Once again – it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

I know, it seems like only yesterday we were celebrating Christmas 2018…… But there is now a little over a month to go before Christmas this year.

Every year, around this time, we begin speaking with our clients about the steps they need to take to prepare their business for the Christmas period. Here are some of the items we are discussing with them:

Are you closing your business over Christmas?

If you are closing your business over the Christmas period, you will need to consider the management of your employees. The National Employment Standards does allow you to direct people to take leave when you close your business for a period (such as Christmas). But there are some questions you need to ask yourself, for example:

Will you be directing your employees to take leave? If yes, does your award contain notification requirements (for example, the General Retail Industry Award 2010 has a requirement that you must notify employees at least 4 weeks before the closure)?

What happens if they don’t have enough leave accrued? Will you offer leave in advance?

Payroll Processing Over Christmas

Christmas can be a stressful time.

If you have bills to pay, presents to buy and any number of other expenses, not receiving your pay when expected can duplicate this stress considerably.

The processing of pay can be affected over the Christmas period due to the number of Public Holidays, the potential closure of your business and many other events. We recommend ensuring you communicate your intentions for running payroll over this period to your employees over the Christmas period.

Do not assume your employees know bank processing may be delayed because of public holidays and make sure you communicate this to them.

Consider, making changes to your payroll arrangements to alleviate any potential problems

Finally, make sure they have a contact person for use in the event of payroll questions.

Public Holidays

Make sure you are aware of the public holidays over this period – there are a considerable number and there may be slight variations between states.

You can find a list of public holidays by clicking on the following link:

List of Public Holidays

Remember, if a permanent employee normally works on a Public Holiday, they are entitled to be paid for the day. If the employee is on leave on that day, the day is not treated as an annual leave day but is paid at normal rate.

If you employees work on a Public Holiday – double check the arrangements, pay rates etc in your award – ensure that you have the arrangements right.

Christmas Parties

The event each year that everyone looks forward to! But also an event where people let their hair down and occasionally misbehave.

Over the years we have seen many clients with employees facing investigation and disciplinary action because of their activities at Christmas Parties. There are plenty of stories out in the media of companies being held accountable for the activities of individuals at Christmas Parties.

Simply, we strongly recommend that companies take a number of actions to protect themselves and their employees – beginning prior to the party with communication regarding the party, its status as a work function and the application of company policies.

Our Christmas Checklist

Every year, we have offered our Christmas Checklist to our clients.

This year’s checklist has been revamped and upgraded. If you would like you copy, please fill in the form below and we will arrange for you to download your copy.

And finally, we’re here to help…….

If you are not sure about your obligations over this period – contact us and we will be more than happy to assist!

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Tony Perkins: 0406 717 499
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