Updates to Our Employee Manual Products Released

We have just released a series of updates to our Instant HR Policies and Procedures Manual, New Employee Inductions, NDIS Self Managers Direct Employment HR Manual and the NDIS Support Worker Agency HR Manual.

Clients with current subscriptions to these products are invited to log into their member’s area and download the latest versions.

These changes have come about primarily because of legislative changes arising from The Respect @ Work Report and changes to superannuation choice processes for new employees.

Sexual Harassment Now Classed As Serious Misconduct

The Fair Work Regulations were recently amended to explicitly categorise sexual harassment as serious misconduct for the purposes of unfair dismissal laws.

Sexual harassment refers to a definition in the Sex Discrimination Act 1984, which includes behaviour that is unwanted conduct of a sexual nature.

Serious misconduct incorporates the most extreme forms of employee misconduct and also includes behaviour that causes a serious or imminent risk to the health or safety of a person, or serious or imminent risk to the reputation, viability or profitability of the employer’s business or theft, fraud or assault.

This means that if an employee is found to have sexually harassed another person, they can now be dismissed without notice, which means that the employee does not have to be given a notice period before termination or payment in lieu of notice.

The thing to remember is that the standard provisions of procedural fairness still apply to allegations of sexual harassment.

Procedural fairness means that all allegations receive a thorough and impartial investigation, that the employee has the opportunity to consider and respond to the allegations, and that the employee is permitted to have a support person present at meetings relating to the allegations or investigation process before a decision is made.

These changes came about in response to The Respect @ Work report by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins and are designed to help build a safe and respectful culture in all Australian workplaces.

In addition to the expanded rights under the Fair Work Regulations, the Fair Work Commission now has additional powers to make orders to stop sexual harassment in the workplace provided that the Fair Work Commission is satisfied that sexual harassment has occurred and there is a risk of the harassment occurring again.

Compassionate Leave Now Available for Miscarriage

Employees are now eligible to take up to two days of paid compassionate leave (unpaid for casuals) if they or their current spouse or de facto partner has a miscarriage.

Changes to Employee Superannuation Fund Choice Rules

From 1 November 2021, there are new steps you need to go through before you can allocate a new employee to your default superannuation fund if they have not chosen a superannuation fund.

Currently, if an employee did not nominate a preferred superannuation fund, you were within your rights to allocate them to your default fund.

Now, you will be required to check with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to see if that employee has what is known as a “stapled fund”. If they have a stapled fund, you are required to make contributions to that fund instead of your default fund.

This change has come about because the government is trying to prevent individuals from having multiple superannuation funds and reduce the fees they are charged from setting up with a new fund each time they change jobs.

To request information about an employee’s stapled super fund:

  1. Log into the ATO online services
  2. Enter the employee’s details, including:
    • Tax file number
    • Full name
    • Date of birth
    • Address (if the tax file number has not been given).

It is expected that employers will receive the stapled fund details within minutes, and the ATO will also notify the employee of the request and the details they have provided.

 

Instant HR Policies and Procedures Manual V9.10 – 22 September 2021

HR Policies – New Policies

  • Nil

 HR Policies – Updated Sections

  • Before engaging team members – a new note was added regarding changes for new employees if they don’t choose a superannuation fund. You now need to check with the ATO to see if they have a “stapled” super fund and pay to that instead of your default fund.
  • Chapter 2 – Conditions of Employment Compassionate Leave) Now includes two days compassionate leave if a person, their current spouse or de facto has a miscarriage or stillbirth. Added in requirements on when notice is required and the possibility that we may require evidence of the death.
  • Chapter 4 – Behaviour and Code of Conduct – Code of Conduct. Removal of music headsets from the Diligence section given the increased acceptance of headsets in the workplace.
  • Chapter 4 – Behaviour and Code of Conduct – Sexual Harassment – Definition of Sexual Harassment substantially rewritten. Added in the new Fair Work Act definition of sexual harassment, expanded the examples of sexual harassment, and added a section to state that it could be considered serious misconduct and a valid reason for dismissal.
  • Chapter 4 – Behaviour and Code of Conduct – Discipline – Summary Dismissal. Added sexual harassment to the category of serious misconduct.
  • Chapter 4 – Behaviour and Code of Conduct – Discipline – Serious & Wilful Misconduct. Added sexual harassment to the list of examples.
  • Chapter 6 – Information Technology – Private Mobile Phones, Instant Messaging etc. Updated Instant Messaging channels to include Slack, Discord and Teams.
  • Chapter 6 – Information Technology – Private Mobile Phones, Instant Messaging etc.- MP3/Music Headsets/Hand-held Games. Given the rise of the use of noise-cancelling headphones, this section has been removed and the ban on handheld games included in the main section,
  • Multiple minor spelling and grammar corrections throughout the document, including the Oxford comma’s return (grammar nerds can rejoice).

 Induction Manual

 Multiple minor spelling and grammar corrections throughout the document to match the main HR Manual.

 HR Forms

  • Super fund check for stapled funds added to the team member details form.
  • Incident report expanded to include safety incident reports.
  • Multiple minor spelling and grammar corrections throughout the document.

