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  • HR Heartbeat: Leave management's triple threat, Victorian vaccine records, and..

HR Heartbeat: Leave management's triple threat, Victorian vaccine records, and..

Dive right into this week’s HR Heartbeat for everything you need to know about what your leave management is up against this World Cup season, what Victorian employers need to know about vaccine records, and more.

First published on Tuesday, Jul 25, 2023

Last updated on Friday, Jul 21, 2023

2 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.

Triple threat to leave management?

This week, three highly anticipated events opened to the public.

The World Cup kicked off on July 20th, and with Australia and New Zealand co-hosting this year, Australian fans will get to see the Matildas play on home soil.
It was also a big day for movie buffs all over Australia with both Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer releasing in theatres on Thursday.

But we’re not just telling you this as a reminder to book your tickets. The Bright Book of Work Records 2022 revealed that big sporting events lead to an uptick in leave requests. Specifically for the day that the Geelong Cats played the Sydney Swans at the AFL Grand Final in Melbourne.

But if you thought World Cup-related absences and lateness were all you need to worry about, then think again. You may be surprised to know that our records also showed that season 4 of Netflix’s Stranger Things saw unplanned absences skyrocket. While the season premier saw unplanned absences go up by 24% more than the average Friday, the final episodes saw that number go even higher to 37%.

With all the hype surrounding the movies and the records that this World Cup has already broken in mind, it’s safe to say that it’s worth going over your leave management process. Staying on top of it all can help you reduce the risk of unplanned absences and stay fully staffed.

Victoria says no more vaccine records

Cast your mind back to 2020, and all the ways employers all over the country had to adapt to changing rules and regulations to do what they could to curb the spread of COVID-19.

One such regulation for businesses in Victoria was the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (COVID-19 Vaccination Information) Regulations 2022. Starting from 12 July 2022, employers were authorised to collect and hold COVID-19 vaccination information to comply with their health & safety duties.

But now, the 12-month period where this regulation was in force has ended. Employers now have until 11 August 2023 to destroy all the COVID-19 vaccination information they collected on their staff. Including when they were vaccinated or why they may not have received a vaccine.

Failing to do this, can lead to employers breaching health privacy legislation. Destroying this information, includes any information that may be recorded on BrightHR’s own VaccTrak (You can do this by changing all COVID-19 vaccinated employee records on your Employee hub to ‘Not Specified’).

If you’re unsure about how this deadline may affect you, get advice from the experts on our advice line.

Six-figure payment recovered for Melbourne workers

After investigating 84 businesses across the inner south and inner west of Melbourne’s food precincts, The Fair Work Ombudsman has recovered $684,543 in wages for 1,004 underpaid workers.

The inspectors completed 82 investigations and found that 86% of employers had breached workplace laws. The surprise inspections were focused on businesses that:

  • Had a history of non-compliance with the FWO,
  • Had been the subject of anonymous tip-offs, or
  • Employed vulnerable visa holders.

The last point is a priority for the Ombudsman looking to protect vulnerable workers.

In total, 71 businesses were found to be in breach of the law, 69 had underpaid their workers, and 24 had failed to meet pay slip or record-keeping requirements.

Paying your workers the right rates, and keeping accurate and up-to-date records is vital to keeping up your compliance as a business. If you’re ever in doubt, make sure you reach out to the employment relations advisers at BrightHR.

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.

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