FibreHR Blog

We share some of our recruitment strategies in our blog. FibreHR, your people are our business.

How to avoid an HR hangover after the Christmas party

Lisa Spiden - Friday, December 05, 2014

Party season is almost upon us. The work Christmas party is a great way for companies to reward their staff for a year of hard work, celebrate successes and generally relax, but at the same time, it can also be an HR minefield.

The combination of excessive alcohol consumption, a group of people who don’t usually socialise together, and the general festive atmosphere can leave employers with more than just a few empty cups and leftover Christmas crackers to clean up once the celebrations have ended.

If you want to avoid being left with any post-party legal or HR issues, it is a good idea to take a few upfront precautions when planning your work Christmas event this year. Just to stress, the same conduct applies as if you’re still in the office, this isn’t an excuse to relax your conduct and tell lewd jokes etc. It’s not like being at a party with mates, what happens at the office party doesn’t stay at the office party…. it absolutely will come back into the workplace.

Companies are also responsible for the safety of employees after they leave the office party. If someone left the party intoxicated, continued to go out drinking and got hit by a car on the way home, the company may be held liable as they didn’t ensure the individual got home safely.

Set boundaries for employees

It is not enough to have policies in place regarding sexual harassment and other inappropriate behaviour; they need to be effectively communicated to your staff before the event. If you are involving your employees in activities such as Kris Kringle, it may be worth reminding them what is and isn’t appropriate in terms of gifts to other staff members. Take care with themed events and fancy dress – make sure they are not of a nature likely to cause offence to anyone.

A friendly reminder may be more effective than a heavy lecture, and can help reassure your staff members that you aren’t going to be policing their every move but that they are still expected to adhere to a basic code of conduct.

Be responsible with alcohol

If there is alcohol at the party, ensuring that there is also plenty of food and non-alcoholic drinks on offer can help to mitigate some of the effects. It may be useful to designate a few staff members – preferably at a fairly senior level – to remain sober and act as supervisors and to deal with any emergencies that might arise during the event.

Keep safety in mind

As an employer you can be considered liable for any injuries staff members receive at the office party. Make sure you arrange transportation home for employees who have been drinking, and that there are no obvious tripping or fire hazards at the venue itself.

Take care with decorations, particularly if they are flammable, and arrange furniture so there are clear walkways and no obstructions. After a few drinks most people become much more accident prone, so always err on the side of caution when it comes to safety.

With a bit of forethought and planning, hopefully your office Christmas party can go off without a hitch or any lingering HR issues! This is a great time of year to celebrate and let your staff members know how much you appreciate all their hard work over the last year and in the future. Happy partying!

Having a bad day?

Lisa Spiden - Thursday, November 20, 2014

Having a bad day? Feel like you failed an interview for your dream job? Need not worry, sometimes things happen for a reason! Check out this great article to regain your faith in the world! Click here 

fibreHR update

Lisa Spiden - Monday, October 27, 2014

Over the past couple of months fibreHR has a lot of exciting news, so we wanted to provide a quick update.

In July we welcomed Lucinda Pendergast to our team as a HR Administrator. Lucinda completed an internship at fibreHR last year whilst completing University. After graduating from her Management majoring in Human Resources and Marketing degree, Lucinda worked at T2 as their Recruitment Coordinator; we are very excited to have Lucinda starting her generalist HR career at fibreHR.

We were also lucky enough to have Christine Morton join the team as a HR Business Partner. Chris had been at Lonely Planet for 11 years in generalist HR management roles and most recently completed a contract with the UK digital sports media group, Perform Media.  Chris is working part-time at fibreHR as she is currently completing her Grad. Certificate of Visual Arts and loving every moment of it.

We were sad to say goodbye to (Recruitment Business Partner) Zoe Mittendorf as she decided to go back to where her heart lies, in the Aviation Industry. Zoe is now working for Tiger Airlines as the Regional Ground Services Manager; we wish Zoe all the best in her new adventure.

Being one team member down, fibreHR was on the hunt for another amazing recruiter and we have been lucky enough to find Taryn Buckley. Taryn spent 5 years at ANZ as the talent manager for their fast-paced graduate program; we are excited to have Taryn working as a part of the team.

With so many exciting changes, we’re looking forward to a busy lead up to Christmas. Many of you would know that Clair Couttie headed off on maternity leave in early April and we’re thrilled to share the arrival of gorgeous baby, Archie.  Clair is loving this new chapter in her life and is thriving.

