Category: Articles

Writing A Position Description

IR Simplified - Position Description
IR Simplified - Position Description
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A common complaint the media jumps on is that the Fair Work Act and Modern Awards are too hard to understand.

There are even ‘experts’ like David Bates, who make up stories to fit with that claim.

As I wrote in the previous article, if you want to find a way to understand the Fair Work Act, don’t listen to the experts.

To further expand on that, I will be using the example that Mr Bates created, of Steve and his business.

While this article and other related ones will use Steve as the example, they can apply to any business.

What Does Steve Do?

Mr Bates’ example has Steve being the owner of a business that is a cafe/library/online hub.

It is safe to say that at a minimum, the employees would need to have barista skills. They will also need to be tech savvy, and have a deep understanding of the books stocked.

How this would actually work in the real world would be interesting to see.

While I am sure that the scenario is there to reinforce Mr Bates’ agenda, we will play along nonetheless.

Problems Started Earlier

Mr Bates would have you believe that the problems started when Steve contacted the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Except in Steve’s case, they started long before then.

Steve, like a majority of business owners, was of the belief that he could manage industrial relations himself.

While this is true of most businesses, in Steve’s case due to the complexity of his business, it wasn’t a good idea.

All the imaginary stress and trouble that Steve went through in David’s article could have been avoided if, he built the industrial relations side of his business on a good foundation.

And that starts with having a clear and concise position description

Using The Position Description

Having a position description will help Steve to understand which Modern Award applies to his business.

They will also help him by setting a standard that his employees are to follow, if their performance starts to drop, and disciplinary action is needed.

They will also help by setting a minimum qualification and/or experience that is required for employees to achieve a particular pay increment.

While it is easy to blame someone else when things go wrong, there comes a point when we have to own up to things.

If you are paying your staff wrong or don’t know which award applies then the buck must stop with you.

Time to learn how to use the legislation we have to our advantage, and not whinge about something we can’t change.

Small Business Fair Dismissal Code Webinar

Photo Credit: Nico Kaiser via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Nico Kaiser via Compfight cc

As a small business owner, are you intimidated by the Fair Work Act?

Do you believe that it is virtually impossible to sack under-performing employees?

If so, then the webinar “Understanding the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code” is for you.

During the webinar, you will learn how you can use the Fair Work to your advantage.

You will also be shown how you can fire an under-performing employee without it resulting in a successful unfair dismissal application.

This is one webinar you won’t want to miss, and there is no sales pitch at the end.

You will get plain language ways to help you understand the Fair Work Act, and how it applies to small business in Australia


Understanding the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code

Wednesday 25 May 2016 at 10:00am(Qld Time)

Register for webinar

Top 7 Myths Relating To Industrial Relations

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Every industry or area of expertise has it’s fair share of myths and misconceptions. For better or worse, industrial relations is no different.

As with most myths, they have some foundation in truth. Then end up getting blown out of proportion or distorted by time.

In no particular order are some of the most common myths about industrial relations

Myth #1 – You need to have a degree in Law or Human Resources to understand Industrial Relations.

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Do You Need More Policies or Better Managers?

IRSimplified: Company Policies
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Aren’t company policies wonderful and divisive things?

Some organisations swear by them. Believing that it isn’t possible to have too many of them.

Yet, there are as many who have had enough of them. Considering company policies to be the bane of a competent managers existence.

Does an excess of company policies show poor management or employees?

Once the plethora of policies are in place, are they there for good, or can you get rid of them?

Excessive Company Policies = Poor Management/Recruitment

I do not believe that having a large number of policies is good for anyone.

What it does tend to show is that a) the wrong type of people are being employed, or b) management has lost the ability to manage their staff members.

If the wrong type of people are employed, then that process MUST change.Continue reading

2016 And The Changes To

Tomorrow brings us into 2016, and for the past few days, the internet has been abuzz with talk of the changes that 2016 will bring.

That being said, and without it sounding cliched, or overdone, 2016 is bringing some changes to IR Simplified.

For the past few weeks, the team at have been busy putting things in place for the launch and re-launch of some new products and services.Continue reading

It’s Time For A Bribe

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alt text
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Can I bribe you to subscribe to my email list?

There are some great things happening at IR Simplified in 2016.

  • Podcast re-launched
  • More informative articles on how to simplify your industrial relations challenges
  • Online training programs updated and relaunched
  • Introduction of two membership levels (details coming soon)
  • More webinars with practical advice
  • Hands-on training sessions

To be involved in these you need to be a subscriber to the IR Simplified newsletter or enrol in one of the membership plans.

