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5 things that could land you with a Fair Work claim

What are small things you might not realise that can brand you as an 'unfair' employer?
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5 things that could land you with a Fair Work claim

30 June 2016

Did you know that over 18,000 claims are made against businesses for workplace issues every year? Claims range from unfair dismissal, harassment at the workplace and misconduct at the workplace to name a few. You may not realise you are breaching Australia’s complex workplace legislation. Here are 5 things you might not be doing which could land your business in front of the Fair Work Ombudsman.

  1. You don’t have a process for managing terminations and redundancies
From one day to the next, you might find you didn’t need as many employees as you once did, or maybe you can no longer afford to maintain the cost of full time staff so you are considering redundancies.
Without an existing termination or redundancy policy, you may well be in breach of workplace legislation. A Melbourne woman was awarded more than $4000 compensation by the Fair Work Commission after being unfairly dismissed on the spot after her employer failed to adhere to effective termination procedures.
  1. You don’t keep up to date with changes to Modern Awards (you don’t know how)
Did you know there are over 100 awards? Do you know which award best applies to your business? Awards dictate the contracts and hourly rates you should be paying your employees. If you don’t keep up to date, you may find you are underpaying your employees unknowingly. Even if it wasn’t intentional, you can still be hauled in front of the Fair Work Commission and face hefty fines and substantial backpay.
See how a Katoomba firm backpaid over $6,000 to a staff member by accidentally paying trainee rates at $14 per hour instead of the entitled $18.98 per hour.
  1. You thought you didn’t need to check if employees are paid correctly
How can you make sure employees are paid correctly if you’re not sure what rate they are meant to be paid? Even miscalculating small things like annual loading and inserting the wrong data into reporting spreadsheets are breaches of workplace law which could see you landed in front of the Fair Work Commission.
One major franchise 7-Eleven Franchisee was fined a record $214,200 for underpaying staff.
  1. You aren’t entirely clear on employee leave entitlements
Did you know that casual workers are entitled to leave? After 12 months of regular employment, and if it’s likely the regular employment will continue, a casual employee can request flexible working arrangements and take parental leave.
Depending on the type of award or agreement you use, there are several different types of leave your staff may be entitled to:
  • Sick leave
  • Annual leave
  • Parental leave
  • Annual Leave
  • Personal Leave
  • Parental Leave
  • Long Service Leave
  • Community Leave
  • Public Holidays
  1. You don’t have a performance review process in place
Having a performance review process is for your own protection as a business. If you need to make an employee termination based on poor performance, you need to demonstrate a clear and solid performance management process to exit the employee out of your business. Without a structured performance review process, you be at risk of unfair dismissal claims. Click here to see what penalties EmploySure faces for wrongful termination.

Not being on top of these five things at your workplace may mean your business is in breach of workplace law.
All it takes is one disgruntled employee to spend $68 to raise a claim against your business for the Fair Work Commission to pursue a full investigation of your business operations.

Watch: A case study on how a business didn't see a claim coming
Hear from Joe Murphy, Director, Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors (ABLA), on how a real employer was caught by complete surprise when an employee felt they were wrongly treated - even when they did everything right! The loss to productivity, damage to your reputation and cost to the business bottomline can be proactively avoided, or manage with peace of mind if it can't through Workplace Assured. 

​See if your business is above board by taking our complimentary 2 minute Risk Profiler and receive your free risk report. 

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