What are the top HR pain-points for Cairns business owners?
CCIQ’s Employer Assistance Helpline
CCIQ’s Employer Assistance team regularly field up to 700 calls per month, supporting Queensland business owners with HR and IR expert advice. Our HR experts assist with helping employers self-manage staff entitlements, grievance, performance management issues, terminations, redundancies and much more, with over 7,000 calls received last year alone.
So what did 2018’s call data have to say about the HR concerns affecting Cairns businesses? The results found three clear issues that Cairns business and Queensland as a whole were needing advice on:
- Award Interpretation,
- Enterprise Agreements/ Collective Agreements, and
- Termination and Resignation
Based on our Employer Assistance Helpline, Award interpretation is the most common request our expert advisers receive from not only Cairns but Queensland businesses as a whole. With 181 calls from Cairns and 970 calls across Queensland, Award interpretation remains a widespread issue for employers across the state.
So, what are awards? The Fair Work Ombudsman describe awards (Modern Awards) as legal documents that outline the minimum pay rates and conditions of employment. There are over 100 industry and occupation awards that cover most people who work in Australia. Awards apply to both employers and employees depending on the industry they work in and the type of job worked.
Within this subject the top queries from Cairns business owners centred around award coverage, allowances and overtime.
Enterprise Agreements/ Collective Agreements
Enterprise Agreements or Collective Agreements are our Employer Assistance teams’ second most common helpline topic, with over 154 calls from Cairns business and 295 from Queensland employers as a whole.
Understanding Enterprise Agreements is vital for business owners who have or are yet to implement one. Portner Press highlight Enterprise Agreements as an arrangement made between a national system employer and some or all its employees who are employed at the time the agreement is made. This agreement then regulates minimum wage and employment conditions.
The Employer Assistance helpline receives various calls in relation to Enterprise Agreements, with our experts supporting Queensland business owners with interpretation and negotiation of Enterprise Agreements, casual conversion, terminations and more.
With over half of our helpline calls on this topic coming from the Cairns region, it really highlights that this is a significant issue affecting Cairns businesses. To assist with this view CCIQ’s online webinar recording from early March, highlighting the Significance of Enterprise Agreements. This webinar aims for registrants to leave with a solid understanding of Enterprise Agreements and to hear from one of our expert advisers how these agreements can be used to better protect your business.
Termination and Resignations
Issues around terminations are maybe one of the most common calls our experts receive from the helpline. Whether a business owner is trying to learn the proper steps to take prior to dismissing an employee or how to properly show cause when terminating a staff member, our employer assistance experts have heard and counselled it all.
In Cairns alone the team received 81 calls related to termination with 616 calls received across the state. Our advisers supported Queensland business with questions regarding notice period when an employee is being terminated or handing in their resignation, probation queries, separation agreements, withholding final pay and more. Terminations and Resignations are sensitive business processes that need to be dealt with properly and following the right protocol to ensure a business is remaining HR Compliant.
The biggest concerns for business when dealing with terminations and resignations is that one incident could risk the business being slapped with an unfair dismissal case lodged. According to the Fair Work Commission, unfair dismissal applications remain the highest application lodged with over 14,000 submitted in 2017, almost half of all applications lodged that year. To say this issue is a concern to business owners would be an understatement.
So how can businesses get the right advice and stay on top of issues such as these?
Two cups of coffee a week for HR compliance? Bargain!
A CCIQ HR Membership starts from the price of two cups of coffee per week, and it provides business owners with peace of mind when it comes to their business’ HR and IR functions. Our experienced team of HR advisers can be right beside you from the time you hire an employee, right up to when things may become more complicated. CCIQ aims to provide professional assistance when you need it most.