In the ever-evolving workplace, being on top of the latest trends can help attract the best staff, increase productivity and reduce surprises along the way. Today we cover 5 of the HR trends we’ve seen in 2018 that could change your HR practices.

1. Video Applications
They’re not yet status quo, but video job applications are appearing more than ever before. A written resume often fails to show the personality of the applicant, so video can be a good way to ‘meet’ applicants in the initial recruitment steps.

2. No More Annual Reviews
Workplaces are getting better at providing feedback to employees as it happens, which means saving it up for an annual review is a thing of the past. Instead, regular formal meetings are being used for support in goal setting and achievement.

3. Personal Projects
Businesses such as Atlassian and Google may be the big-name businesses creating personal projects programs, but smaller businesses can get on board with this great idea too. Effectively, individuals can use 10-20% of their work time on a ‘personal’ project. These projects are still owned and for the benefit of the company but haven’t been set as a task in a position description, for example. These projects might include improving workflow, introducing recycling initiatives or experimenting with new designs.

4. AI Improvements
Recently, Google Assistant was seen making appointments via phone, incredibly successfully.
As AI continues to improve and become more widespread, we expect to see that some positions will become redundant. This is also an opportunity to upskill, find new ways to add value and, to put it bluntly, not be replaced by AI.

5. Online Everything
From Tax File Number declarations, to staff satisfaction surveys, time sheets and rostering, there’s a huge push to get all your staffing details online. It helps for record-keeping purposes and for the looming Single Touch Payroll obligations. If you haven’t moved your HR requirements online yet, have a chat to our team about our simple solutions.

Our Workforce Management team love working with businesses who are interested in improving processes and building a successful team. If this is you, contact us here.

There’s a growing opinion amongst younger generations, that working in a 9-5 job, with the same company until retirement and pensions, is not a dream of theirs, that is shared by their parents and grandparents.

Instead, moving through various roles and multiple career paths is the norm. Roles that provide meaning and purpose, plus time to enjoy the extra-circular activities they love, or looking after growing families, are relished and revered. Workplace flexibility provisions can become a great recruitment tool, engagement booster and overall productivity improvement model.

Award Flexibility

Award flexibility clauses can be found in all 122 Modern Awards. An employer and individual employees can agree to vary award clauses regarding:

  1. Arrangements when work is performed;
  2. Overtime rates;
  3. Penalty rates;
  4. Allowances; and
  5. Leave loading.

These variations should meet the genuine needs of both parties. Importantly, these agreements can only be entered into once the employee has commenced work with the employer. They must be in writing (there’s specific requirements regarding what the agreement must say, which we can help write) and the agreement must demonstrate how the employee is better off overall.

Traditional Gender Roles and Flexibility

These award provisions are useful in some circumstances and for many people, any access to workplace flexibility is appreciated. However, flexible working conditions can come with their own stigma. According to a study by Bain & Company and Chief Executive Women, shared by the Workplace Gender Equity Agency (WGEA), men working flexible hours were 6 times less likely to be engaged with their company; feeling judged and less supported. This was in stark contrast to the female workers, who reported to be more satisfied and equally, or more satisfied with their careers. Perhaps, with traditional gender roles regarding home, family and work life, expecting men to be the bread winner, this stereotype isn’t easily overcome.

Technology and Flexibility

Will these social norms continue through to the Gen Z’s workplace, or are flexible workplace terms becoming expected for both men and women, throughout their careers? As our access to technology improves, so does the cross-over between work and personal life, through email alerts, ‘just a quick message’ notifications late in the evening, and voice recognition assistants reminding us of tomorrow’s to-do list. As the lines get blurred, the legislative and common-sense frameworks of managing ‘work-time’ and ‘personal-time’ need to adjust. We know first-hand that flexibility is critical for our business, and that of our team. Whether working from home, working varied hours depending on personal commitments, or starting and leaving early, flexibility works both ways.

What’s next for Flexibility?

Perhaps as a sign of the times, a provisional clause for family friendly working arrangements has been released by the Fair Work Commission, with opportunity for interested parties to comment before Friday 1 June 2018. You can read the Provisional Model Term and find details on how to comment, here. Once finalised, it’s expected that Modern Awards will have a family friendly flexibly clause, to complement the existing Award Flexibility clause.


