The big issues of 2017 are still resonating so check your HR practices and policies against our top 10

Elizabeth Ticehurst, Director, Workplace & Employment Law
Timothy Zahara, Lawyer, KPMG Law
Timothy Zahara, Lawyer, KPMG Law

The New Year is fast receding but the events of 2017 are not so easily put behind us.

The “#metoo” movement and the renewed push to stamp out sexual harassment and unacceptable behaviour in the workplace is continuing to gain momentum.

New whistleblowing protection laws have also been introduced into Parliament.

With these in mind, the KPMG Workplace and Employment Law team has compiled the top 10 New Year’s resolutions all HR professionals should consider.

Our top 10 HR resolutions

  1. Ensure all staff have completed annual discrimination and harassment training, and that records are kept. Consider arranging training now for 2018.
  2. Review processes and procedures for dealing with complaints by staff with respect to discrimination, harassment or bullying. Ensure that all levels of management are familiar with the processes and procedures, and that responsibilities are clearly assigned.
  3. Review (or implement) whistleblower policies and procedures in light of the proposed changes to whistleblowing protection laws in 2018.
  4. Ensure that members of the board and senior management are complying with their obligations to exercise “due diligence” with respect to the company’s work health and safety (WHS) duties.
  5. Review performance management procedures to ensure they reflect the company’s practices, and are flexible enough to apply to different circumstances.
  6. Engage in a risk assessment review of all contractor engagements. The review should check whether there is a risk of contractors being classified as employees, and also check compliance with workers compensation, superannuation and WHS requirements.
  7. Review employee termination, redundancy and recruitment processes to ensure relevant decision makers are clearly identifiable and that the reasons for termination or job application outcomes are adequately documented to guard against the risk of a legal challenge.
  8. Review pay rates for compliance with applicable modern awards. This is particularly pertinent for employers in industries affected by changes to penalty rates, such as hospitality, retail, pharmacy and fast food.
  9. Review superannuation payment processes to ensure employees (or, where relevant, contractors) are not being paid too little or too much superannuation. Determining whether certain allowances or payments are superable is not necessarily straightforward.
  10. Review template employment agreements and HR policies to ensure they are relevant and appropriate for your workforce and your business, and also align with best practice and legal requirements.

Use these as a guide to put your business in the best position to handle any employment law risks.

If in doubt always talk to an expert.

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