World Mental Health Day is today, Tuesday 10th October 2017, and it is the perfect opportunity for your organisation to improve its understanding of mental health problems and what to do about them.
The impact of mental health in the workplace affects individuals and also the organisation. The productivity levels are effective and with staff absenteeism it affects the other staff.
A study of 12,000 Australian employees found that one fifth of full time workers were receiving treatment for mental health problems. Other workers would utilise extended and significant periods of sick leave.
With mental illness it is never certain that workers will see improvement with time off from work, sometimes absenteeism may prove detrimental to their wellbeing.
To encourage workers to seek treatment is a positive step that your organisation can take and it also meets your WHS obligations to ensure the health and wellbeing of your employees.
Two key ways you can reduce the impact of mental health problems in your workplace area:-
Training your managers / supervisors to assist them in being able to detect the early signs and symptoms of a developing mental problem is a positive move, as this will give the manager / supervisor the ability to offer early support and assistance while the employee seeks professional assistance.
A key benefit of trained workers is that they can play a major role in educating the rest of the organisation on mental health issues.
A couple of points to manage mental health issues in the work place:-
Keeping the Workplace Safe
It is important that your organisation does not expose workers to the risk of mental health problems.
Manage the issues and put in some control mechanisms to manage the following:-
These can add to metal health issues.
Once these control mechanism are in place to assist all your staff, it should create a safe and happy workplace.
September is honey month, so let's try and use some of that sweet and sticky honey to make your employees stick around.
Employee retention refers to an organisation's ability to retain employees. This differs from employee turnover which refers to how often you need to replace your employees.
Employee retention is important to consider, as if you retain the right employees it can have a number of benefits including:
Of course when thinking about employee retention you should also consider:
So, what you might include in your retention strategy:
So get to enjoying some honey this September and think about what benefits employee retention could have for your organisation.
If you are in need of any assistance, please contact the CMSolutions team on 1300 007 110.
The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission has handed down its decision in relation to the State wage increase for 2017.
The decision allows for the following increase in State Awards for employers/employees still under the Queensland State Industrial Relations system.
Effective from the 1st September 2017, all award wages and monetary allowances will increase by 3.3% per week.
Pay rate sheets are currently being updated and will be emailed out to all P&C members early next week once finalised.
For further information please contact the CMSolutions team on 1300 007 110 or email email@example.com
It has come to our attention that national action is being organised by Employee Union United Voice, for employees in the Child Care Sector to leave work at 3.20 pm on Thursday, 7 September 2017, as part of their Big Steps campaign.
The Big Steps campaign includes an application by United Voice seeking a wage increase by 35%.
CMS can clarify that this is considered unlawful industrial action, which means that the employees will not be paid for the time that they take to strike.
What to do if your employees go on strike on Thursday:
For more information please contact CMSolutions on 1300 007 110 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pizza is our favourite food here at CMSolutions and usually when we starting eating it, we want to eat until we are going to bust. So in honour of the pitfall of eating too much pizza, let's look at the common pitfalls of performance management and termination.
Performance management refers to the ongoing process of setting standards for performance, as well as reviewing and managing performance. Termination on the other hand is when the employment relationship has ended. We will focus on termination at the iniative of the employer today.
The most common mistakes that we see are:
When staff are not educated on the organisations policies and procedures they are often ignorant of the expectations placed upon them. This can result in underperformance due to confusion or complete breach of policy.
The other issue we face when staff are not educated on policies is that it can be difficult to performance manage the employee, even after serious breaches in behaviour. This has been reiterated by the Fair Work Commission or State Industrial Relations Commission on a number of occasions and is particularly important when considering social media and workplace bullying.
This common error creates issues for both employee and employer. Often a Manager will not speak to an employee the first time there is a problem and thus the issue continues. Often this results in the employee feeling unjustly criticised when the issue is finally raised with them. Meanwhile the Manager is worried about bringing the issue to the employees' attention as it has been so long and therefore continues to ignore the underperformance.
A Position Description (PD) is an important tool to identify the key responsibilities of employees. A PD will provide an employer with evidence that the employee was aware of their role and will also assist in recruiting and selecting the best candidates for the position.
When an employer does not keep records of previous warnings or conversations with an employee, it becomes very difficult to prove that the employee has in fact been given a chance to improve their behaviour and thus difficult to proceed to the termination process.
When dealing with a termination, you must provide the employee with the opportunity to respond. This means that you need to be able to provide exact dates, time and what occurred so that the employee can respond. If you do not provide specific details the employee will be unable to discern what the allegation relates to thus cannot give a meaningful response.
It is also a requirement for the employer to not unreasonably deny the employee to bring a support person. This does not mean you have to ask the employee to bring a support person, however it is best practice to do this. A support person is there as an emtional support and can be asked to leave if aggressive or disruptive.
