Unfair dismissal – HRwisdom

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Recent Job Losses In Australia [Plus Free Interview On Managing Redundancies]

It’s been a rough few weeks for redundancies and job losses in the Australian labour market. Job Losses Image

Today we’re looking at the recent announcements.

We’re also sharing another helpful free HRwisdom resource on the right way to handle redundancies.

Before we get started, you may also be interested in these other HRwisdom articles (they will open in a new window):

Bizarre – Why Did They Fire This Punctual, Top Performing Employee?

Free Information Sessions On Workplace Law For Employers

How To Really Freak Out Your Workforce

Recent Job Losses

This week, it was announced that the national cleaning company Swan Services was going into administration with the loss of nearly 2500 jobs.

Nine hundred of those job losses were in NSW and 578 were in Victoria.

A further 583 people lost their jobs in Queensland, 184 in Western Australia, 156 in South Australia and 64 in the ACT.

Job Losses Australia

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the union was now involved:

[quote] The national president of the union United Voice, Michael Crosby, yesterday said Swan had been one of the five biggest cleaning businesses in the country, and its woes followed a string of collapses in the industry. “Swan Services could potentially owe cleaners hundreds of thousands of dollars in entitlements, including annual leave, sick leave, unpaid wages, superannuation and we want to ensure they are protected,” Mr Crosby said.[/quote]

To add to these woes, Ford Australia announced major job losses in its Victorian operations. 

The Age summarised the job losses in this media report

[quote]Ford Australia has announced it will slash jobs — and production — at its Broadmeadows and Geelong plants by almost a third as slow sales of its Falcon large family car bite hard. The company today announced up to 440 workers, mainly from its factories, would be offered voluntary redundancies as part of a massive restructure of its workforce taking place over the next three months.[/quote] 

The public sector isn’t safe either, it would seem according to the Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in his recent Budget reply speech (although he says it will happen through natural attrition):

[quote]”We’ve announced that we’ll reduce by at least 12,000, through natural attrition, the size of the Commonwealth public sector that’s now 20,000 bureaucrats bigger than in 2007.” [/quote]

Difficult times indeed.

The Right Way To Handle Redundancies

For any employer seeking advice on how to handle redundancies and job losses, we recommend you listen to our excellent redundancies information interview.

The interview is free and it provides you with thoughtful insights into how to manage redundancies without destroying all employee goodwill.

HRwisdom

Workplace Law Explained (For Free)

Did you know these workplace law facts . . . ?

  • Last year there were over 14,000 claims of unfair dismissal.
  • On average, unfair dismissal claims take over 150 days to resolve.
  • Compensation for an employee who suffers from ‘Adverse Action’ is uncapped.
  • In Adverse Action, the onus of proof is against you, the employer.
  • The process of making employees redundant is always a challenging one.

Attend a free ‘Workplace Law Explained’ online briefing with leading Australian employment lawyers.

Webinars Now Closed

Sorry, the webinars have now finished.

Workplace Law

Instead, click here: employment law advice.

Workplace Law Explained

The highly experienced Australian workplace lawyers will talk you through:

  • Unfair Dismissal: What are the risks and what you should do.
  • Adverse Action: What are the risks and what you should do.
  • Redundancies: What are the risks and what you should do.

HRwisdom

 

Workplace Law Employer Briefings

Workplace Law Employer Briefings

HRwisdom recently undertook a survey of Australian employers to find out what were the key issues in the area of workplace law.

The following issues were the clear leaders:

  • Unfair Dismissal
  • Adverse Action
  • Managing Redundancies
  • Managing Underperformers

We have now begun a series of free online employer briefings to help you with these topics.

Update On Workplace Law For Employers

UPDATE: The webinars are now here: Free Employment Law Webinars

 

Understanding The Reasons Why Employees Underperform

Employers often ask us for information on the reasons why employees underperform.

Reasons why employees underperformToday the HRwisdom Blog is sharing some useful information for you to use.

However, first we should remind you to always seek legal advice before you commence any performance management proceedings which might ultimately end in termination of employment.

Depending on your location, click the appropriate link to get our recommendations for specific workplace law advice:

Each of the sites above contain a link to a free downloadable performance management documents, HR templates including a written warning letter template for you to use in your organisation.

