belittling a person’s opinion during office meetings or presentations, etc.

Workplace bullying definitely exists, but it often becomes difficult to draw a line between strong management and bullying. Comments or demands that are objective and intended to provide constructive feedback or improve employee performance, do not come under the definition of bullying, but are instead intended to improve organisations internal working conditions and overall output.

Workplace bullying heavily impacts a person and their working capacity, not just inside but also outside the organization. Inside the organization, an employee who is a victim of constant workplace bullying might end up taking a lot of days off from work or stay extremely stressed, which in turn affects the organization because that person will become less productive. There might be instances where the victim becomes so depressed that he/she would have to get some treatment or enroll in an assistance program, for which the company will have to bear the cost. Apart from that, the victim will continuously have a decreased morale and lower motivation level, which will definitely affect the current standing of the company, in a negative sense. There is a high chance that the victim stops performing his/her duties well, even when it comes to interacting with corporate from different organizations or the general customers of the company, which then results in reduced corporate standing and decreased customer confidence.

But the impact of workplace bullying is not just restricted to within the organization, it also affects an individual personally in his everyday life. Feelings of helplessness and frustration are highly likely to develop in a person because of the bullying he/she faces every day, which might make them depressed to the extent of harming themselves or taking their own life. The constant bullying may as well result in the victim putting that stress within their family life, resulting in fights with spouses to the extent of physical abuse and divorces. A victim might also become less confident about themselves and face the issue of low self-esteem because of which there is a possibility of them not being able to do tasks properly or concentrate on anything at all. Physical symptoms such as loss of appetite and health issues, and psychosomatic symptoms such as stomach pains and anxiety/panic can also be experienced by a victim or workplace bullying. 

Fresh HR Insights Pty Ltd has partnered with the AMAZING Dr Ruth Knight who is a respected Culture, Change and People Specialist. As part of this we are offering all our clients and prospective clients a Complementary one hour session on Bullying.

If this is of interest to you connect with us TODAY.  (valued till 31st May 2016)

Drug and Alcohol Policy in the workplace

Drug and Alcohol Policy in the workplace

How to Implement a Drug and Alcohol policy in your Workplace


When implementing a drug and alcohol policy, ensure that you do the following things:

  • Consult with employees, unions and health and safety representatives (HSRs) This will likely increase compliance with the policy
  • Educate employees on the health effects of drugs and alcohol. Your policy should focus on prevention, not punishment
  • Advise your employees of the policy and ensure that they understand it
  • Apply the policy consistently and fairly
  • Reinforce the policy with timely reminders to ensure it stays front-of-mind, e.g. before a work Christmas partyTrain supervisors, managers and HSRs on how to: 
    • identify signs of intoxication;
    • approach intoxicated employees; and
    • monitor compliance with the policy

     Important: If you intend to implement drug and alcohol testing as part of your policy, the policy will need to include a testing clause. 

Definition: Health and Safety Representative (HSR) – An HSR is an employee who has been elected to the role of representing other employees about health and safety matters in their workgroup.

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We have also created a 4 week program on Drugs and Alcohol in the workplace that includes all the below for only $95 + GST – Click Here to Order*, with the Code “4Week D&A

  • Drug and Alcohol Policy and Procedure
  • Case Law, Unfair dismissal guide
  • Tips and Recommendations
  • Best Practice
  • Drugs of Abuse Table – Drug Checklist
  • And much more 

*you will be sent an invoice and as soon as that is paid you will receive the link to the 4 week program Want to know more??

 Click Here to Order*, with the Code “4Week D&A”

Team building

Team building

So you don’t believe in team building?

Here is why you should

Running a business is a complex activity that needs looking after multiple aspects for successful running of the business. Every business has its peculiar circumstances, objectives and targets to meet. The strategies that you devise are wholly oriented towards achieving your intended business targets. Team building is one such business demand that you cannot neglect or relegate to ‚another day, especially once you have plans to expand your business in near future.

Team Building is a must have‚business consideration when it comes to Gold Coast HR. It has more to do with workplace motivation than any other factor in running your business. If you love to act ‚SOLO‚ in running your business and don’t believe in team building, then here are some great reasons to change your mind:

Why should you believe in team building?

  • Workplace Motivation. Perhaps nothing can contribute to workplace motivation than a feeling of being a part of the team. Most businesses perform below their potential due to de-motivated or less contributing employees. For the most part, lack of motivation is largely attributed to the sense of ‚no say‚ in the affairs of the business. This factor can be mitigated with the creation of effective team building mechanism within your business or company.
  • Promote creativity and facilitate organisational communication. Team building means establishing a chain where your workforce is properly structured and it’s easier for everybody to communicate horizontally and vertically. Better communications means lesser organizational friction, enhanced productivity, idea sharing and above all creativity promotion. The fruits of team building manifest in more than one way to benefit your business.
  • Barrier removal. Organisational barriers are the greatest impediment in achievement of an efficient organisation. The usual ‚organisation gap‚ feeling among the employees is largely overcome with team building, builds trust between the top management and workforce, builds inter-organisational working relationships and instills confidence in workforce. Team building is a proven path to enhanced organizational productivity
  • Develops a problem solving attitude. Teams working in tandem generate a feeling of camaraderie and promote collective wisdom. Working collectively, the workforce develops an attitude to view organisational problems and issues as of personal concern. This feeling forms the basis of collective problem solving attitude and nothing is brushed under the carpet.
  • Provides a realistic feedback to top management. Team building creates the vital sense of ownership in the workforce that promotes honest appraisals and correct feedback. Accurate and in time picture building based on honest feedback helps top management in effective decision making. The chain reaction thus sets in a profitable and benevolent mechanism (ultimate fruition of an effective team building measures).
  • Mutual support and talent recognition. Team building helps in building mutual support spirit and helps in talent recognition and grooming. Teams mean enhanced interaction and it helps younger team members in learning from old guards. Inter organisational structure of talent grooming and recognition is another pronounced benefit of team building that contributes in great measure to organisational success.