While the only cost to you to subscribe to the email newsletter is the 5 or 10 minutes it takes you to read the weekly email, the benefit could be beyond measure.

Over the course of the year, you will find ways to simplify your industrial relations challenges, by improving employee engagement, minimising unfair dismissal claims, negotiating enterprise agreements and so on.

What About The Bribe?

The bribe, is available to new subscribers who subscribe before 31 Dec 2015, and will be the chance to win one of the following.

  • $100 Woolworths gift cards (2 available)
  • Their choice of online training program at no cost (2 available, worth $497)
  • A complimentary ticket to one full day training session in Qld (valued at $997)

To be in it to win it, add your details to the form below or follow this link

Workplace Investigation Webinar

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IR Simplified: Workplace Investigation Webinar
Workplace Investigation Webinar
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Conducting a procedurally fair workplace investigation is one of those things that a business cannot afford to get wrong.

Workplace investigations done incorrectly not only have the potential to expose the business to an unfair dismissal application, a workplace bullying or discrimination complaint could also be lodged.

Read through any of the recent successful unfair dismissal applications heard by the Fair Work Commission, and you will see how much they can cost a business.

The last workplace investigation webinar for the year will be held on Wednesday 16 December 2015, at 10:00 am QLD time.

The webinar is provided at no cost to you, and will go for approx 60 mins.

There may be a replay provided, though only to those who have registered.

You can register for the webinar by following this link.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Small Business Fair Dismissal Code. What Is It, And Does It Apply To Me?

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When the Fair Work Act 2009 (cwth) come into operation on 01 July 2009, it brought with it s388(1) the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code.

The Code gives small businesses some extra ‘protections’ from unfair dismissal applications when terminating an employee.

Though what is it exactly, and does it apply to your business?

Based On Number Of Employees

If your business is lucky enough to have less than 15 employees, per headcount, then you are classified as a small business, and the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code applies to you.

This means that any new employee needs to serve a minimum qualifying period of being employed for 12 months before they can access the unfair dismissal provisions of the Fair Work Act.

Unfortunately, this also means that if your business has 15 or more employees, then you aren’t classed as a small business. For those businesses, it means that employees only need to serve a qualifying period of six months before they can access the unfair dismissal provisions of the Fair Work Act.

Following The Code

As small businesses don’t have their own HR Departments, nor are they likely to access specialist advice, the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code was created to give small businesses a checklist that they can follow to ensure that the termination of an employee is legal and fair.

The theory is, that if a business follows The Code, they will be protected from a successful unfair dismissal application.

To do this, the business owner/manager answers the questions on the checklist, providing additional information where required.

The checklist is then added to the personnel file of the employee to be used/referred to if an unfair dismissal application is lodged.Continue reading

Workplace Investigations. Can I Do Then Myself?

Workplace Investigations
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While I hope that you never have to do one, there may come a time where a workplace investigation is needed.

Workplace investigations come about for any number of reasons, though the most common are due to a complaint from a customer/client about a staff member; a complaint from an employee about another employee; or even from a stocktake/audit.

As a manager or business owner, you will need to make the decision as to whether the investigation is handled internally or given to an external investigator.

As every investigation/complaint should be assessed and worked through individually, it is often difficult to know when it should be handled internally, and when it should be given to an external investigator.Continue reading

Industrial Relations. DIY or Outsource?

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Photo Credit: Coastline Windows & Conservatories via Compfight cc

Your business has grown and employed a number of additional staff members. With this growth comes the additional challenges of deciding which tasks/duties to outsource, and which ones to handle in house.

One of the most common for small business to outsource or ignore altogether is industrial relations.

Both in house and outsourced management of industrial relations have their benefits and drawbacks, though how do you decide which ones to handle yourself and which ones not to?

When To Outsource

Even though I am of the belief that any competent manager should be able to adequately handle a majority of industrial relations challenges, there may come a time where outsourcing it, is the best option for the company.

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Unfair Dismissal. The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

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On one side of the coin, you have business groups, and those pandering to that agenda telling anyone and everyone who will listen how Australia’s unfair dismissal laws are restrictive and holding business back from employing more people.

Then on the other side of the coin are the unions and The Greens who say that the laws don’t go far enough to protect workers.

With both sides getting time in the press, who is the business owner to believe?

Unfair Dismissal – The Good

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