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  • HR Heartbeat: Threads at work, DEI, and more penalties for unfair dismissal...

HR Heartbeat: Threads at work, DEI, and more penalties for unfair dismissal...

Get into this week’s HR Heartbeat for more information on how the launch of Threads means an update to your HR documents, what new research is telling us about DEI, and more.

First published on Monday, Jul 17, 2023

Last updated on Thursday, Jul 13, 2023

6 min read

Have you heard the latest news?

What you need to know about the updates impacting employers all over Australia. Keep up to date with the HR Heartbeat.

Let’s get into the headlines.

Threads the new kid on the block

On July 5th, Meta’s Threads became publicly available. In just a matter of days, the app reached 100 million users and claimed the title of the most rapidly downloaded app of all time.

As it is with many other social media apps, privacy concerns are running rampant. The app is yet to be launched in the European Union because of concerns that the app won’t match up to the Union’s privacy regulations.

Although Threads is the new kid on the block, because it’s governed by the same privacy policy and model as its sister companies Instagram and Facebook (who all fall under the Meta umbrella) there’s a lot that we already know about how Threads will operate.

While Threads popularity grows, it’s a good time to remind companies to update their policies. Specifically, when it comes to social media usage at work.

Setting the right policies and making sure this information is shared with, and read by, your employees is a great way to set the tone, make sure that codes of conduct and acceptable behaviours are understood across the board, and that communication is improved in every aspect of your operations.

Factoring social media into the mix is becoming increasingly important for all companies. Outlining acceptable uses for social media at work in your employee handbooks will help your workers understand how to navigate a landscape that is constantly changing.

You can make this process easier with time-saving document templates, including handbooks and policies, in our BrightBase library.

That’s a healthy penalty

The operators of a health food retailer located in the regional North of New South Wales are facing hefty penalties after failing to compensate their two unfairly dismissed employees.

Rainbow Wholefoods Pty Ltd is based in Lismore and was ordered by the Federal Circuit and Family Court to pay $45,288 in penalties. The company director and shareholder, Anthony Stillone, is also facing a penalty of $8,976.

But it doesn’t end there. On top of the penalties, the company still needs to compensate the two unfairly dismissed workers in full.

As of 13 July 2023, the company had only partially paid its two former employees the total sum of $50,967.20 it owed them.

If any businesses out there needed another reminder about the importance of complying with the Fair Work Act and orders from the Fair Work Commission, this is definitely it.
Following the right compliance processes from employee onboarding to employee termination is a must. You can get guidance on navigating changing legislation directly from our employment relations experts 24/7 on our BrightAdvice helpline.

All eyes on DEI

It’s no secret that one of the main challenges facing Australian organisations is a significant staff shortage. But a recent development has been the recognition that the ethical and business cases for promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at work are reinforced by this talent shortage.

Making sure your workplace can not just attract but also go on to support and retain a diverse workforce could be the solution to the talent shortage that’s crippling businesses across the country.

The Australian HR Institute’s recent survey has shed light on this perspective.

307 HR professionals took part in the research and their answers showcased two main themes.

The first was the gap between intentions and actions in the workplace when it came to DEI. While 84% named DEI as a critical factor to their company’s future success, only 50% said that their leaders shared this belief. To top it off, 49% of respondents said their company wasn’t focusing enough on DEI.

The second was that most DEI activity in the Australian work environment focused on gender, and other under-represented groups were neglected. This included those who were from lower socio-economic backgrounds and the LGBTQIA+ community.

It’s important that businesses have a foundation in place that sustains a culture of DEI throughout the year, in every aspect of their operations.

Dread vs wellbeing

While we’re on the topic of year-round change, we have to talk about wellbeing.

A recent survey found that dread was an overwhelming emotion that HR leaders were specifically feeling in the workplace.

The reasons causing this dread differed. But topping the list was burnout from emotional caregiving for employees (36%) and being overwhelmed by expectations to take on more responsibilities at work (36%). 3% of respondents couldn’t identify what was causing these feelings of dread.

And only 17% said had no feelings of dread at work.

These figures reveal how vital it is to have a wellbeing policy in place that protects all your employees from burnout and supports them to unlock their full potential in the workplace and outside of it.

Explore our free wellbeing policy and get all the answers to how you can boost health and safety at work with topics including; how to encourage better work-life balances, promoting dignity at work, and managing sickness absence more effectively.

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 about all the major employment changes coming your way.

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