People Smartz

10 Questions Small Business Owners Need to Ask Themselves

Tony Perkins - Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Yesterday, I visited a small business in the hospitality industry.  We had an interesting chat, largely about how to use their award to the best advantage of their business and their employees.

They were confused about a number of items and were short on knowledge when it comes to the basics of today's industrial relations system in Australia.

Our conversation covered a number of different areas as we moved through what is People Smartz's regular process of assessing the needs and knowledge of a business.  Some of the question we asked were fairly basic - how many employees do you have, what are their roles, are they casual or permanent etc.

Other questions are designed to test the knowledge of the business owner in regards to the human resources and workplace health and safety areas of their business.  These include questions regarding the National Employment Standards, Ordinary hours of work and their obligations in regards to WHS.

Yesterday, the answers we received were very familiar to other similar businesses we have visited recently.  Awareness of the National Employment Standards was poor, there was a very basic knowledge of their award and little or no understanding of the obligations of business owners in regards to WHS.

At yesterday's review, we were able to identify the correct rates of pay, identify appropriate penalty rates, recommend strategies to reduce wages costs (utilising averaging rules and other items in the Award) and identify steps to mitigate risk in the business.

So, here are some questions for you, if you do not know the answer to a question, contact us and we will take you through the answer at no obligation to you:

  • Do you understand the National Employment Standards and what they mean to your business?
  • Do you know the Award/s (or Agreement/s) applicable to your business?
  • Are you sure you are using your award/s to the best advantage of your business?
  • Are you paying your employees at the correct rate?  Have you reviewed this in the last 12 months?
  • Does your award allowing averaging of hours for permanent employees?  Do you use this in your business?
  • Do you fully understand the implications of penalties and overtime on your business?
  • Could you be using Independent Flexibility Agreements in your business to improve flexibility and outcomes?
  • Do you have policies in place in your business to mitigate risk in areas such as workplace bullying, harassment, WHS, Social Media and Managing Performance?
  • Do you understand the WHS obligations of a PCBU or Officer in your business?
  • Do you have a WHS system in your business and do you regularly review that system?
If you would like a review similar to the one we did yesterday - simply press on the link below and we will be in contact to arrange your review:


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