 

NDIS Support Worker Agency HR Manual V1.6 – 23 September 2021

HR Policies – New Policies

  • Nil

HR Policies – Updated Sections

  • Before engaging team members – a new note was added regarding changes for new employees if they don’t choose a superannuation fund. You now need to check with the ATO to see if they have a “stapled” super fund and pay to that instead of your default fund.
  • Chapter 2 – Conditions of Employment Compassionate Leave) Now includes two days compassionate leave if a person, their current spouse or de facto has a miscarriage or stillbirth. Added in requirements on when notice is required and the possibility that we may require evidence of the death.
  • Chapter 4 – Behaviour and Code of Conduct – Code of Conduct. Removal of music headsets from the Diligence section given the increased acceptance of headsets in the workplace.
  • Chapter 4 – Behaviour and Code of Conduct – Sexual Harassment – Definition of Sexual Harassment substantially rewritten. Added in the new Fair Work Act definition of sexual harassment, expanded the examples of sexual harassment, and added a section to state that it could be considered serious misconduct and a valid reason for dismissal.
  • Chapter 4 – Behaviour and Code of Conduct – Discipline – Summary Dismissal. Added sexual harassment to the category of serious misconduct.
  • Chapter 4 – Behaviour and Code of Conduct – Discipline – Serious & Wilful Misconduct. Added sexual harassment to the list of examples.
  • Chapter 6 – Information Technology – Private Mobile Phones, Instant Messaging etc. Updated Instant Messaging channels to include Slack, Discord and Teams.
  • Chapter 6 – Information Technology – Private Mobile Phones, Instant Messaging etc.- MP3/Music Headsets/Hand-held Games. Given the rise of the use of noise-cancelling headphones, this section has been removed, and the ban on handheld games included in the main section,
  • Multiple minor spelling and grammar corrections throughout the document, including the Oxford comma’s return (grammar nerds can rejoice).

Induction Manual

  • Multiple minor spelling and grammar corrections throughout the document to match the main HR Manual.

 HR Forms

  • Super fund check for stapled funds added to the team member details form.
  • Multiple minor spelling and grammar corrections throughout the document.

 

NDIS Self Managers Direct Employment HR Manual V1.8 – 24 September 2021

HR Policies – New Policies

  • Nil

HR Policies – Updated Sections

  • Before engaging team members – a new note was added regarding changes for new employees if they don’t choose a superannuation fund. You now need to check with the ATO to see if they have a “stapled” super fund and pay to that instead of your default fund.
  • Chapter 2 – Conditions of Employment Compassionate Leave) Now includes two days compassionate leave if a person, their current spouse or de facto has a miscarriage or stillbirth. Added in requirements on when notice is required and the possibility that we may require evidence of the death.
  • Chapter 4 – Behaviour and Code of Conduct – Code of Conduct. Removal of music headsets from the Diligence section given the increased acceptance of headsets in the workplace.
  • Chapter 4 – Behaviour and Code of Conduct – Sexual Harassment – Definition of Sexual Harassment substantially rewritten. Added in the new Fair Work Act definition of sexual harassment, expanded the examples of sexual harassment, and added a section to state that it could be considered serious misconduct and a valid reason for dismissal.
  • Chapter 4 – Behaviour and Code of Conduct – Discipline – Summary Dismissal. Added sexual harassment to the category of serious misconduct.
  • Chapter 4 – Behaviour and Code of Conduct – Discipline – Serious & Wilful Misconduct. Added sexual harassment to the list of examples.
  • Chapter 6 – Information Technology – Private Mobile Phones, Instant Messaging and Personal Calls. Updated Instant Messaging channels to include Slack, Discord and Teams.
  • Chapter 6 – Information Technology – Private Mobile Phones, Instant Messaging and Personal Calls – A section to ban playing games during work included.
  • Multiple minor spelling and grammar corrections throughout the document, including the Oxford comma’s return (grammar nerds can rejoice).

Induction Manual

  • Multiple minor spelling and grammar corrections throughout the document to match the main HR Manual.

HR Forms

  • Super fund check for stapled funds added to the team member details form.
  • Multiple minor spelling and grammar corrections throughout the document.

 

New Employee Inductions V1.1.3 – 22 September 2021

Induction Manual – Updated Sections

  • Updated Code of Conduct. Removal of music headsets from the Diligence section given the increased acceptance of headsets in the workplace.
  • Updated Sexual Harassment – Definition of Sexual Harassment substantially rewritten. Added in the new Fair Work Act definition of sexual harassment, expanded the examples of sexual harassment, and added a section to state that it could be considered serious misconduct and a valid reason for dismissal.
  • Multiple minor spelling and grammar corrections throughout the document.

Induction Forms

  • Super fund check for stapled funds added to the team member details form
  • Minor spelling and grammar corrections throughout the forms.
Ingrid: Lead Author, Australian Employee Manual
Ingrid: Lead Author, Australian Employee Manual

HR Author and Lecturer with over 25 years’ experience in human resources and workplace relations in Australia. Lead Author of Instant HR Policies & Procedures, NDIS Direct Employment HR Manual, and Employee Performance Reviews: Tips, Templates and Tactics.

About Us

We are an Australian human resources business specialising in small businesses and not for profits, based in Brisbane, Australia.

 

If you are an Employee and need HR Advice, call Fair Work Australia 13 13 94

 

 

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