As you are required to give your employee an opportunity to respond if you are considering termination, you must not make a decision on the outcome of termination until after the employee has been able to respond. It has been found on multiple occasions that a pre-prepared termination letter sends a clear signal that the employer did not genuinely consider the employees response.
Hearsay is statements which have not been directly obtained from the person who has witnessed the behaviour. For example if Ben was to report that Stacey had told him that Chris was swearing at a client, Ben's statement would be hearsay. Hearsay is unreliable and the original source of the information should be asked to make a statement to ensure that your facts are accurate.
Performance meetings and termination meetings can often be thrown off track because of unrelated issues that arise. It is suggested that you ask employees to address any other concerns in a different forum. You will have to of course be sure that the matters are unrelated. Probing questions are very useful to understand if the matter is or is not related.
Performance management and terminations are hard. It can often feel personal when the employee responds defensively or aggressively. It is best however to try and maintain impartial during these processes. It can be useful to try and think from another person's perspective as if your matters where to process to the Commission they would not have the same background understanding as yourself.
If you are thinking or in the process of commencing performance reviews and you need some assistance please contact our friendly Employment Relations Advisors on 07 3852 5177 or 1300 007 110.
Do you know how to identify a 'mouldy peach', i.e. a burnt-out employee. Burnout can lead to a number of issues in the workplace, including under performance, short term or long tearm absenteeism which may lead to a workers compensation claim.
The Australian Workers Compensation Statistics highlight that mental disorders were found to be the most frequent type of disease claim, making up 6% of all claims. Within community and personal service workers 2,090 successful claims were recorded. Also found was that the average time lost due to a mental disorder was 13.8 days and the average compensation paid per worker was $21,000.
Despite the significant cost these claims can have, nobody wants to see a friend, colleague or partner suffering or losing passion for their work. So how can we identify and avoid workplace burnout.
Physical and emotional exhaustion
Cynicism and detachment
Signs of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment
To help work-life balance you can get creative and work with your employees as to what they feel will support them. Many organisations will create wellness programs for their employees or offer Employee Assistance Programs. If you do not have the resources for anything big, you can still do lots of small things that will make a big difference, including:
For more information contact the CMSolutions team on 07 3852 5177 or 1300 007 110.
Next week we have the EKKA happening in Brisbane! Our offices will be closed for the Brisbane Show Day public holiday on the 16th of August. Other regions will have their public holidays on different days, so be sure to check your calendar. If you are unsure what to pay your employees for the public holiday please contact one of our Employment Relation Advisors on 07 3852 5177 and they will assist you.
Casual Conversion Clause and Domestic Violence Clause
Casual Conversion Clause and Minimum Engagement
As part of the four yearly modern Award review, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has passed a decision to introduce a clause in 85 Awards which will require that casual employees be offered full-time or part-time employment, subject to certain rules and restrictions.
The FWC decided that a casual conversion clause will be included in 85 modern awards, where a clause does not already exist. Modern Award anticipated to be effected will include:
Although the details of such a clause are yet to be finalised, a proposed model casual conversion clause will allow a casual employees to request a move to permanent part-time or fulltime employment if:
The proposed clause will also require employers to provide casual employees written notification of the casual conversion provisions.
However, the proposed clause will allow an employer to refuse conversion on four grounds:
Additionally, the Commission has decided that for those modern Awards that do not currently have any minimum engagement period, a minimum engagement period for casuals of two hours should be included.
So what should employers do?
First keep your eye on your CMS bulletins for more information when the casual conversion clause is finalised.
Secondly, employers who employ casual staff should revisit their workforce planning and review the current use of casual labour. This should focus on why and how employers engage with their employees. Further, if you have casual employees working regular or fairly regular hours for more than a six month period, you should consider:
Family and Domestic Violence Leave Clause
The Fair Work Commission recently passed on a decision which states that employees should have access to unpaid family and domestic violence leave. Additionally, the Commission concluded that employees experiencing family or domestic violence should be able to access personal/carer’s leave in a wider range of circumstances for the purpose of taking family and domestic leave.
The entitlement to unpaid leave will serve to confirm the significance of family and domestic violence leave as a workplace right and provide protection to employees in circumstances where there is a need to access such leave. The decision has proposed employees be entitled to 10 days of unpaid leave.
The Commission will now seek further submissions and evidence on their preliminary decision before finalising the unpaid leave arrangements.
For more information contact the CMS team on 07 3852 5177 or 1300 007 110.
The Fair Work Commission Minimum Wage Panel has handed down their decision to deliver a 3.3% increase to the Federal Minimum Wage and the Modern Awards.
All modern award base rates will increase by 3.3% from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2017. Weekly wages will be rounded to the nearest 10 cents.
Updated pay rate sheets will be emailed out to all Federal Members and uploaded onto the CMSolutions website as soon as they are completed.
If you are a member of the Award Service an updated copy of your subscribed Award will be emailed out to you as soon as they made available.
Please do not hesitate to contact CMS on 07 3852 5177 should you require any further information or would like assistance in applying the increase.