Useful Information

Employing People

(Article courtesy of

Good employees can be your greatest asset, so recruiting and retaining the right people is very important to your business success.

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Your employees create value and can generate a return on investment for your business. For this to happen however, both the needs of the business and the individual need to be met. This requires an understanding of the legal obligations for you and your employees, along with ways to maximise the skills of your workforce.
Whether you are new to business or have a number of staff working for you, the following are important areas to consider when employing and managing your staff.
Hiring staff is an important step for new businesses, and can allow existing businesses to meet customer demand. There are a number of factors you need to consider when hiring staff. Deciding on their employment status and finding out what requirements there are for the status you choose is just one of these. Before you hire staff, you'll also need to be aware of your responsibilities as an employer. The Fair Work Act 2009 sets out the rights and obligations sets of employees and employers covered by the national workplace relations system. This includes things like the ten National Employment Standards which apply to all employees in the national system, modern awards and minimum wages.
The Fair Work Ombudsman's Small business page has a range of information about your responsibilities as an employer under the Fair Work Act 2009, including the Fair Work Handbook (DOC 230KB).  The Fair Work Ombudsman has also published some employment templates to help you through the hiring process.

Employment Types

(Article courtesy of

Staff can be employed under a number of categories. Some categories offer more flexibility for workers, while others provide more security for the business. Choosing to employ staff under different categories can maintain flexibility in your workforce while also meeting the needs of the business. Choose a structure for each staff member that suits the business and the employee.

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Each category places a different set of obligations for you and your staff. Below are the most common employee types:

full-time - generally employees work between 38 - 40 hours per week, with 8 hours per day/5 days a week. part-time - employees work less than 38 hours per week, with a guaranteed minimum number of hours. casual - employees work hours may vary per week, depending on the work available. fixed term - employees are generally employed for a fix period of time.

To properly determine your obligations as an employer, it's important for you to distinguish if your workers are employees or independent contractors. This will help in determining wages and other conditions.

Employee study finds many Australian workplaces lack effective leadership

(Courtesy The Age)

Sandra Helou's commitment to her job was helped by her employer's decision to take an interest in her health. Ms Helou, who works for a private health insurance company in Sydney, said her boss had arranged for employees to get free advice over the phone from a dietitian or nutritionist. "Knowing my employer cares about my well-being ... makes me more inclined to stay with an employer because they are aligned to my personal values," she said. 

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But a lack of interest  in their workers by many bosses, who are failing to get the best out of their employees, is driving a more widespread level of dissatisfaction in the workforce.

Australian workers are more disengaged from work than their overseas counterparts surveyed in a new global study, and are more critical of the leadership of their bosses.

The study found they are weary of constant change in their organisations and want clearer direction and leadership from their managers.

In its latest survey of 32,000 employees in 26 countries including Australia, international professional services company Towers Watson found that only 44 per cent of Australian employees surveyed said their leaders were effective, compared to 52 per cent of their international counterparts.

For the first time, effective leadership has emerged as the key factor determining engagement and retention of employees, according to the third biennial survey. It has overtaken workload and work-life balance as the top reason cited by employees as determining their engagement with work.

Mid-level managers, who are more directly involved with staff, received a more favourable review, with 57 per cent of Australians rating them as effective, compared to 61 per cent of their overseas counterparts.  

The study authors said this may be due to Australians having higher expectations of their bosses. "For the first time, leadership is the biggest driver of sustainable engagement," the study authors said. "For employees lucky enough to perceive both their leader and manager as being effective, 72 per cent are highly engaged and just 3 per cent are disengaged.

"This stands in contrast to those that perceive both their leader and manager as being ineffective, with just 8 per cent of these employees being highly engaged while the majority (56 per cent) are disengaged."

Adam Hall, from Towers Watson, said the issue of job security and base pay had emerged as key reasons for employee engagement in the 2012 survey. 

"They have grown in importance in this period of uncertain, if not difficult economic conditions," he said. In 2014, the leadership of organisations was ranked the top reason for staff engagement. Dr Hall said effective leadership could energise workers by enabling them to do their jobs well. "Leadership has the most ability to influence the employees' experience in the organisation. They set the direction," he said.

"What Australians want their leaders to do is be very good at clarifying direction, vision and making good decisions about where the organisation is going, and sticking to that as a long-term strategy. So if you want to have some job security - a career - then this is what the future will look like."
The survey also looked at the top causes of work-related stress and found them to be inadequate staffing and excessive workloads. Lack of support from a supervisor, conflicting job expectations and poor team work were also among reasons cited by around a third of the 1003 Australians surveyed.
The Union for International Cancer Control and health insurer Bupa will release another report on Friday showing that almost two in five of the 5000 Australian employees and 200 employers surveyed said their job had a negative impact on their physical health and one in three said it had a negative impact on their mental health. Almost half the employers surveyed agreed organisations could help their employees reduce their risk of conditions such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.