News briefs, 23/07/12


News briefs, 23/07/12

Ombudsman’s Tas record-keeping campaign | Sydney Water maintenance engineers endorse industrial action | Information and advice for franchisors and franchisees | AMA warns of training bottleneck | Changes to phase out mature age worker tax offset | 14th World Human Resource Congress.


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Ombudsman’s Tas record-keeping campaign | Sydney Water maintenance engineers endorse industrial action | Information and advice for franchisors and franchisees | AMA warns of training bottleneck | Changes to phase out mature age worker tax offset | 14th World Human Resource Congress.

Ombudsman’s Tas record-keeping campaign
The Fair Work Ombudsman has released the findings of a campaign focusing on record-keeping and pay slip obligations of employers in Tasmania.

Fair Work inspectors have completed audits of 77 Tas businesses in the hairdressing, legal services and other industries.

Inspectors found 61 businesses (79%) were keeping proper employment records and issuing pay slips in line with workplace laws, while 16 (21%) recorded contraventions. A further three businesses remain under investigation.

Businesses with contraventions were found in Hobart, Launceston, Devonport, Burnie, Ulverstone, Bicheno and the Huon Valley.

The audits follow a similar campaign in 2009–10, in which 166 Tas businesses across a range of industries were scrutinised and 63 (38%) were found to have record-keeping and pay slip contraventions.

A number of the businesses with contraventions in 2009–10 were re-visited in the follow-up campaign. A breakdown of findings from the latest campaign is as follows:
  • Legal services: Of 24 audits completed, 20 businesses (83%) were compliant
    and four (17%) had contraventions. A further two remain under investigation.
  • Hairdressing: Of 28 audits completed, 21 businesses (75%) were compliant
    and seven (25%) had contraventions. One further business remains under
  • Businesses re-audited: Of the 25 businesses audited, 20 (80%) were
    compliant and five (20%) had contraventions.

Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Mark Scully says employers with contraventions voluntarily rectified the issues and were assisted to put processes in place to ensure the mistakes are not repeated. No further action was required.

Mr Scully says the improvement in compliance levels since 2009–10 is encouraging.

Sydney Water maintenance engineers endorse industrial action
Sydney Water maintenance engineers have endorsed a campaign of industrial action over fears their work conditions will be stripped as the state-owned corporation prepares to outsource maintenance.

In a recent mass meeting, mechanical and electrical maintenance engineers unanimously endorsed conducting a protected action ballot. They will consider a full range of industrial action including work bans and stoppages.

Information and advice for franchisors and franchisees
The Fair Work Ombudsman will provide free advice and information to franchisors and franchisees last weekend as part of the Franchising and Business Opportunities Expo at the Brisbane Convention Exhibition Centre.

Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Mark Scully says franchisors who support franchisees in meeting their workplace obligations demonstrate a commitment to corporate responsibility and position their franchise outlets as employers of choice.

‘We have a range of resources to assist franchisors to support compliance with workplace laws and make compliance easier for franchisees, including pay tools, templates, checklists, Best Practice Guides and fact sheets,’ Mr Scully said.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has developed a dedicated Franchise Assistance webpage, with tools, templates and resources specifically tailored for the franchising sector.

Online advice for franchisors and franchisees includes the new Employer Obligations Guide, which outlines key requirements and responsibilities for employers under current workplace laws. The guide is designed to assist in the training of franchisees and is to be included in franchise operations manuals.
Additional online tools include PayCheck Plus and an Award Finder to assist business-owners to calculate the correct pay for their employees. PayCheck Plus calculates minimum rates of pay per hour, per shift or per week and takes account of payments for overtime, penalty rates and allowances.

AMA warns of training bottleneck
The AMA welcomes the review article by Assoc Prof Catherine Joyce in the Healthcare Workforce Supplement published today online by the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA).
AMA president, Dr Steve Hambleton, said the article highlights the looming medical training bottlenecks that will see many medical graduates struggle to find an intern place next year and confront further obstacles as they progress to seek to achieve full specialist qualification.

Nationally, there will be 3512 graduates at the end of this year. There were 2723 intern places across the country in 2011 and, even with some growth, current projections estimate that Australia will still be short around 370 intern places next year for local and domestic graduates.

Dr Hambleton said that the recent Health Workforce 2025 report concluded that Australia needs to keep not only its domestic graduates but also international graduates, if we are to ensure the medical workforce can keep up with future community need.

Changes to phase out mature age worker tax offset
The Federal Government announced in the 2012–13 Budget that it would phase out the mature age worker tax offset (MAWTO).

The 2012–13 Budget measure will phase out the MAWTO from 1 July 2012 for taxpayers born on or after 1 July 1957.

Those currently eligible because they were aged 55 years or older on 30 June 2012 are unaffected by the changes and remain age eligible. 

Exposure draft legislation and explanatory material that would implement the announced change has been released for public comment.

14th World Human Resource Congress
The 14th World Human Resource Congress will be held at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre over 26 and 27 September 2012

As the host of the 14th World Human Resources Congress, the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) has sent a general invitation to HR practitioners.

What is HRIZON?

AHRI has provided this background:
Named HRIZON, the 2012 World Human Resources Congress is a world-class event designed to bring together a range of HR and people management professionals. Through this unique event, you have the opportunity to build networks, overcome challenges and expand your horizon.

Should I attend?
HRIZON is the ultimate global event for human resource and people management professionals from a wide range of backgrounds and expertise. If you are serious about HR and people management, this is the event you can’t afford to miss.

What themes will be covered?
  • Diversity: what does a diverse workforce look like and how can it be achieved?
  • Technology: opportunities and challenges of new and existing technology
  • Sustainability: corporate, social and environmental
  • Skills and talent: challenges of managing and developing human capability
  • Innovation: creativity and innovation in the workplace
  • Business leadership: HR and business thought and practice leaders
  • Inspirational: out of the box thinking of HR and business practitioners Asia Pacific: a mix of regional high profile leaders/thinkers.
For more information, visit the congress website.

To register, click here.
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