July 2020 Blog Posts (19)

Workplace investigations & Workplace policies

One of the first questions I ask for when I am engaged to conduct a workplace investigation is can you send me your bullying or behavioural polices and and any Code of Conduct or other policies.

The reason I ask for this is that I frame any allegations against the person subject of any complaint based on potential breaches of your policies or Code of Conduct.

The policies I receive come a a variety of forms, but one of the elements I like…


Added by Phil O'Brien on July 31, 2020 at 11:30 — No Comments

Finding the Third Space and making it count

Finding Space and making it count.

I recently saw a post on social media from a friend who was lamenting the fact that she hasn’t read nearly as much as usual recently. Working from home, without her usual train commute, there just wasn’t the same opportunity to read.

Then I happened upon an article on the Third Space.

What’s the Third Space?

The Third Space is the time between doing one thing and starting another, like the space between being at work and…


Added by Suzanne Gavrilovic on July 30, 2020 at 9:47 — No Comments

The psychological dimensions of working from home & returning employees to the workplace after a crisis

Fantastic to talk to Dr Melanie Irons about "The psychological dimensions of working from home and returning employees to the workplace after a crisis" on the latest episode of the HR Breakfast Club Podcast.

Traditionally, the ability…


Added by James Judge on July 23, 2020 at 16:00 — No Comments

Hiding a workplace problem doesn’t mean it will go away: What we can learn from Donald Trump’s coronavirus denial

Donald Trump recently claimed he was joking when he asked staff to slow down coronavirus testing, asserting that ‘by having more tests, we have more cases.’ Whilst you can’t question the logic, it’s assumed that most experts would believe this to be a very short-sighted approach – by testing fewer people, reported cases will decrease, but this does not mean they do not exist. Much like in any scenario – from relationships to health issues to workplaces, ignoring a problem…


Added by Andy Welsh on July 22, 2020 at 14:30 — No Comments

Ensuring Redundancies Are ‘Genuine Redundancies’

When an employee alleges their termination of employment was harsh, unjust or unreasonable in an unfair dismissal application, the Fair Work Commission (the FWC) is required to consider a number of preliminary matters …


Added by Jonathan Mamaril on July 21, 2020 at 15:30 — No Comments

Relationship status: It’s complicated - Understanding your contract in eSports and gaming

Being offered, or offering a person, a new opportunity in the gaming or eSports industry can be incredibly exciting. 

Everyone is looking to the road ahead and enthusiastically imagining a long and fruitful relationship. Gamers are understandably keen to get the work or training underway but, in that excitement, can…

Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 21, 2020 at 13:16 — No Comments

Patience, you must have: FWC upholds safety-related dismissal of employee given multiple chances

The Fair Work Commission’s (FWC’s) recent decision in Hafsteins v Correct Installs Pty Ltd [2020] FWC 2729 has showcased a “patient” employer’s handling of an employee’s numerous workplace health and safety breaches. 

The employee was employed at a racking and storage system installation…

Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 21, 2020 at 13:05 — No Comments

Six subtle ways to show employee appreciation

We all want to be appreciated, whether it’s in a home or work environment. The latter is something employers often find themselves struggling with. How do you show your employees appreciation without going overboard and making it seem forced? Being subtle about it is crucial, as…


Added by Emma Williams on July 20, 2020 at 17:30 — No Comments

Roche Martin - Emotional Intelligence At Work

When good intentions don’t always deliver good outcomes

In mediation, I often hear one or both parties saying at some point, ‘I thought I was doing the right thing’ or ‘I thought you would prefer I did…’ or ‘I was just trying to do this in a way you might appreciate’.

What I am hearing is that each party believes they understand the other (or has been trying very keenly to) and adjusting their behaviour or approach accordingly. They show a sense of frustration. Despite their…


Added by Catherine Gillespie on July 17, 2020 at 9:30 — No Comments

Bus money: FWC upholds dismissal of employee who borrowed money from bus passenger

Out of hours conduct and its impact on the employment relationship is always a hotly debated topic – particularly between employers and their employees.

Many employees hold the belief that their conduct outside of work is entirely irrelevant to their employment. However, this is not always the case as recently…

Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 14, 2020 at 15:36 — No Comments

Brisbane company first to be convicted of industrial manslaughter

Workplace fatalities are tragic and devastating events. In order to reflect the seriousness of these incidents, some jurisdictions across Australia have amended their work health and safety laws to establish the offence of industrial manslaughter, where the negligent conduct by a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) or officers causes the death of a worker.…

Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 14, 2020 at 15:30 — No Comments

The probation myth: Probation and the "minimum employment period" in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)

There is a common misconception that probationary periods allow an employer to dismiss an employee for any reason (or for no reason at all) prior to the confirmation of their employment. This is not necessarily the case and, in fact, there is no statutory basis that entitles an employer and an employee to a probationary period.…

Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 14, 2020 at 15:00 — No Comments

The Future of Work: Flexibility and Carer-Friendly Workplaces

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic it has been heartening to see recognition for many in the community who are often invisible and who do such valuable work. 

The pandemic has also seen the adoption of flexible working arrangements at scale and pace by many employers. This has not been without its challenges and much has been written on the topic.

For those that…


Added by Rachel Matheson on July 13, 2020 at 16:00 — No Comments

How work affects health and wellbeing

If you’re lucky, you love your job and can’t wait to get to work every day, but for a number of people, working life may have its ups and downs. The benefits of being employed can make us feel connected, provide meaning and can help us with feelings of being part of “something bigger” than ourselves. However, sometimes we might feel that we’ve lost the balance, just a little bit. 

Living a sustainable lifestyle that promotes work-life balance…


Added by Amy Vu on July 8, 2020 at 11:30 — No Comments

Dealing with reluctant complainants in workplace investigations

How many of you have encountered the problem when a complaint is made but the complainant tells you that they don’t want the matter investigated?

I often get asked by HR professionals and managers, “What do I do if someone makes a complaint and then says that they don’t want me to do anything, they just wanted me to know.”

Despite what people think, this is not a difficult situation - it becomes all about ownership of the complaint.

Once someone has…


Added by Phil O'Brien on July 7, 2020 at 17:00 — No Comments

Sexual Harassment Investigations

Recently a very good article was published about Sexual Harassment in the workplace on the Monash University Impact web site: https://www2.monash.edu/impact/articles/legal/workplace-sexual-harassment-how-do-we-help-women-come-forward/

I particularly liked this comment:

“A workplace investigation should not be…


Added by Phil O'Brien on July 6, 2020 at 13:00 — No Comments

4 Reasons Why Baby Boomers Might Not Want to Retire

With 4 million baby boomers set to retire in the next few years, they’ll soon be a large new influx of people lining up their putts and enjoying their holiday homes. And as the nation’s wealthiest ever generation, what’s not to look forward to?!? Boomers will finally get the free time - and money - to enjoy themselves after decades of hard work. 

Yet despite the ‘golden years’ being the dream of many, among the…


Added by Sandy Hutchison on July 6, 2020 at 7:00 — No Comments

Top concerns facing HR when investigating complex sexual harassment claims

Following the recent release of the respect @work: Sexual Harassment National inquiry Report (2020), Kate Jenkins the Sex Discrimination Commissioner has called on all Australian workplaces to work together to tackle sexual harassment. In the report it states;  “the current legal and…


Added by Harriet Witchell on July 3, 2020 at 11:36 — No Comments

Why there should be no such thing as a standardised wellness program

Self-care is the new horizon for employers in the 21st century. From apps like Headspace that tout their meditative benefits to…


Added by Sandy Hutchison on July 2, 2020 at 7:00 — No Comments

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