Directors Have Human Resources Responsibilities

Issue 009

Hello, I’m Peter Towers, Managing Director of ESS Small Business and ESS BIZTOOLS.  Welcome to Empowering SMEs.

An awareness of human resources laws and best practices is an important component of a company director’s and committee member’s knowledge base.

Whilst it is true that directors should authorise a company’s human resources system and that it is management’s role to implement that system, directors have an ongoing responsibility to regularly enquire as to the effectiveness of the system.

Many directors of small/medium enterprise companies will also be management team members and they, therefore, have two key responsibilities – as a director, signing off on the human resources policy and monitoring the effectiveness of the system and as a management team member, implementing the human resources’ system.

This awareness requirement commences with the National Employment Standards as outlined in the Fair Work Act.

There are 10-minimum workplace entitlements in the National Employment Standards:

  1. Maximum standard working week of 38 hours for full-time employees plus ”reasonable” additional hours.
  2. Employee’s right to request flexible working arrangements.
  3. Parental and adoption leave.
  4. 4 weeks paid annual leave for full-time employees.
  5. 10 days paid personal leave.
  6. Community service leave.
  7. Long service leave
  8. Public holidays
  9. Notice of termination and redundancy pay
  10. All new employees to receive a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement

Directors of companies and committee members of not-for-profits, charities and sporting organisations, need to ensure that the organisation has implemented an appropriate human resources system.

Many businesses have implemented employment HR handbooks to guide management and team members.

Directors and committee members should enquire as to the implementation of items such as:

  • applications for employment
  • contracts for full-time, part-time and casual staff
  • induction process – appointment of a buddy
  • employee management especially:
  • performance reviews
  • exit interviews
  • disciplinary matters
  • minutes of meeting with employees and a buddy in relation to disciplinary matters
  • processes to eliminate bullying, violence and discrimination
  • processes for enquiring into any grievances and disputes
  • code of conduct for team members and management
  • processes for the protection of “whistle-blowers”

Directors and committee members need to be aware of the fines imposed by Fair Work Australia on companies, partnerships and organisations for breaches of the Fair Work Act.

In the Corporate Governance Network, which commences on 25th July 2018, participants will have the opportunity to hear expert commentary on human resources matters presented by Jordan Lowry, Managing Director of Blackstone Business Services.

If you would like to review the material to be discussed in the Corporate Governance Network, you’ll find information on the keynote speakers at ESS Small Business click on Corporate Governance Network.  Also (click here) for a list of the matters to be discussed during the 8 workshops/webinars.

I’d also like to invite you to attend our FREE preview webinar to be held on:

  • Tuesday 3rd July 2018 at 12-noon AEST (click here to register).

Why not invite your co-directors or co-committee members of your organisation to join us for this free overview so you can obtain a better understanding of how we are going to present this very important information – Corporate Governance Network – relating to all things about a “business” because that is “corporate governance”.

Also, whilst on the ESS Small Business website, you can view the human resources material produced by Blackstone Business Services which is available for subscription.

If you have any questions on any of the product available on the ESS Small Business website, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Have a great day!

Peter Towers

Managing Director

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Episode 009 - Directors Have Human Resources Responsibilities

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