We hope you’re all well too,

X x Lisa, Clarissa, Lucinda, Christine, Taryn (and Clair on maternity leave). 

The jobs you wish you had

Lisa Spiden - Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Stand in bridesmaids, dog food testers and professional mermaids the jobs we never thought existed!! Considering a career change? Want to live out your childhood dream; maybe it is not as farfetched as you think! Recent research from Seek Learning has revealed list of ridiculous jobs that are beyond our wildest dreams, maybe my childhood dream of being a mermaid isn’t so farfetched after all, there is still hope! What is your childhood crazy dream job you wish you had?

Perks of the Job

Lisa Spiden - Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Is it your pay check or your perks that keep you going to work day in day out? Ten companies in USA have shared their personal employee perks to keep the most sort after employee’s happy, excited and thankful to face the daily grind. Yahoo is our pick of the perks, what would be yours?

Clair - Maternity Leave

Lisa Spiden - Wednesday, July 09, 2014
For those who don't know, Clair Couttie is due to head off on maternity leave this Friday (9th July) for 12 months. We wish Clair all the best in this exciting phase of her life and we look forward to having her back mid 2015. 

Getting ready for 1 July 2014

Lisa Spiden - Wednesday, June 25, 2014
The significance of ‘1 July’ extends beyond it being the start of a new financial year. 

It is also significant for employers this year because it is the date when:
  • the latest rise in the superannuation guarantee contribution takes effect;
  • transitional arrangements under modern awards end; 
  • a new pay rate for 20-year-old retail workers will start; and
  • changes to Victoria’s workers’ compensation laws commence.
For information on how these changes may effect you or your employees, see Cornwall Stodart's latest web updates.

Minimum Wage increase

Lisa Spiden - Friday, June 06, 2014
The Fair Work Commission has announced a 3.0% increase in the minimum wage in its annual review. Effective from July 1 2014, the national minimum wage will be $640.90 per week for employees who are not on modern awards. This is an increase of $18.70 per week, or 50c per hour.

According to the commission, the decision was based on a number of factors, including the anticipated positive outlook for the Australian economy, social and lifestyle considerations of lower paid employees, and the increase in the cost of living. The Commission noted that while ‘real earnings’ have typically increased in the past decade, inequality in earnings was also increasing and a number of factors had culminated in there being a reduction in the relative living standards of award-reliant workers. 

In making its decision, the Commission has again said that the introduction of an increased superannuation guarantee rate was a moderating factor in considering the adjustment that should be made to minimum wages. However, it refused to take into account any improvements in living standards that could arise as a result of the government’s proposed abolition of the carbon price, saying this approach invited it to ‘speculate on the outcome of an uncertain political process’. For the same reason, it did not take into account proposed changes to the tax-transfer system announced in the latest federal budget.

New wage details for those employees who are covered by modern awards will also be available from July 1. As an employer, there are a number of steps you should take to prepare your business for the changes, and make sure you are in compliance with the new award increases:
  1. Review your budget to prepare for the increase from July 1.
  2. Make sure you receive the updated award information from Fair Work Australia so you can check that your employees are being paid the correct amounts for the relevant awards.
  3. Update your payroll systems so they are ready to go for July 1.
  4. Don’t forget there is a rise in superannuation payments effective from July. This will take the employer contribution from 9.25% to 9.50%.
The Commission also confirmed an increase in the casual loading for award/agreement free employees to 25% (which aligns with the casual loadings applicable in most modern awards).

BRW's top 50 places to work

Lisa Spiden - Friday, May 23, 2014
Have you seen BRW's Australian top 50 places to work? 

Superannuation Increases effective 1 July 2014

Lisa Spiden - Friday, May 23, 2014
The superannuation guarantee is due to increase from the current 9.25% to 9.5% on 1 July 2014. It will remain at that level for four years before increasing 0.5% each year until reaching its peak of 12% in July 2022. 

Additionally, last week’s budget revealed changes that will affect superannuation contributions increases by delaying the superannuation guarantee to 12% by three years.  

The new incremental increases are laid out in the table below for your information:

Financial year Rate
July 2014-June 2015 9.5%
July 2015-June 2016 9.5%
July 2016-June 2017 9.5%
July 2017-June 2018 9.5%
July 2018-June 2019 10.0%
July 2019-June 2020 10.5%
July 2020-June 2021 11.0%
July 2021-June 2022 11.5%
July 2022-June 2023 12.0%

Click here to read the Cornwall Stodart update on superannuation updates

If you require any further information or assistance with updating your employment contracts please do not hesitate to get in touch.