Your Industrial Relations Partner
Are you legally compliant?
Employment law can be confusing and frightening – what if you get it wrong?
Not sure where to start – we’re here to help.
If you think compliance is expensive, try non-compliance” Paul McNulty, Former U.S. Deputy Attorney General
The History of Industrial Relations
Industrial relations has its roots in the Industrial Revolution which created the modern employment relationship due to free labour markets and large-scale industrial organisations (like textile manufacturing mills) with thousands of wage workers. As society dramatically changed with these massive economic and social changes, labour problems arose. Low wages, long working hours, monotonous and dangerous work, and abusive supervisory practices led to high employee turnover, violent strikes, and the threat of social instability.
Something had to be done. The workers banded together and formed unions to take collective action. The government responded by passing legislation over time.
Now, particularly in Australia, employment laws ensure employers are paying appropriately and are providing the necessary minimum conditions of employment.
Industrial relations has morphed into a negotiation process between employers and employees.
How can we work better together? Helping to remove the adversarial nature of employment, and move towards a more collaborative alliance.
To this end The Proven Group supplies specialists in Industrial Relations to assist client businesses who need specialised help in this area.
What type of thing is included in Industrial Relations help?
- Enterprise Bargaining Agreements (EBA’s) – keep yours current to avoid industrial action & strikes
- The Employer’s Representative when Negotiating with Unions
- Workforce Optimisation – are you getting the most for your money, taking into account penalties, casual v permanent staffing, overtime and more?
- Dispute Resolutions
- Unfair Dismissal Claims
- Workplace Bullying, Harassment, Victimisation, and Anti-Discrimination
- and much more!
Help with the hard stuff
We provide up-to-date expertise in all things employment related. We know the Fair Work Act, Modern Awards and have experience in many industries due to the size of our team and their senior experience.
Some of the industries we have assisted in this area include
- Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)
- and many more!
Congratulations! You have decided to go above and beyond the minimums of the Modern Award System and implement some collective bargaining to get more surety and sustainability for your business through direct labour negotiations.
In the current candidate-favouring job market of The Great Resignation, and high demands from unions & employees, you need an experienced negotiator in your corner to retain and engage your team.
Bec Schroeder is GAP Trained in Negotiation and our Industrial Relations Lead. Bec has successfully negotiated over 12 EBA’s, usually with multiple unions, in industries such as Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG’s), manufacturing and construction.
The #1 EBA Negotiator in the Victorian Central Highlands region including: Ballarat, Bendigo, Maryborough, Ararat, Castlemaine, Daylesford, Mt Macedon, Geelong & Western Melbourne.
Why is union management important?
Unions exist to represent their members, they are very open about this. Their members are usually employees within businesses. The external Union representatives are very experienced and knowledgeable in employment law and negotiating skills. It is what they do all day every day. When negotiating or communicating with external Union representatives, it is best to have someone in the business’s corner who knows the game, and can play to the business’s advantage.
That’s where we can help.
Too often, employers put up with poor performance to the detriment of the business and the team. Everyone can feel the vibe, are uncomfortable and on some level, don’t want to come to work.
Having done everything you can to manage an individual ‘up’ – sometimes you need to manage them ‘out’.
What stops business owners and managers from doing this, is fear of an Unfair Dismissal Claim. To prove an unfair dismissal claim the individual has to show that the termination was harsh, unfair or unreasonable. However they do not need any evidence when lodging the claim. To this end, the Unfair Dismissal process is usually one of negotiation until the parties can come to an agreement on the terms of the termination.
That’s where we can help, with the disciplinary process, the termination and managing the Unfair Dismissal claim if you get one.
An external, impartial, properly trained party can be brought in to run an investigation within your organisation. This involves us becoming familiar with the grievance or situation that has occurred, interviewing the parties involved, examining documentation and all other evidence, and coming to an unbiased, evidence-based conclusion.
A full report is supplied with details of our process, result and recommendations.
- Are you paying too much for your workforce?
- Are you sure you are getting maximum value for every labour dollar?
- Are you fully aware of the on-costs of each employee you have? (i.e. superannuation, leave entitlements, WorkCover premium, payroll tax, etc.)
We can work with you to optimise your roster and shifts. Ensuring the business gets the best value from every hour it pays employees.
- Having a dispute with an individual or group of employees?
- Union reps involved?
- Feeling like it is getting all too hard?
Your employment experts can help! We can audit your employment practices to ensure you are compliant to all legislation, Awards or your own EBA. Giving us the evidence to do the best thing for the business, employer and employees long term. Again, an impartial, external expert can bring fresh eyes and hopefully come up with a possible solution that ensures everybody wins!
Unfortunately, from time to time, there may be the need to stand individual, groups or a whole workforce down. This is never a pleasant task. However sometimes for businesses to endure and be around for the long term, it has to happen.
Businesses need to get this right. There are specific laws around what you can and cannot do in this space.
Ask your resident expert at The Proven Group for help.
If the worst happens and your workforce goes out on strike, you will need an experienced negotiator that is GAP trained to help!
The cost to the business financially, morale-wise and public relations-wise, can be huge. The quicker everyone can get back to the work the better.
Our focus is on negotiating a win/win outcome, one that all parties are happy with, and if not completely happy, one they can agree to live with.
Minimising the impact is the name of the game here.
Termination of Employment
All things must eventually come to an end. Anything that begins must at some point, end. So too, is the nature of employment. If we look at it philosophically, every relationship that begins must inevitably end. Birth is followed by death, growth by decay, day by night. Employment by non-employment or termination of employment. Why is it referred to as ‘termination’, just sounds so final doesn’t it?
That means it will happen, we have no control over that, what we do have control over is how that transition takes place. Will it be positive or negative?
The Proven Group is trained to ensure termination of employment is done legally, ethically and wherever possible, in a compassionate and genuinely feeling way.
- The Fair Work Act 2009 (as amended)
- Modern Awards
- Enterprise Bargaining Agreements / Individual Contracts of Employment
The industrial relations framework is a bit like a layered cake – you need to read all three layers at the same time to ensure you have everything you need to be compliant. Sounds complicated, it certainly can be. Have you ever been on the Fair Work website – it’s huge! We can find what you need in a fraction of the time, help you to interpret it for your organisation, and then recommend actions that we can take together to ensure compliance in this complicated and ever-changing space.