As for information and hints on how to handle employee underperformance, we recommend following the details below as advised by Fair Work Australia.

Underperformance or poor performance can be exhibited in the following ways:

  • Unsatisfactory work performance, that is, a failure to perform the duties of the position or to perform them to the standard required
  • Non-compliance with workplace policies,
  • Rules or procedures
  • Unacceptable behaviour in the workplace
  • Disruptive or negative behaviour that impacts on co-workers.

Underperformance is not the same as misconduct.

Misconduct is very serious behaviour such as theft or assault which may warrant instant dismissal.

In cases of misconduct employers should seek specific legal advice about how to proceed before taking any action.

What are the reasons why employees underperform? 

There are many reasons why an employee may perform poorly.

Some of the common reasons include:

  • An employee doesn’t know what is expected because goals and/or standards or workplace policies and consequences are not clear (or have not been set)
  • Interpersonal differences
  • There is a mismatch between an employee’s capabilities and the job they are required to undertake, or the employee does not have the knowledge or skills to do the job expected of them
  • An employee does not know whether they are doing a good job because there is no counselling or feedback on their performance
  • Lack of personal motivation, low morale in the workplace and/or poor work environment
  • Personal issues such as family stress, physical and/or mental health problems or problems with drugs or alcohol
  • Cultural misunderstandings
  • Workplace bullying.

Underperformance should be dealt with promptly and appropriately by an employer, as employees are often unaware they are not performing well and so are unlikely to change their performance.

Best practice employers understand that issues that are not addressed promptly also have the potential to become more serious over time. This can have a negative effect on the business as a whole as it can affect the productivity and performance of the entire workplace.

Helpful hints

Dealing with underperformance can be challenging and confronting for employees and employers alike, but it does need to be addressed.

Managers need clear procedures, organisational support and the courage and willingness to manage the issue.

Provide training to managers on how to handle underperformance issues. It may be helpful to include role play workshops in the training material so that managers can learn how to approach matters in real-life scenarios. Well trained managers are better able to identify and address issues of underperformance.

If performance problems arise, it is crucial that they be resolved early. The longer that poor performance is allowed to continue, the more difficult a satisfactory resolution becomes, and the more the overall credibility of the system may suffer.

Not every underperformance issue needs a structured process. Explore other options for improving performance, such as the use of continuous feedback.

Remember that for performance management to be successful, the culture of the business should be one which encourages ongoing feedback and discussion about performance issues in open and supportive environments.

Ultimately, of course, an employee may choose to submit a complaint or claim against you (e.g. unfair dismissal, discrimination) even if you follow a very clear and proper process.

This is why we recommend you seeking early expert advice from here:

HRwisdom

Bizarre – Why Did They Fire This Punctual, Top Performing Employee?

Because you’ve been working hard all week, here at HRwisdom we thought we’d congratulate you by reminding you of some of the fun things we’ve shared here recently.

However, something we read recently has us wondering if indeed you have actually been working hard all week?

Why the wild accusation?

Well, what would you think if, after a little digging, you discovered the following details about the daily routine of your top performing employee?

“9am, arrive and surf Reddit for a couple of hours, watch cat videos; 11.30am, take lunch; 1pm, eBay; 2pm-ish, Facebook updates, LinkedIn; 4.40pm-end of day, update email to management; 5pm, go home.”

Perhaps you’d consider issuing a written warning letter?

This is exactly what has happened at a US firm but it gets even better.

It turns out, that, unbeknownst to his employer, the top performer had outsourced his job to China.

Why did they fire this employee?

May we suggest that you check out the full story at the Irish Times newspaper where’ll you discover how this employee had not only “spent less than one-fifth of his six-figure salary for a Chinese firm to do his job for him,” had had also set up similar arrangements with other US employers in his home town.

We’re quite sure that this probably answers the question: why did they fire this employee?

Whilst we are impressed with the world-wide success of Tim Ferriss’s book, The Four Hour Workweek, we think it’s possible that this employee may have gone one step too far.

Back to our congratulating you on a week’s work well done, here are some of the fun HR things we’ve shared on HRwisdom recently . . .

