Author: Beachside BAS Consultant

Small Business Owners – avoid the Coronavirus Conundrum

There’s so much information being broadcast daily, about how coronavirus is affecting small business and what money the government is throwing at us.

It can be confusing to know what is accurate, what assistance is available and how to access it.  And that’s without scammers entering into it!

So, stay on top of the relevant government websites and up-to-date information and you can’t go wrong.

Whether you’re a small business owner, an employee, or on government assistance, all available funds that could be paid to you will be found at

I am not going to waffle on about what’s already been said. You can simply bookmark this website and check out what applies to you and your situation.

Unsure of leave entitlements and stand downs?

Whether you’re the employer or employee, FairWork is your governing body

They will help with workplace questions, guidance and direction if you need.

Do staff get paid leave?

Each workplace is different as they are directed by their own Modern Award or other Workplace Agreements.  But according to FairWork, unless your industrial agreement says otherwise, the general rule of thumb is:

If the employee is sick or caring for someone who is sick – usual personal leave entitlements kick in.  If permanent staff, they are entitled to 10 days paid personal leave per year and 2 days unpaid carer’s leave per occasion.  If casual staff, they are entitled to 2 days unpaid carer’s leave per occasion.

If the employee is looking after school children because school is closed – if they cannot work at home then they are required to use their leave entitlements.  For permanent staff, this could include paid carer leave; two days unpaid carer leave; annual leave or long-service leave.  For casual staff, two days unpaid carer’s leave is available. 

If the employee simply decides to self-isolate with no gov’t directive – they would need to dip into their annual or long-service leave if they want paid time off.

If the boss has told staff to stay at home – if not a direction from the government and employees cannot work from home, then employers should be paying their permanent staff their normal wage.

If the government has ordered the business to close – and staff cannot work from home, then the boss is not required to pay the staff for the time off.  Hopefully in this case, the employer will allow use of paid leave entitlements owed.

Should employees be told to quarantine or self-isolate – FairWork has no rules for this and suggest the employee and employer come up with an agreement, such as using paid leave.

Can an employer stand down its employees without paying them? 

Basically, yes.

Businesses may force to stand down their staff due to:

– a government order to close

– a large part of the workforce is in quarantine so can’t do the job

– lack of demand for the business product or service (for which employer can’t be held responsible)

Employees that are stood down remain employed during the period of the stand down.

You cannot stand down your employees while they are on leave though, whether paid or unpaid.

Again, the workplace Award or Enterprise Agreement would stipulate how much notice to provide, consultation with staff, when to stand down, etc.  

For all your staff rights and entitlements, bookmark this page and check out what is available.

State Grants Available

Check out what each state is also offering during these times.

Email me if you have any questions or need some guidance.

I will help you navigate the red-tape at no cost.

Bunnings underpaid super – for 8 years!

You may have read this story a week ago when it first surfaced. Basically, Since 2011, Bunnings have been underpaying their staff’s super on hours worked outside their contracted hours.

First question: Super is not normally paid on irregular overtime hours?

While this is correct, in Bunnings case, as reported by the Financial Review on 26th Sept’19, a new Enterprise Agreement had taken effect from 2011. This was overseen by the employee organisation, the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA), whereby the new Agreement included superannuation being paid on these overtime hours.

Second question: Why then did it take 8 years to pick up?

It was a query from the SDA that found the anomalies, but why did it take so long? I would think that new provisions in new Agreements would be monitored for some time to ensure compliance.

Third question: Did any employees notice this themselves?

While Bunnings has claimed the employees affected are only short-changed approx. $200 each, they have 40,000 employees! I am not saying all employees are affected, but is most likely a hefty bill. Something that would be easier to deal with, and keep out of the media, if it was contained early, I am sure. But it makes me wonder, out of 40,000 employees, how many picked up on the discrepancies?

It doesn’t matter if the error lies in software programming or personnel, intentional or not, it still happens. If employees were more aware of their rights, especially new ones in newly-negotiated Agreements, then they could also check these things themselves, and bring to management’s attention sooner.

So stop winging it at work….

Understand everything you need to know about your own workplace rights and responsibilities so that you have the knowledge and confidence to query anomalies when they arise.

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Don’t lose your super!

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