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.

Read moreTop 7 Myths Relating To Industrial Relations

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.

Read moreDo You Need More Policies or Better Managers?

Episode 16: IR Simplified Podcast

IR Simplified Podcast, Episode 16
IR Simplified Podcast, Episode 16
Preventing Protected Industrial Action

Episode 16 of the IR Simplified podcast is back onto the nine part series on enterprise agreements. In this episode I talk about protect industrial action.

I go into a brief discussion about way to prevent it, and to go against popular opinion, I talk about why I think protected industrial action represents a breakdown in communication from the business.

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Read moreEpisode 16: IR Simplified Podcast

IR Simplified Podcast – Episode 10

In this episode I talk about the cost that sick leave has on the economy, and that we need to move away from the archaic way that we very personal/carer’s leave. It’s time we stopped this allocation of limited days and moved to unlimited sick leave. You can join the discussion on LinkedIn, in the … Read more IR Simplified Podcast – Episode 10

Penalty Rates Image

Will Penalty Rates Really Kill My Business?

Penalty Rates Image
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Penalty rates. If you believe business and industry groups, they are restricting employment, holding the economy back, and are responsible for businesses closing their doors on weekend and public holidays.

Are they really the big bad evil that they are claimed to be, or do businesses deal with worse things?

If they aren’t that bad, what can be done to manage them?

About Penalty Rates

Something that seems to be forgotten or overlooked in the propaganda battle is that penalty rates are a penalty imposed on a business for doing a particular task that is outside of normal operations. This could be working on weekends, working overnight,  working in the rain, or even in extreme heat or cold.

Penalty Rates Are Avoidable

Read moreWill Penalty Rates Really Kill My Business?

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Scott McIntyre, Social Media, and Company Policy

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Scott McIntyre source: twitter

Social media and company policy.

Two of the things that are often seen to be in conflict with each other, and have been the subject of an unknown number of discussions, and unfair dismissal complaints.

These have both come to national attention lately with the comments and subsequent termination of former SBS Football Reporter/Presenter, Scott McIntyre.

While I am not going to repost or repeat his tweet here, SBS found the numerous tweets to be inappropriate and in breach of both their Code of Conduct, and Social Media Policy.

What makes this example interesting is that every backyard lawyer is coming out of the woodwork saying SBS is silencing free speech. Actually, there are even lawyers and barristers saying the same thing.

Read moreScott McIntyre, Social Media, and Company Policy

Episode 05 – IR Simplified Podcast

In this episode I will talk about:

  • the behaviour of CFMEU organisers and why no one should accept that sort of behaviour, let alone the union movement
  • an article that appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald about the infantilisation of workers
  • why we must do all that we can to increase workplace communication
  • why I think enterprise associations will be the new black for Australian businesses, and
  • whether a minimum leave requirement is a good thing or bad thing for your workplace.

Read moreEpisode 05 – IR Simplified Podcast

Forgotten Pawns | IR Simplified

The Forgotten Pawns In Australia’s Industrial Relations Battle

Forgotten Pawns | IR Simplified
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There is a never ending battle for supremacy in industrial relations in Australia.

On one side of the battle ground you have the employer associations screaming at the government that Australia’s restrictive workplace legislation is killing productivity, blowing out wages, and restricting growth.

They also claim that the current Right of Entry provisions give the unions virtually unrestricted access to their business.

On the other side are the employee groups, or trade unions, and they are screaming the opposite. The legislation doesn’t go far enough to protect employees from unscrupulous employers or enshrine job security. And that the Right of Entry provisions are too restrictive and don’t allow permit holders quick access to workplaces to protect members when things go bad.

Both sides claim that only by joining their organisation will you be able to protect yourself from the evil that will soon come.

And yet throughout all of this, the poor business owner/manager and employee are quickly forgotten. The reality is that they are nothing more than pawns in a popularity contest to see who holds the most influence with the government of the day.

Members Are Being Lied To

The cold hard truth of the matter is that both employer and employee groups don’t want their respective potential and current members to be able to solve their IR problems themselves, because if they did, they would soon realise that there is no point in staying a member.

Whilst they do provide a ‘service’ to their members in the form of a contact line to seek advice on their IR related issue. Actual advice on how to prevent it happening again is scarce or vague at best.

Both sides tell their respective members and future members, that Australia’s employment legislation is extremely complex, and it is only with their expert help that the average person will be able to understand it.

Read moreThe Forgotten Pawns In Australia’s Industrial Relations Battle

Did Steve Knott Get It Wrong?

Photo Credit: Lars Plougmann via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Lars Plougmann via Compfight cc

Steve Knott, Chief Executive of AMMA, when talking about the Fair Work Act 2009 stated “… for too long employers have battled an ineffective and uncompetitive workplace system that creates barriers and distractions to leadership, innovation and productivity.” That unions were “…forcing employers to process a phone book of union claims, effectively excluding any real opportunity to look at ways to improve the competitiveness and productivity of the business”. He goes even further to say that “The system also leaves employers under a constant threat of strike action”

Is he right, making misleading comments, or showing his lack of understanding of Australia’s employment legislation?

It should be noted that the comments above were made in support of the Fair Work Amendment (Bargaining Processes) Bill 2014 which is currently before parliament.

Way Off The Mark

Read moreDid Steve Knott Get It Wrong?