If creating a business that allows flexible working conditions is on your to-do list, have a chat with our team about what’s working for us and what we’ve learned along the way. From there, we can provide you with the tools and resources you need to manage a more flexible workplace yourself.


Did you know that helping your staff to be more physically active can also increase their productivity? According to new research, released as part of Heart Week (from 29 April – 6 May), Associate Professor Nicholas Gilson, from the University of Queensland, completed a pilot study, which suggests a link between activity-promoting desks and factors that influence productivity.


According to the study, more than half of participants performed better in the attention task after using a sit/stand desk, as did a third of the sit/walk (treadmill) desk users. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach that works for every role in every business, so we’ve put together some of our own ideas to keep active at work.

  1. Walking meetings

No one likes a long-winded meeting with too many people and not enough results. Turn those meetings into a walking meeting and you’ll find only the right people need to attend, decisions get made, plus, you have the added benefit of squeezing in some exercise!


  1. Pomodoro Technique

Use this productivity hack to schedule exercise into your work day. Using a timer, break your work into 25-minute intervals, separated by short breaks of around 5 minutes. Use these short breaks to move your body! After 4 intervals, take a longer break, perhaps walking to the coffee shop, for a reward and some incidental exercise.


  1. Lunchtime yoga

Movement and exercise at work doesn’t always have to be about standing and walking. If the workplace has a suitable area, a lunchtime yoga session is a great way to practice mindfulness, re-energise and refresh, before heading back to work. You don’t need to be a yoga guru to experience the benefits of regular, mindful movement.


  1. Take the stairs

Choosing options that lead to incidental exercise, such as taking the stairs, parking in a carpark further from the entry, printing to a printer further away etc. are all healthy habits which are easily adopted. Be mindful that others may see some of these things as ‘time-wasting’ so ideally, communicate with your team about your goals and everyone might get on board!


  1. Have a face to face conversation

Not only does having a face to face conversation often require you to get up from your seat, it’s also great for creating positive relationships with your colleagues. Good mental health can come from having good relationships, so getting up and having a conversation is positive on multiple levels!

What else would you add to this list? You can find additional free resources on Workplace Wellness for download on our website.


Thanks to the Heart Foundation for sharing the research details quoted above. You can learn more on this research here.

For many of us, ANZAC Day is one of the few days we take to really stop. Many shops aren’t open and if you’ve woken up early to experience a dawn service, an afternoon nap is usually in order.

As business owners and managers, you may be wondering whether businesses close because they want to, or they have to. We’ve summarised the requirements for Queensland businesses below.


In Queensland, there are effectively 3 types of retail shops; exempt shops, which also includes the sub-category of independent retail shops, and non-exempt shops. Exempt shops are defined under the Trading (Allowable Hours) Act 1990 and represent specific retail business types, i.e.

  • antique shop
  • art gallery or arts and crafts shop
  • aquarium, aquarium accessories or pet shop
  • bait and tackle or marine shop
  • bookseller’s or newsagent’s shop
  • bread, cake or pastry shop
  • butcher’s shop

and many more.


These businesses can open 24/7, 365 days a year. Despite this allowance, many of these small businesses still choose to close on ANZAC Day, for various reasons.


The sub-category of exempt shops, independent retail shops, must meet these specific criteria:

  • The business is run by an individual, partnership or a proprietary company (does not include a public company or related corporation).
  • There are no more than 30 people, including the owner, engaged in the shop at any one time.
  • There are no more than 100 people engaged by the owner in all shops throughout Queensland at any one time.
  • The business is not conducted within a non-exempt shop or part thereof.


Independent retail shops cannot open before 1pm on ANZAC Day, except in the case of independent retail shops that predominantly sell food or groceries, such as the local corner store chains, which have no restrictions.


