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Tips for Smart Rostering

1. Know your Award or Agreement


The more you understand your relevant workplace instrument, the easier it is to make good rostering decisions. You will want to look out for:


  • Overtime provisions - how many hours can an employee work a day and a week.
  • Meal breaks - how long can an employee take a meal break for before it comes a split shift.
  • Split shift provisions.
  • Shift and weekend allowances.


2. Get Creative


If you think your roster is perfect now, why not try getting creative. You do not have to implement any changes but coming up with multiple options could enlighten you to some improvements to your current structure.


3. Know your staffing costs


This will link closely with tip one. You should be aware of each staff members pay rates, including who is casual and permanent. Compare this with a budget or aim for your wages. It may not always be smart to accept additional business if the staffing costs outweigh the increase in sales/income.


4. Review excessive wages


If there are occasions where excessive wages occur it is a good idea to review these and identify if changes need to be made. For example, if employees frequently do overtime, identify why this is occurring. Do you need more staff or is there a particular client who needs extra time/care?


For more information contact one of our Employment Relations Advisors on 1300 007 110.


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Applications Open

Applications for the Disability Inclusion Support for Queensland Kindergartens (DISQK) program are now open and close on 30 September 2018.


The DISQK program funding supports kindergarten services to provide inclusive programs for children with disability. The program is open to sessional kindergartens affiliated with a central governing body.


For more information visit the website

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What to do when an employee is constantly late for work

Dealing with an employee who is always late for work is a common problem for employers. So can the employer take steps to stop this and can it be done legally? 

Yes you can, if the employer follows these steps.

  1. If an employee is constantly turning up late to work without a reasonable excuse, then ask them is there anything preventing them from attending work at the rostered starting time.
  2. If not reasonable excuse is provided, the employer may consider implementing a workplace policy that will state if an employee is running late they will be required to phone their manager / supervisor their estimated arrival time. The employer should continue to monitor the situation once the policy has been implemented.
  3. If the emplyee continues to be late after implementing these steps, the employer can consider providing the employee with a formal warning, detailing the number of days the employee has been late to work and how this is impacting on the business in a negative way.
  4. The warning needs to refer to the employee's working hours obligations under their contract of employment and the organisation policy. The warning can outline that the organisation considers the times the employee is regularly late for work is to be misconduct and that the employee's attendance at work will be monitored over a reasonable period of time ( this could be for up to 4 weeks). 

The warning should also state that if they do not improve that the employer will take further disciplinary action including termination of employment.

After the monitoring period the employer needs to review the situation again. If the employee has not improved the employer may take further disciplinary action which may include termination of their employment.


Most importantly remember to minimise the risk of unfair dismissal claims in these circumstances, the employer must put the relevant allegations to the employee at a meeting where they have had the opportunity to bring a support person and consider their response to the allegations. Ony then the employer should make a decision on terminating the employee.

Before taking any of these steps contact one of our Employment Relations Advisors to assist you through the steps and ensure you are following due process on 1300 007 110.

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Do you know your responsibilities as a new Committee Member?

Now you have been elected to the committee, you are responsible to the members of the association for the proper management and conduct of the affairs of the community association. A major responsibility of the committee must be above all to ensure that their decisions and actions are at all times taken in the best interests of the members and clients of the association.


Some of the functions and duties arising from this responsibility are:


  • To ensure that appropriate staff are employed at all times.
  • To ensure the proper maintenance of any assets including building, grounds and equipment.
  • To ensure that proper control is maintained over the finances of the association not only for the present but also with the future in mind.
  • To be aware of the needs of the community in which the organisation operates and ensure that this knowledge is reflected in its decisions.
  • To encourage active client and general community participation in the activities of the association and to ensure that the community is aware of what the association is doing.
  • To initiate fund-raising and social activities so as to foster a close relationship between the association and the community.
  • To have an understanding of the organisation's programmes and its benefits for the clients and attempt to foster a general awareness of these aspects in the community.
  • To have an understanding of the organisation's programmes and its benefits for the clients and attempt to foster a general awareness of these aspects in the community.
  • To be aware of and ensure the regular review of the constitution and any by-laws, regulations and policies so that these are approprate to the current situation.
  • To have a willingness to learn about the organisation, its operation and its people/staff.


Since the committee is representing all the members of the association it is highly desirable that its decsions and actions always have regard to what is in the best interests of the majority of members of the association. Failure to do so may well lead to conflict within the association.


To assist you with your roles and responsibilities on the committee we have put together our Guide to Good Governance. This Guide provide you with 18 example documents to help you easily manage everything from Handover from outgoing to incoming committees, through to financial reports and meeting agendas. 


For more information on your roles and responsibilities as a committee member please do not hesitate to contact the CMSolutions team on 1300 007 110.

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Are your employment contracts up to date?

When was the last time you reviewed your employees employment contracts?

