School holidays are coming up again for two weeks from the 17th of September. Now is a great time to ensure you’re prepared for this period which may be busy or quiet, depending on the kind of business you’re in. For retail and hospitality businesses this is generally a time of increased trade so it’s important to ensure you are well staffed and well stocked. Effective preparation will allow you to maximise your sales and keep your team happy during school holiday periods!

Team coverage
During school holidays team members with children may wish to take time off and school-aged staff may wish to pick up more hours. It’s a great idea to talk to your staff about their plans for school holidays and to let them know if extra hours are available so you can coordinate a plan that will benefit both your business and your team. Get your updated rosters out as early as possible to ensure you have sufficient staff coverage.
Also consider whether you’ll need to take on casual holiday staff, which can be a great backup in case of unexpected staff shortages. Casual employees are great resources to meet the fluctuating or ad-hoc needs of your business.

Do you have a plan to maximise your sales?
If you are expecting an increase in customers through the door you may benefit from adjusting your day to day operations to accommodate rushes.

  • Consider whether you have enough/resources and stock to service an increase in customers or clients
  • Create a plan for staff to work to, to ensure daily housekeeping and procedures are undertaken on busier days
  • Create ways to attract and engage with current and new customers. Consider school holiday promotions or increased advertising both online and in traditional media

Set a date to review your postholiday results
Once business is back to status quo it is important to review how your holiday period plan worked for you. Reviewing sales, profits, expenses, staff coverage, customers through the door and the positives and negatives of the period will be extremely helpful in future planning and will provide guidance on improving your business even for normal trading periods.

There’s nothing like the confidence of having an expert managing your payroll. We are lucky to have Gayle, our Payroll Team Leader, who ensures thousands of staff are paid correctly and on time.

Gayle says there’s never a dull moment in her role and she loves how accurate payroll can maintain employee morale. Responsible for a hugely important process in any business, Gayle checks we meet all legislative requirements, such as tax and superannuation. Her bubbly personality and supply of lollies keeps her team energized.

Outside of work Gayle enjoys her downtime, and being a bit of a homebody, to recharge she loves cooking and a good book.

A fun fact about Gayle? In her teenage years she was a marching girl! With marching combining military precision with formations, we wonder if this hasn’t led into her prowess as a payroll team leader!

Cash flow is one of the most important components for a business to manage and can take much focus and effort to get the balance right. It is understandable therefore, that planning for rainy days can be overlooked or not prioritised when managing everyday incomings and outgoings.

To understand both why you’d need a rainy day (or emergency fund) and how much you’d need in this fund, it is crucial to look at the potential risks facing your business. This will be unique to each business but potential liabilities or unexpected expenses could include: employee illness/injury, annual leave payouts, insurance excess, reaction to competitor activity, or even positive events such as unexpected growth or investment opportunities.

Defining the scope of your risks and liabilities will also be unique to your business – for example some companies have more legal liabilities than others and some have more governmental regulations to adhere to.

The important thing to understand is that crisis and unexpected costs can come out of nowhere and in all shapes and sizes.  It never hurts to be as prepared for the worst as you can be.

Where will the money for the rainy day fund come from?
Once you have made your emergency/rainy day fund a priority, some regular costs and expenses will have to be reviewed to allow for this new budget item.  Money saving is a challenging practice, but it is just that – a practice, and it is also a process of constant refinement of spending and review of opportunities.

Given enough thought and planning it will be possible to sculpt a manageable saving plan for your emergency fund. Working with professionals will help you to make considered choices when it comes to sourcing the best fund to suit your needs as well as where to trim your spending and how much you can manageably save.

Some key points for building a successful rainy day fund:
– Be clear on how the fund will be used
– Start as soon as you can
– Consult with your financial advisor to ensure your fund works best for your needs
– Be consistent and prioritise saving

On the 29th of July The Fair Work Commission (FWC) put into effect some important changes to annual leave terms.  The changes, which aim to create more flexibility for employers and employees alike, cover cashing out of annual leave, taking annual leave in advance and managing excessive annual leave balances across most modern awards. You can check whether the changes will affect you here https://www.fairwork.gov.au/leave/annual-leave/payment-for-annual-leave.

With these new annual leave terms in effect, now is a great time to review your current policies and procedures. The key changes are listed below.

Cashing out annual leave

Most awards now allow employees to cash out annual leave, if they:

  • Have at least 4 weeks annual leave left after the cash out
  • Have a signed written agreement with their employer
  • Don’t cash out more than 2 weeks each 12 months.

Taking annual leave in advance

Most awards now allow employees to take annual leave before they have accrued it if their employer agrees in writing. The agreement needs to:

  • Be signed by both the employer and the employee
  • Say how much annual leave is being taken in advance
  • Say the day the leave will start.

Managing excessive annual leave balances

If an employee has an excessive annual leave balance (8 weeks or more) and can’t agree with their employer on when to take it, the employer can:

  • Tell the employee, in writing, that they must take annual leave
  • Give the employee at least 8 weeks notice (and not more than 12 months) of when the leave will start.

The Council of Small Business Australia reviewed the new terms and believes that businesses should be able to negotiate with their employees to come up with a fair outcome.

Payment for annual leave

Some awards say that annual leave has to be paid before the employee starts their leave. A new clause has been added to these awards which mean employees can continue to be paid using their usual pay cycle during periods of leave if paid by EFT.

Additional important points to note with new changes:

  • Employers must maintain arrangements already agreed to with employees, keeping consistent direction.
  • Employees can request annual leave despite prior direction and arrangements
  • Employees with excessive leave for over 6 months can take some of their leave, even if the employer has not issued direction for the leave

This information has been taken from fairwork.gov.au, for further information head to their media release on the changes: https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/website-news/changes-to-annual-leave-in-some-awards

Taking you behind the scenes of Workplace Central, our latest staff profile is on one of our wonderful Workplace Partners, Stephanie Day, who has a particular penchant for recruiting. Stephanie has a great track record of matching the right candidate to the perfect vacant role. Learn more about Stephanie.

Because good corporate culture is tightly linked to employee enthusiasm and productivity, it is an important consideration for every business owner and manager to foster and maintain.This article explores the what corporate culture is, the benefits or good corporate culture for business and employees, and how to achieve it.

Ben Haycroft, Director and Workplace Liaison.

It’s not hard to strike up a conversation with Ben if you like anything to do with pop culture, fishing, travelling and food. In fact, you could talk about almost anything with Ben… he loves a good chat and his favourite part of working at Workplace Central is meeting with new clients and solving problems.

With a background in OHS, Ben enjoys working with clients to create simple solutions that suit workplace needs.

When he’s in the office, Ben sits on a fit ball at his desk, listening to an old Abba vinyl record, planning his next on-site client visit.