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.
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.
What’s got you confused is how you make it happen.
Do you just give your staff an agreement that you prepared earlier and wait for a yay or nay from them? Or, do you give them a blank sheet of paper and get them to write down their wish list, picking and choosing what you want to put into it?
Whilst the process of negotiating an enterprise agreement is relatively easy, there are certain things that need to be done, and in the right order, otherwise you may have some explaining to do when you seek approval from the Fair Work Commission.
Notice Of Employee Representational Rights.
Before you can start bargaining for the enterprise agreement, you need to let your staff know that it is happening. This is where the Notice of Employee Representational Rights comes in.
Schedule 2.1 of the Fair Work Regulations 2009 specifies the content that the notice should have.
It is also worth noting that the notice of employee representational rights should be just that, and not have anything else attached to it, either in the email notification or when/if the notice is placed on a notice board.[GARD]
You’ve made the decision to start negotiating your first Enterprise Agreement. Before you send off your Notice of employee representational rights, there are a few things you need to think about first.
Do You Really Need One?
This is probably the most important part of the whole Enterprise Agreement porcess. If you aren’t 100% sure that your business needs one, then don’t start the process.
Having an enterprise agreement in place will lock you into the terms and conditions that are in that agreement until another one takes its place or it is terminated.
An enterprise agreement is ideal if you business is going to experience growth during the agreement’s lifetime. Having one will simplify the the process of paying your staff by taking away the confusion that exist with the Modern Award system.
With regards to the Fair Work Act 2009, an enterprise agreement is an agreement on certain employment conditions between an employer and their employee(s).
Enterprise Agreements can be between a) An employer and group of employees; b) More than one employer and group of employees; c) One of more employers and one of more unions for a genuine new enterprise (Greenfields Agreement)
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, seem to be all the rage at the moment. Both as an investment option and a potential alternative to traditional fiat currencies.
Whether they are a flash in the pan, or are here for the long haul, really is anybodies guess.
One thing that will hasten their general acceptance is being able to receive part or all of your salary in your favourite ‘coin’, possibly avoiding the exchange fees at the same time.
This is exactly what the 21st Century Media and Education Group of Companies is planning on doing. Combine this with their plan to release Bitcoin ATMs and an Australian Bitcoin Exchange, looks set for you to be seeing ‘Bitcoin Accepted Here’ signs everywhere.