All other retail businesses then fall into the category of non-exempt shops, such as Coles and Woolworths and other large retailers. For ANZAC Day, this also includes factories and offices. These businesses are required to be closed for the entire day on ANZAC Day, with some notable exceptions:

  • racing venues (horses or greyhounds)
  • offices or agencies of TAB (Qld)
  • premises licensed under the Liquor Act 1992 (Qld) or Wine Industry Act 1994(Qld) (see Anzac Day trading hours for licensed premises)
  • real estate offices, which may open only for the purpose of rental transactions and must not sell real estate or conduct open house inspections
  • premises engaged in:
    • printing, publishing and distributing newspapers
    • manufacturing, distributing or supplying gas, electricity or water
    • necessary continuous manufacturing or mining
    • essential services
    • supplying of milk
    • manufacturing bread and the preparation of food in restaurants, cafes, pastry cook and hot takeaway food kitchens.


Cinemas, amusement parks, sporting events and other places of amusement are generally not permitted to open until 1.30pm.


If you need help understanding these requirements for your business, give our Workplace Partners a call today!


Source: Business Queensland

There are some ads getting around the traps that are grinding our gears because they’re insinuating that Labour Hire is an appalling employment arrangement… but this is simply not the case.

There are many scenarios where Labour Hire is the perfect set up for both employers and employees, supporting both work-life balance and marketplace supply and demand. We’re finding that not everyone is looking for full-time or part-time work these days and more and more people are seeking more flexible working options which labour hire can provide, yet there is still a stigma associated with casual work. Some people automatically think it’s terrible before really looking at their lifestyles and what they’re able to achieve because of it.

Being providers of labour hire we know how great this option can be for businesses and workers alike, be we also do hear of some push-back when the term ‘labour hire’ is mentioned. We wish to share some of our insights in this space in the hope that the stigma is removed from this type of work relationship so more opportunities can be realised for those looking for work or workers.

Seasonal Work

Not all businesses run at the same capacity all year round and so there are many seasonal businesses looking to employ people for only a short period of time. We see this across industries including retail, hospitality, agriculture and tourism where a lot of the work cannot be performed all year round in a full-time position. We find that many employees like this type of work as they can ‘make hay while the sun shines’ and free themselves up to pursue other interests in the off-seasons.

Start-up Businesses

There is so much to consider when getting into business, with very steep learning curves and often nerve-wracking decisions to be made. Quite often outsourcing the staffing can be an easier and less stressful option for business owners who can lean on the expertise of HR and Recruitment professionals until they get their head around the business and how they want to manage their workforce.

Additional benefits of Labour Hire agencies

Labour hire agencies, such as Workplace Central, often have superior software platforms to individual businesses and are strictly regulated by the government. It’s now even more likely that employees of labour hire agencies are not only having a better end-to-end user experience, but can work confidently in the fact that they are receiving all their employee entitlements such as superannuation and insurances. Although all employees should be provided with these as a minimum, not all small businesses who manage their own workforce accurately or effectively meet their employer requirements and they aren’t kept as accountable as a Labour Hire agency.

Great for businesses

  • Saves time
  • Improves cash flow
  • Ensures compliance and accountability
  • Seamless staffing service

Great for employees

  • Flexible working arrangements
  • All employment requirements met
  • Fully insured
  • Direct HR support service

Workplace Central delivers a complete workforce management service taking control of all your staffing requirements from recruitment and payroll to compliance & reporting. Although workforce management can be a full time job, it doesn’t have to be yours!

Workforce Management helps workplaces manage their ongoing staffing requirements by creating outsourced employment solutions, managing the entire employment lifecycle.

  • Recruitment Services
  • Occupational Compliance
  • Payroll Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Health, Safety & Workers’ Compensation
  • Reporting

With our streamlined online processes and team of HR and Safety experts, your business can benefit from our team acting as an extension of your team.

As a workforce management solution, we often recruit for various roles for our clients. Recruiting, especially for multiple positions, can be a time-consuming task, not for the faint of heart. To manage these recruitment drives, it helps to keep an organised plan of how to tackle the task. Here’s our top 5 tips to running a successful recruitment drive.

Australians are known around the world for their love of sport and over the next couple of weeks, Queensland, and the Gold Coast in particular, is going to be centre stage for this obsession. If you’ve decided to shut down for the coming weeks, did you know there are requirements under awards, and often enterprise agreements, regarding shut downs?

Over 2.2 million Australian women have experienced family and domestic violence, and it’s becoming a huge issue for our society. It’s staggering to know that at least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner. As a result, the Fair Work Commission has been considering submissions on how to be manage the effects on employees and their employers in the workplace.