industrial action – Page 2 – HRwisdom

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Worrying Workplace Law Statistics Affecting Australian Employers

Today’s HRwisdom Blog post contains some very concerning workplace law statistics for any Australian business.

We also share advice on how to prevent these problems from happening to you.

The President of Fair Work Australia (FWA) is required by the Fair Work Act to provide regular updates to the Minister for Workplace Relations.

Worplace Law Report

The latest quarterly report covers July 2012 to September 2012 and, even though it was only a short time period, there are some concerning things to note.

Unfair Dismissal Concerns Affecting All Australian Employers

Has employing people become any less risky?

How many claims were dismissed because the dismissal was a case of genuine redundancy? Three.

How many claims were dismissed because the dismissal was consistent with the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code? One.

How many unfair dismissal cases were settled without a decision being made? 3307.

Much as we hate it, the majority of employers know that unfair dismissal claims are usually settled ‘on the steps’ before it goes to court – even if the employee was terrible and the business did the right thing and followed due process. Unfortunately, it is purely a commercial decision,

That’s one big reason why you need to already know and trust good employment lawyers before something goes wrong.

Industrial Action (Strikes)

In the area of Protected Action and Industrial Action, there were 476 applications for protected ballot orders and 31 applications to get the protected industrial action period extended.

Union Right of Entry Into The Workplace

In the area of Union Right of Entry into the workplace, there were 489 applications for right of entry permits and 498 were actually issued.

Flexible Working Arrangements Disputes

On six occasions, Fair Work Australia was asked to deal with disputes between an employer and the organisation regarding the use of flexible working arrangements.

Enterprise Agreements

There were 2108 applications for the approval of enterprise agreements.

  • However, there were 93 applications for FWA to deal with bargaining disputes made under section 240.
  • In the area of General Protections – Compliance, there were 543 applications for FWA to deal with disputes made under section 365.
  • There were also 134 applications for FWA to deal with disputes made under section372.

Confused?

It’s a good reason to work out a game plan before these sorts of issues arise.

Workplace LawWe recommend being proactive and making contact with good employment lawyers early.

By being proactive and having your legal advisors in place before anything goes wrong, you can often significantly reduce your risks.

By being proactive, you can quickly audit your current position on workplace law compliance.

You can then identify clear strategies and action plans to fill any gaps.

Workplace Law Recommendations

You can see our legal advice recommendations here:

Workplace Law Video

HRwisdom

How To Avoid The Nasty Side Of Employee Relations

Most people have seen the nasty side of employee relations gone wrong at work.

Examples include:

  • Being caught out by government inspectors for using an incorrect pay formula after misinterpreting an industrial pay award or agreement.
  • Underperforming staff members claiming “harassment” or “bullying” by their manager or supervisor who has been clumsy in their attempts to apply the company’s performance management policy.
  • Employees leaving the company and then poaching key staff.
  • Facing backpay claims by not being clear enough on the Employee vs Contractor issue.
  • Not having solid employment contracts in place.
  • Botching staff terminations and redundancies (creating a terrible working atmosphere for those who remain).
  • Not knowing how to handle unions in the workplace.
  • Discrimination claims made and eventually costing the business time and money.
  • Strikes or threatened industrial action poisoning a previously positive workplace relationship with the employees.

What Proactive Organisations Do

To save themselves the headache, proactive organisations tend to tick the following four items off the To Do list as soon as possible:Free HR & Staff Management Documents

  1. Have all employment law documentation (including HR policies, procedures, letters and forms) in place.
  2. Train all staff in the existence and the proper use of these human resources documents.
  3. Provide good employee relations training to all supervisors and managers.
  4. Have independent legal advice assess the documentation, processes, training before, not after, things go wrong.

Smart businesses add a 5th item to their list . .

The 5th item is to keep up to date with good workplace legal advisors so the business is ready for any problem that may arise.

Download Free HR & Staff Management Documents

You can download free staff management documents and details of legal advisors on a regional basis here:

Click here: Employment law advice

 

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New Free HR Templates Added To HRwisdom

New Free HR Templates Added To HRwisdom

HRwisdom has updated its resources and added more free HR templates and resources.

The documents are stored in State/Territory sections.

The free HR templates and resources come from a variety of sources including HR experts and government departments.