The world’s first job interview (HRwisdom on Facebook)

How to welcome your new staff from overseas

The office Christmas party from hell (HRwisdom on Facebook)

Teamwork video

Dilbert – the new management book

Stay tuned next week as we have some powerful information coming to you on how to get the best out of your workforce.

HRwisdom

Free Information Sessions On Workplace Law For Employers

HRwisdom will soon be rolling out free information sessions on workplace law for employers on a variety of employment law topics. Click to tweet this to your colleagues.

Update On Workplace Law For Employers

UPDATE: The webinars are now here: Free Employment Law Webinars

 

 

For a short time only, you will be able to tell us which topics you would like our guest experts to discuss.

To request a particular topic or vote on the broad topics below, please click here.

When the free employer briefings are ready, we will let you know by email.

So, make sure you have used the form over on the right to keep informed.

  • Unfair DismissalFree Information On Workplace Law For Employers
  • Managing Redundancies
  • Adverse Actions Claims
  • Enterprise Agreements
  • Contracts of Employment
  • Organisational Restructuring
  • Divestments. & Acquisitions
  • Workplace Health & Safety
  • Workers Compensation
  • Trade Unions
  • Managing Underperformers
  • Modern Awards
  • Employment Law For Small Business
  • Employment Law For The Public Sector

Employment Law Advice Video


HRwsidom

Download End Of Probation Letter (Unsuccessful) Template

At HRwisdom, we always recommend being proactive and having standard employment contracts, employee letters and Human Resources policies and procedures ready so that you can manage your staff properly in the eyes of the law.

End Of Probation LetterWe also know that managing staff can take up so much of your time.

So, HRwisdom has made things a little easier for you:

We have found for you a free download of an End of Probation Letter template to be used for an unsatisfactory employee.

You can download this unsatisfactory employment probation letter template for free. (Click here to Tweet this free download) More on this below.

We have also discovered a paid service which gives you all the staff management policy and procedure templates you need. To learn more, click here.

Due to the complexity and ever-changing nature of workplace law in Australia, HRwisdom often draws upon legal experts to provide high quality workplace relations advice through the HRwisdom Blog and through other methods.

You are encouraged to take good advantage of the resources shared on this site and to always be proactive when it comes to staff-management in general.

End of Probation Letter Template For Unsuccessful Employees

Just download the template, just login using your normal email address (no password required).

HRwisdom

Do You Agree That Australia’s Employment System Needs This Change?

A recent edition of The Australian newspaper led with a strong call for change to Australia’s employment system.

Australia's Employment SystemThe editorial was up-front and very clear in its argument that the workplace relations system was unwieldy, complex, and very costly in a variety of ways.

As part of its case, the newspaper quoted a study which found that four out of five employers felt the current labour laws had made business more difficult.

Here’s a brief extract of the editorial – we wonder what you think?

Here’s something for politicians to think about on the beach. Who is benefiting from Australia’s inflexible industrial relations system? Not the young workers and other casual staff missing out on shifts in shops, hot bread kitchens and cafes across the suburbs and even in tourist areas. Not their employers who find it more economical to close over the holiday season than pay the prescribed $40, $50 or more an hour. And not the customers paying more in the outlets that are open.

For five years, Julia Gillard’s Fair Work system has unwound 20 years of hard-won industrial relations reforms achieved primarily by the Howard government, but also by the Hawke-Keating governments, that encouraged decentralisation and insisted on workplace efficiencies in return for wage rises.

For the sake of prosperity over the next 20 years, especially in the slower sectors of the two-speed economy such as retail, tourism and manufacturing, both sides of politics must focus in the new year on more productive workplace relations.

The editorial then moved on to describe the expected consequences of not making changes to the national industrial relations system:

Youth unemployment in parts of Australia is already close to 20 per cent and will worsen as the economy slows. Tweet this statistic

As reported yesterday, a survey of 562 small and medium-sized businesses in NSW, Victoria and Queensland found that four out of five employers said the current labour laws had made business more difficult because of the compliance costs and complexity associated with the Fair Work Act (tweet this statistic) and the modern award system. One respondent to the survey, Mudgee-based earthmoving business Kodiak, spent $30,000 on legal fees to negotiate the intricacies of the act to strike an enterprise bargaining agreement with drivers and equipment operators. Tweet this statistic

Nor has Fair Work ushered in the harmony promised by Labor. Strikes in the construction industry, as well as in state public services, pushed the number of working days lost in the September quarter to their highest level in eight years. Tweet this statistic

The newspaper editorial continued with further such arguments and there was no sitting on the fence. It’s worth a read.

