Like in our own lives, we tend to only seek help after a problem has arisen. In many ways, the same can be said in a business context – that is, for some employers taking necessary proactive steps to protect themselves only occurs once an issue becomes a real problem. In our view, there is no time like the present to be proactive about the condition of your employment relations framework and take that long overdue IR health check with us.
It is not uncommon that a business will undertake an audit of its compliance with work health and safety requirements every so often. As is often the case however, that is where an compliance check usually stops. This can create many significant legal exposures for employers in relation to a range of other compliance issues. It is therefore essential, if not imperative, that employers audit the effectiveness of their employment relations practices as a whole, including for example, the currency of their employment documents, their compliance with Modern Award and other legislative requirements, the mental wellbeing of employees, whether any underlying workplace culture issues exist and whether the business is unknowingly accruing significant liabilities to underpayment of wages and other employee entitlements. These matters can have a significant impact on the productivity and sustainability of any business.
In a recent decision by the Federal Circuit Court of Australia an employer was ordered, after short-changing staff by more than $87,000 in a period of approximately three years, to not only correct the underpayment issue but pay fines amounting to $184,960. The company was also required, under section 545 of the Fair Work legislation, to engage a third party auditor with qualifications in workplace relations to investigate the compliance of its other work sites: see FWO v Mamak Pty Ltd & Ors  FCCA 2104. This decision, without more, begs the question of whether and to what extent the employer in this particular circumstance could have avoided prosecution by the Fair Work Ombudsman had it taken proactive steps to audit its IR framework earlier.
Sasphire Legal is proud to offer a unique service in the area of employment relations compliance. Our product offering compromises a comprehensive audit of your employment practices and can be tailored to suit the individual needs of your business. The standard compliance package generally includes a review of:
- employment contracts and workplace policies;
- induction and disciplinary processes;
- industrial coverage and underpayment exposures;
- modern award compliance;
- termination and end-of-employment procedures;
- employee entitlements including under short and long term incentives schemes;
- accrued statutory leave entitlements liabilities;
- workers’ compensation claims;
- employee training programs;
- independent contractor and sham contracting issues;
- workplace culture issues;
- union membership and industrial activity;
- pending and underlying employment claims; and
- senior executive liabilities, namely:
- golden handshakes;
- reasonable notice claims;
- restraint of trade and protection of confidential information; and
- protection of goodwill and intellectual property.
Confidential and Privileged Report
Once Sasphire Legal has conducted the audit, we will provide you with a privileged and confidential report. This will then enable the business to implement strategies and necessary tools, based on our recommendations, to ensure future compliance.
Our pricing model for this service is designed to be flexible and dependent upon the size and complexity of your workplace. We offer fixed-fee arrangements to ensure that you have certainly as to costs.
If you wish to find out more about the complete range of our workplace compliance services, please do not hesitate to contact us.