Only 37 days to go until Modern Awards and the National Employment Standards take effect, use this time Now! In 37 days, Modern Awards and the National Employment Standards will begin governing the working relationships of nearly all Australians. Recent legislation passed by state parliaments will see the Federal System of awards covering all private businesses in Australia for the first time. This is a significant step forward in Australian Industrial Relations. For the first time ever, we will be coming close to having a national system governing employment relationships.
At People Smartz we are working with many businesses getting ready for the changes. For many, the changes are small, for others significant. With the Fair Work Ombudsman releasing media statements daily regarding the investigation of small businesses for underpayments or breaches of the legislation, it certainly pays to ensure you are ready! (I invite you to visit the FWA website www.fwa.gov.au to see their press releases – some of the numbers are impressive!)
As an example – one change that we often see with our clients relates to working hours. There is exposure to real risk as some businesses have been working a 40 hour week, and the law puts in place a maximum 38 hour week.
We therefore recommend you look carefully at your business now. Some questions to ask yourself are:
- How will the Modern Awards affect my business?
- Are my contracts (employment agreements) up to date and consistent with the new laws?
- Do my employment arrangements cover the 10 National Employment Standards
- Do I have position descriptions? Do they fit in with the Modern Award?
- Do we have a strong performance management system in place?
In addition, we have a number of services, such as our Free Compliance Review which you can take advantage of to assess your business.
The important thing is not to leave this until 1 January – check your business now!