• >
  • ...
  • >
  • HR Heartbeat: Sky shut down, World Day for Health & Safety at Work, and...

HR Heartbeat: Sky shut down, World Day for Health & Safety at Work, and...

From how two poorly timed absences shut down the skies, Anzac Day obligations, World Day for Health & Safety at Work, and more. 

First published on Friday, Apr 26, 2024

Last updated on Monday, Apr 22, 2024

6 min read

Have you heard the latest news?

Everything you need to know about the latest trends impacting employers all over Australia. Keep up to date with the HR Heartbeat.

Let’s get into the headlines.

Managing Anzac Day public holiday obligations

Anzac Day is a public holiday that holds great significance for Australians and New Zealanders across the region.

In accordance with public holiday regulations, business owners must also pay attention to restricted trading day obligations and make sure that employees who may be working on Anzac Day are paid properly.

This year, the public holiday falls on a Thursday. This means you should also be prepared for a flood of annual leave requests for Friday. Employees hankering for a long weekend may send in their leave requests late, leaving you to scramble for last-minute replacements to stay fully staffed.

It’s important to maintain your leave policies and keep employees informed of what the correct process for requesting time off is and make sure they follow it.

When push comes to shove, using our open shift features lets you alert your staff to available shifts that they can pick up on a first come first served basis.

Learn more about how to manage your public holiday obligations here.

Sky shut down

How many air traffic controllers monitor 11% of the Earth’s airspace? The answer is just 950.

How many of those air traffic controllers had to take personal leave to bring Sydney Airport to a halt recently? Two.

Their absence led Airservices Australia to implement a ground delay program lasting eight hours—keeping planes grounded to avoid holding any of them up in mid-air.

The result: 75% less take-offs and landings an hour, plus lengthy delays to flights.

Air traffic controllers undergo rigorous training for over two years before they can take on their role. But that may not be the only reason behind the understaffing. Allegations of organisational bullying have also been haunting the agency.

Even if you don’t run Sydney Airport, understaffing can be a challenge for any business to overcome. Especially if your workplace culture is lacking.

That’s why it’s critical for businesses to not just use recruitment tools to streamline hiring, but also make the best use of effective scheduling tools to stay on top of their changing requirements.

World Day for Health & Safety at Work

This year’s theme tackles the impacts of climate change on occupational hazards.

While the changing climate, extreme weather and temperatures will eventually impact every business around the world, some workers and businesses are disproportionately affected.

In Australia, the agriculture and property sectors are set to be directly affected by climate change on a much faster timeline. While vulnerable people like pregnant workers, and employees with disabilities may struggle more with the personal effects of climate change.

It’s important for businesses to be informed of these hazards and how different the world of work is set to look in the near future.

This identification and understanding of the risks can help you make the best use of tools like end-to-end health & safety software to either avert or adapt to the hazards.

Learn more about how your business can tackle a changing climate.

That’s not a forced hand

In a recent case, a former nurse lodged an adverse action claim against the hospital where she used to work. Her claim was that her former employer’s actions made her terminate her employment.

In turn, her former employer stated that she had resigned voluntarily and also declined an offer to apply for other open vacancies.

Evidence revealed that the employee’s ongoing health condition hampered her from performing her duties at full capacity. The Fair Work Commission ruled that the employer’s conduct didn’t force the employee’s resignation.

Your employee’s ability to fulfil their role is an important factor in your continued employment relationship without question. But it’s also important to make sure that you’re not discriminating against an employee and follow your obligations in their employment agreement.

Make sure you’re always operating in line with the law with 24/7 support from a team of experienced employment relations advisers.

That wraps up this edition of HR Heartbeat. Stay tuned for more headlines and all the latest updates that will keep you in the know with all the major employment changes coming your way.

If you’ve got questions about the top HR headlines from this week, ask BrightLightning:

Does ANZAC day have restricted trading in Victoria?

In Victoria depending on the industry which a business trades, then you may have restricted trading hours meaning that a business cannot trade before 1.00pm. For more information to determine if your business is able to trade, please contact the Advice Team.

What is adverse action?

Adverse action includes a number of actions such as firing an employee, injuring an employee during the course of employment, changing an employee's job to their disadvantage, not hiring someone or treating them differently for a prohibited reason. A prohibited reason can include a workplace right, participating in an industrial activity or being free from discrimination. Adverse action is unlawful if it is taken for a prohibited reason or reasons.

Are all employees entitled to personal leave?

No. Usually, personal leave is only applicable to full time and part time employees. However, some modern awards, enterprise agreements and contracts of employment grant personal leave to casual employees as well, so you need to check the relevant industrial instrument to ensure that your employees are receiving the correct entitlement.

Ask another question

Share this article