Are your workplaces up to scratch?

With continually developing workplace laws and increasing penalties for non-compliance, it is becoming more important to stop and consider whether your workplace practices are up to scratch. Amy Richardson recently posted an article in HR Daily that sets out some areas to audit and address the inadequacies before they become legal problems

1. Employment Contracts

Do you have employment contracts in place? If so, is your organisation aware of what the employment contract says?

Recently we have been seeing an increase in organisations not complying with the terms of employment contracts that don’t affect them on a daily basis. For example, many employment contracts provide that a performance review will be conducted annually. This provision is increasingly being forgotten, and failing to conduct a review annually in these circumstances, may be a breach of the employment contract by the organisation.

2. Modern Award Coverage

Are your employees covered by a Modern Award? If so, is your organisation familiar with the award?

It is important that an organisation is aware of the employees’ entitlements under a Modern Award and that it is complying with those entitlements. Do you know which classification your employees are covered by? Are your employees paid at least the minimum wage for that classification?

3. Policies and Procedures

What do your policies and procedures say? Have your employees been trained on the policies and procedures? It is all well and good to have policies in place but if your employees are not aware of those policies, they will be of little benefit to the organisation wishing to rely on them in legal proceedings (i.e. to defend an unfair dismissal claim or to show safe work practices during an investigation into a work health and safety matter). You may also wish to consider whether the organisation can in fact comply with the policies, for instance, are the terms too onerous on the organisation?

4. Employee Records

The Fair Work Regulations 2009 lists a number of employee records that must be retained by the organisation (i.e. a record of overtime hours worked, pay slips, superannuation nomination). Is your organisation retaining all employee records which it is required to retain? In addition to those mandatory records, does your organisation retain other records which will assist with the good practice of the organisation, such as, performance appraisals, records of disciplinary action, or records of training undertaken by the employee?