Underpaying staff…sorry I didn’t realise

(30 /03 /2016)

Really?  I have just read an article about a café owner underpaying overseas workers in his café in CBD Melbourne.  He claims to not have been aware of the Award he should operate under and wasn’t paying overtime or penalty rates! As a business owner it is your responsibility to ensure you are covered – insurance, permits and that you understand the Award that your workers are covered under.

We wrote a blog awhile back which gave you a checklist of things to think about when setting up in the right location but what about staffing? Here are just a few things you should understand:

Which Award are you covered under? Check out Fair Work Australia
Do you have insurance for your works? Check out WorkCover Australia
Do you have the right facilities? Toilets? Are you expected to provide a staff room?
What are your hours? Remember to understand minimum and maximum lengths of shift, breaks between shifts.
Do you think you want to employ full time or part time or even casual?
Uniforms – if you aren’t providing one do you need to give an allowance?
How are you paying people – Weekly? Fortnightly?
Superannuation – when do you need to pay that and how?

There are so many things to think about and once you have had a look at the Federal Laws, then make sure you are also looking into the laws of your specific state.  There is far too much information out there now not to be aware and staff, in most cases, are very aware of their rights.  Have a think about perhaps paying slightly above the Award, what other kind of incentives or bonuses will you offer to ensure you have happy staff.  Remember they are the face of your business and having a grumpy and very vocal staff member telling all the customers how terrible the working conditions are won’t fair well on your repeat custom.

Cover yourself, cover your workers and most importantly simply do the right thing!

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