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Are you considering changing your auditor at your next AGM?

Our financial audit staff are highly trained and have been conducting audits in the not for profit industry for many years. We understand your business and the requirements for not for profit audits.


Contact us today on 1300 007 110 for a quote!

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Late payment and 'centre hopping' - enough is enough!

Through research with our child care members, we know that being paid late (or not at all) is one of the biggest contributors to cash-flow stress in their centres.

With parents leaving fees unpaid or ‘centre hopping’ (leaving a trail of unpaid fees behind them), operators are being left with growing amounts of money outstanding. This worrying trend is not a new phenomenon in our industry and is one that does not appear to be slowing.

Unfortunately, there’s no ‘silver bullet’ when it comes to improving on-time payment. Like all of us, parents are faced with multiple living expenses, and child care fees may be considered just another bill in the pile. Unsurprisingly, feedback suggests that single parents or parents in casual employment appear most often on the outstanding account report as the cost of living adds increasing pressure on already ‘cash-strapped’ parents.

What centres can do, however, is start the relationship with the parents off on the right foot, so that payment expectations are crystal clear.

The easiest way to do this is through a solid set of terms and conditions. Much like a contract that you would sign when applying for a new credit card, your terms and conditions spell out what is expected from both parties that are entering into an agreement.

As well as ensuring parents understand their responsibilities, your ‘Ts & Cs’ provide your centre with a set of enforceable rights that are designed to reduce your centre’s exposure to risk when things don’t go according to plan.

Your enrolment forms will already have a series of agreements and consents when it comes to health matters and other roles and responsibilities. For most centres, by simply adding in some additional clauses, you’ll be better equipped to know who you are dealing with up-front. You’ll also be empowered to swiftly recover late or unpaid fees with less fuss.

With the right contract wording on your side, you’ll be able to take actions such as:

  1. Conduct pre-placement credit checking;
  2. Have the Child Care Benefit paid direct to the centre;
  3. Pass on collection costs to the parent should it become necessary to engage a collection agency, and
  4. List a default against the parent if necessary so that it shows on their credit record. The listing can be amended to “Paid” when the parent attends to the account.

Another essential in your toolkit: a properly worded reminder letter that can be swiftly issued to parents who are overdue. This is an essential step in the fee recovery process.

Sometimes, there’s no way around it, and you’ll just need to ‘make that call’ to request payment. Many businesses find this challenging, time consuming and awkward, and have limited success (even more so in the not for profit sector). On top of that, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has a strict set of guidelines that outline when, how often, and on what grounds you are able to contact someone who owes you money.

Our trusted and experienced debt management partner Optimum Recoveries is ready to assist CMS members with:

  1. Water-tight credit policies and legally binding terms and conditions tailored specifically to meet the needs of CMS members in the child care industry;
  2. Sample reminder letter templates; and
  3. Assistance with recovering overdue debts.

As a registered and experienced debt collection agency, Optimum Recoveries are experts in securing outstanding payments in a respectful, timely, and professional manner (as well as ensuring everything is done ‘by the book’).

To get in touch with Optimum Recoveries, members can call 1300 556 937 or email them at Don’t forget to mention you are a CMS member to secure your discount.

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Do you want your best performing employees to stick around?

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:


  • Higher productivity;
  • Reduced costs of recruitment, selection and training;
  • Reduced risks to claims such as unfair dismissal;
  • Higher job satisfaction; and
  • Increased knowledge retention.


Of course when thinking about employee retention you should also consider:


  • Does your performance management process assist to identify high performers?
  • Do you have clear requirements for any bonus schemes?
  • What are the goals of your retention strategy and how might they impact what tools you implement?
  • What positions, knowledge, skills and abilities will you require in the future?


So, what you might include in your retention strategy:


  • Provide career direction and promotion opportunities;
  • Provide employees with recognition for their efforts;
  • Encourage employee involvement and idea sharing;
  • Provide competitive remuneration packages;
  • Ensure clear lines of communication;
  • Special events and celebrations;
  • Conduct employee satisfaction surveys; and/or
  • Provide professional development and training opportunities.


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.

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2017 Queensland State Wage Increase Decision

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

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Notice of Strike in the Child Care Industry

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:


  • Identify if your employees are striking on Thursday. We would suggest communicating with your employees to find what their intentions are.
  • If you are supporting the strike and closing your Centre, communicate with parents/carers that they will need to collect their children early.
  • If you are not closing the Centre you may choose to employ casual staff to cover any staff who are striking.
  • Communicate to all employees your expectations if strike action is to occur. For example:
    • Employees should advise if they will not be at work.
    • Employees engaging in the strike should ensure that their behaviour is professional and respectful.
    • If Employees fail to advise of their non-attendance they could face disciplinary action.
  • Finally, advise employees that they will not be paid for this absence for work. 


For more information please contact CMSolutions on 1300 007 110 or email

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