In an election year, we can be sure that Australia’s employment system will be up for a lot more intense scrutiny and debate.

We’ll keep you posted . . .

HRwisdom

Best Employment Law Advice Australia

Best Employment Law Advice Australia

At HRwisdom, as an HR resources website that helps Australian organisations with staff and human resources issues, we have high standards when it comes to the best providers of employment law advice in Australia.

Best Employment Law Advice AustraliaThis is especially important when we continue to face ongoing changes to legislation that affects employment across the country.

This includes pay and conditions, unfair dismissal, OHS, anti-discrimination and other such areas.

[box type=”note”]Click here to see your: Best Employment Law Advice Australia [/box]

Being well-organised and having good advice before things go wrong is the best way to manage any business.

There are many types of employment-related problems that employers in Australia regularly face.

These types of challenges that can seriously affect the performance, profitability, and standing of any business.

HRwisdom have been fortunate to find a selection of friendly and professional workplace law advice firms that really know their stuff.

One of the big things we prefer about these legal firms is their focus on being proactive so that you can prevent dramas before they arise.

This is important because unfair dismissal claims, hiring contract disputes and other such hassles tend to appear right when your all-important report is due or just as you’re about to give a major briefing.

[box type=”note”]Click here to see your: Local Employment Law Experts [/box]

Having your workplace systems and processes assessed and quickly in place is definitely the best way to prevent the majority of employment claims and disputes.

Best Employment Law Advice in Australia

Whilst it is up to you which lawyer you use, HRwisdom trusts and enjoys working with these smart, friendly and forward-thinking employment legislation firms.

You can find their background information right here:

Click here to see your: Local Employment Law Experts

HRwisdom

Best Employment Law Advice in Australia Related Video

 



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Victoria – Good Workplace Law Advice

At HRwisdom, as an HR resources website that helps Victoria employers with staff management and human resources issues, we have high expectations when it comes to providers of good workplace law advice Victoria.

Victoria Good Workplace Law AdviceThis is particularly important when we continue to face ongoing changes to legislation that affects management of staff in Victoria.

This includes pay and conditions, unfair employment termination, workplace health & safety, discrimination and other such areas.

[box type=”note”]Click here to get: Victorian Employment Law Advice [/box]

Being well-organised and having the right advice before things go wrong is the best way to manage any business.

 

Good Workplace Law Advice of Victoria

The types of issues that employers in Victoria regularly seek well-considered advice on include:

  • Dealing with unfair and adverse action claims
  • Restraint of trade clauses
  • Handling under-performing employees
  • Dealing with workplace redundancies
  • Drafting of employment contracts
  • Correctly following awards
  • Workplace health & safety incidents
  • Discrimination and harassment allegations
  • Fair Work Ombudsman issues
  • Establishing new enterprise agreements
  • Buying and selling enterprises
  • Union right of entry
  • Dealing with government inspectors
  • And other such legal issues

These are the types of challenges that can seriously affect the performance, profitability, and standing of any organisaation.

HRwisdom have been fortunate to find a selection of friendly and professional Workplace Law Advice firms that really know their area.

One of the big things we prefer about these firms is their focus on being fast-moving so that you can prevent dramas before they arise.

This is important because unfair dismissal claims, hiring contract arguments and other such problems tend to appear right when your all-important report is due or just as you’re about to give a major talk.

[box type=”note”]Click here to get: Local Employment Law Advice [/box]

Having your employment systems and processes assessed and quickly in place is definitely the best way to prevent the majority of workplace claims and disputes.

Good Workplace Law Advice in Victoria

Whilst it is up to you which lawyers you use, HRwisdom trusts and enjoys dealing with these smart, friendly and on the ball employment law teams.

You can find their contact details right here:

Click here to see your: Workplace Law Advice” href=”http://hrwisdom.com.au/employment-lawyers/” target=”_blank”>Local Employment Law Experts

HRwisdom

Good Workplace Law Advice in Victoria Related Video

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkVveW5-lSQ]



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