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.