HR Advice and Employment Law for Employers
Managing staff can be both challenging and rewarding.
Having good HR advice goes a long way to ensuring a productive and harmonious workforce.
Whether you are a business owner or HR professional, we understand:
- the benefit of having someone to talk to about employee management;
- the importance of good systems and processes in place when employing, retaining and exiting staff so expectations are clear and nothing can be misinterpreted.
In providing practical HR and employment law advice, we act as your trusted advisors. Being proactive in HR and up to date with employment law is a worthwhile investment for any business.
Katherine Hietbrink, our employment lawyer has also worked for many years in generalist HR and management roles – we understand business and how to manage staff.
At Robertson Hyetts, we work with local businesses who rely on us to provide sound and sensible HR advice.
Our HR and Employment Law Services
Our objective is to minimise the risks relating to employing staff, and to ensure your business is compliant with workplace laws. We value the opportunity to partner with you to provide timely, sound and professional advice as you manage your team.
Our HR Advice and Employment Law services include:
- Award and enterprise agreement interpretation and advice
- Employment agreements – full-time, part-time, casual, fixed term
- HR advice (for things big and small)
- Independent contractor agreements
- Industrial relations
- JobKeeper enabling directions
- OHS and Workcover
- Pay rates, allowances, leave and superannuation
- Position descriptions
- Workplace policies
Case management and resolving issues
- Bullying claims
- Business and management coaching
- Compliance training
- Disciplinary meetings
- Fair Work Ombudsman investigations
- Flexible work arrangements
- Mediation between staff
- Payroll queries
- Poor performance management
- Underpayment claims by employees
- Workplace investigations
- Buying or selling a business – advice on transferring employees
- Change management and communication
- Drafting enterprise agreements
- Reporting line or team structure review
- Restructures and organisational change
- Defending unfair dismissal or general protections claims
- Final pay and notice
- Letters and communications to staff
- Restraint of trade and non-compete
- Terminations – poor performance, misconduct, probationary period
Call us today
Contact Katherine Hietbrink – HR Advisor and Employment Lawyer, or Kayla Kristensen – Employment Lawyer, on 03 5434 6666 (Bendigo) or 03 5472 1588 (Castlemaine).
Our employment law services: Information for Employers – Employment Law Flyer
Great question. Employing staff requires some homework and groundwork to get started. Here’s five top tips to help you.
1. Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website: It has some basic templates and tools for employment arrangements. Business Victoria and www.business.gov.au are also great sources of information.
2. Put employment arrangements in writing: Employment contracts set out if your employee is full time, part time or casual. It also specifies pay rates, leave entitlements and notice provisions. Engage a legal professional to assist with employment contracts, so you can minimise grounds for disputes.
3. Pay the right rates and superannuation. Don’t become the next George from Masterchef! Most jobs are covered by an Award and you can calculate them by using the P.A.C.T calculator on the Fair Work Ombudsman site. Don’t forget, Award rates change on July 1 every year and you need to keep good payroll and leave records (use a payroll app), and also provide payslips. Pay superannuation at least quarterly.
4. Workplace policies. Have key policies so everyone knows the rules they need to play (work) by. Code of conduct, OHS, bullying and harassment, social media and leave policies are a great start. A legal professional can help you to draft workplace policies.
5. OHS and Workcover. Visit the Worksafe site to make sure that you know your obligations as an employer. Noone wants to see a person injured at work and as a business owner, the responsibility rests with you. Also speak to your insurance agent or accountant about Workcover insurance, which is compulsory.
Having great staff is really rewarding, but employing staff can sometimes get a bit tricky. Chatting with an employment lawyer and human resources advisor is a worthwhile investment. At Robertson Hyetts, we love getting to know our local small business owners and providing practical and cost-conscious advice to avoid setbacks and help your business grow.
Whilst you can have a verbal agreement, we recommend you record the main terms and conditions of employment in an employment contract. The contract should include a start date, whether the role is full time, part time or casual, the place of work, any probationary period, pay rates, penalties or loadings, leave entitlements, hours of work and termination notice provisions.
Any change to an employee's employment contract should be confirmed in writing either by a new contract, or a contract variation which is signed by the employee as evidence of their agreement to the new terms.
Minimum rates of pay can be found in an Award or Enterprise Agreement. The Award finder and P.A.C.T calculator on the Fair Work Ombudsman site can help you to work out if an Award applies to your staff. The Award Pay Guide for the Award will tell you the minimum Award rates, penalties, loadings or allowances you need to pay. As Award rates change on 1 July every year you need to keep your Award Pay Guide up to date
There are strict rules about keeping good payroll and leave records and you must provide all staff with payslips. We recommend you use one of the many payroll apps available to ensure compliance with these rules.
Policies which set out the rules you expect your employees to abide by and the processes that need to be followed are a great idea. As a minimum all businesses should have a general Code of conduct and we recommend workplace policies for OHS, bullying and harassment, leave, flexible working arrangements, as well as something that safeguards against the misuse of IT, internet, email and social media.
Visit the Worksafe site to make sure that you know your obligations as an employer. No one wants to see a person injured at work and as a business owner, the responsibility rests with you. Workcover insurance is compulsory so speak to your insurance agent or accountant about this.
Robertson Hyetts is a co-convener of the Bendigo Regional HR Network.
To learn more about upcoming events and topics visit the Bendigo Regional HR Network page.
Learn more about the Employment Law Fundamentals and some of the key pieces of legislation every employer should know when it comes to employing staff.
For legal advice that protects your interests phone now for an appointment: Bendigo 03 5434 6666; Castlemaine 03 5472 1588 or Melbourne by appointment.
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