Free HR TemplatesThe free HR templates and management resources include:

  • Employee Attraction & Retention Guide
  • Employee Warning Letters
  • Unfair Dismissal Guide
  • Recruitment & Selection Guides
  • Employee Probation Letters
  • Employment Contract & Employment Letters
  • Employee Dismissal Letters
  • Redundancy Information & Documentation
  • Information on Discrimination, Bullying & Harassment
  • Parental Leave Information & Documents
  • How To Make An Enterprise Agreement
  • Flexible Work Information & Documents
  • Unions & Industrial Action Information
  • Best Interview Questions & Answers
  • Managing Generation Y Guide
  • And much more . . .

Get started now by using the login form on the right-hand side →
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Get Your Free HR Templates & Reports

Here are some examples of some of the additional free HRwisdom HR resources:Free HR Templates

  • Employee Attraction & Retention Guide
  • 15 Ways To Manage Staff In Uncertain Times
  • Sample HR Letters To Employees
  • How To Find & Keep Good Employees
  • Employee Contract of Employment Templates
  • How To Manage Redundancies Without Destroying All Employee Goodwill
  • The Changing Labour Market
  • Train The Trainer Course Guide

Already a free member? Login here.

The Australian Union Movement vs Monty Python

In a recent HRwisdom Blog post, we looked at how industrial action and strikes in Australia are measured and reported.

We also looked at the recent change in the number of working days lost to industrial action.

The article drew on information from both the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) and the Sydney Morning Herald.

To see the specific HRwisdom Blog post, click here: Strike Action On The Rise?

Australian Unions Re-Work A Classic

Australian Union CampaignHowever, as a sidebar, our investigation into Australian strike activity led us to a golden oldy from an old union campaign.

The union movement’s ‘YourRights At Work’ was, by most assessments, an extremely successful media campaign which had a significant impact on Australian politics at the time.

Here at HRwisdom we’re wondering if the video below rings any bells for fans of Monty Python?

If so, feel free to share this excellent re-working of an old classic.

Enjoy . . .

Warning: A couple of rude words make an appearance during the video.

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Strike Action On The Rise?

With high profile strikes being seen in recent times in the education sector, aviation industry as well as the construction sector, HRwisdom has taken a quick peek at what’s actually happening from a numbers perspective.

This investigation also led us to a golden oldy…

How Strikes Are Measured In Australia

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) produces regular updates on industrial action and strikes in Australia.

ABS Strike Activity Statistics

Here’s how the ABS measures industrial disputes in Australia . . .

The Industrial Disputes (ID) collection produces quarterly statistics on the number of industrial disputes, employees involved in industrial disputes, working days lost and working days lost per thousand employees where at least ten working days are lost as a result of the dispute.

The following types of industrial disputes are within the scope of the ID collection:

  • unauthorised stopwork meetings;
  • general strikes;
  • sympathetic strikes (e.g. strikes in support of a group of workers already on strike);
  • political or protest strikes;
  • rotating or revolving strikes (i.e. strikes which occur when workers at different locations take turns to stop work);
  • unofficial strikes;
  • work stoppages initiated by employers (e.g. lockouts).

Excluded from the scope of the collection are work-to-rules, go-slows and bans (eg. overtime bans).

Also excluded are effects of disputes on locations other than where the stoppages occurred, such as stand downs because of lack of materials, disruption of transport services and power cuts.

Knowing the categories and definitions is useful to understanding what’s going on for employers.

Highest Number of Working Days Lost To Industrial Action Since 2004

Now let’s turn our attention to what’s actually happening in the bigger picture.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald which reviewed the recent ABS data release:

“The highest number of working days lost to industrial action since June 2004 was recorded in the June 2012 quarter.

A total of 101,700 working days were lost in April, May and June – almost three times more than in the March quarter.

They involved 70,000 employees in 53 disputes.

In the 12 months to June, the number of disputes dropped by one from the previous year, but almost double the number of working days were lost.”

A Golden Oldy From The Union Movement

Finally, as mentioned above, this investigation into Australian strike activity led us to a golden oldy from an old union campaign.

Enjoy . . .

Warning: A rude word makes an appearance during the video.

Share/Like This

As always, feel free to Like/Share this HRwisdom Blog Post on Facebook and Twitter.

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