New website offers flexibility advice to retail sector

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New website offers flexibility advice to retail sector

The Federal Government has set up a website to offer assistance on workplace flexibility to employers in the retail sector.

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The Federal Government has set up a website to offer assistance on workplace flexibility to employers in the retail sector.

Kevin Andrews, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, said the new Flexibility Works - Assisting Workplace Flexibility in Retail website would assist retailers trying to meet growing workforce needs during a period of an ageing population and consequent labour shortages.

‘Action must be taken now by business, government and individuals if these problems are to be successfully mitigated to ensure that we are to continue to prosper,’ Andrews said.

‘All businesses will need to consider employing people who have traditionally been under-represented in the labour market. For example, mature aged people, people with a disability, parents returning to the workforce, and the long term unemployed groups.

‘Businesses also need to think about how they can attract and retain workers in their workforce, such as through flexible workplace arrangements.

Strong work ethic

‘People with a disability bring with them a high level of commitment and a strong work ethic. Parents returning to the workforce bring extensive experience as they have been managing a household for many years - these are skills that are transferable into paid work.’

Andrews said small local businesses, including newsagents and pharmacies and larger businesses such as major supermarkets are all part of  Australia’s largest employment industry, and is still growing - the Australian retail industry.

He said the Flexibility Works website helps retailers to identify strategies that they can use in the day to day managing of their workforce and planning for future workforce needs.

Information on the website

The website includes information on:

  • the benefits of flexible working for the retail sector;
  • case studies highlighting retailers who have successfully implemented innovative flexible work practices;
  • responses to frequently asked questions by retailers around starting up, implementing flexibility and ongoing management;
  • a guide for negotiating with employees over flexible arrangements;
  • setting up a company policy for flexible working and managing any internal challenges; and
  • evaluating flexible arrangements.

The site

The new site is available here.

Managing retention and recruitment - conference

The issue of retaining staff generally will be addressed in an upcoming conference organised by Law & Finance. The 2nd Annual Human Resources Strategies- Mastering issues in retention and recruitment, will be held on 29 31st May 2006 at The Grace Hotel, Sydney.

Issues to be addressed include: early warning signs of retention problems, employee turnover issues, benchmarking strategies, counselling programs, dealing effectively with recruitment agents and implementing employee development and training programmes, examining remuneration and benefits packages, facing a tightening labour market and the difficulties finding experienced employees.

Details are available here.

 

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