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Thread: New contract

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    10

    Default New contract

    I would like some guidance on a new contract handed to the workers today myself included

    We weren't under an award as such, but now says we are under the modern award Clerks 2010 All Salary positions except the casuals

    There has been a block out on holidays between Oct - March each year, unfortunately as financial administrator I cant take June/July end of financial year basically.

    It now states the business operates 24/7 Monday to Sunday our hours 8am - 4pm
    the letter we accepted the positions says Monday to Friday 8am - 4pm

    States 38 hours with reasonable overtime no definition has been included here
    While we accept the reasonable hours has been a bone of contention regarding the definition.
    The boss has basically said he expects that if we haven't finished our work, and behind. He is expecting we will come in on the weekend to catch up.

    We are wondering if this is the expectation now, he did give these requirements to HR firm and they forwarded these contracts.

    Any guidance would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    196

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tempsol View Post
    I would like some guidance on a new contract handed to the workers today myself included

    We weren't under an award as such, but now says we are under the modern award Clerks 2010 All Salary positions except the casuals

    There has been a block out on holidays between Oct - March each year, unfortunately as financial administrator I cant take June/July end of financial year basically.

    It now states the business operates 24/7 Monday to Sunday our hours 8am - 4pm
    the letter we accepted the positions says Monday to Friday 8am - 4pm

    States 38 hours with reasonable overtime no definition has been included here
    While we accept the reasonable hours has been a bone of contention regarding the definition.
    The boss has basically said he expects that if we haven't finished our work, and behind. He is expecting we will come in on the weekend to catch up.

    We are wondering if this is the expectation now, he did give these requirements to HR firm and they forwarded these contracts.

    Any guidance would be appreciated.
    To start, it could be you were covered by the Clerk's Private Sector Award but were not aware of that, especially if you never had an employment contract previously or what you did have did not make that clear. Getting one now could mean your employer is taking care of business and getting up to date.

    'Financial Administrator' is a broad term but I suggest reviewing your Position Description against the Classifications in the Award. In general, financial roles like Payables/Receivables/admin and the like would be covered by this award but positions like Financial Controllers, Accountants (as in fully qualified, member of financial institution, etc) would be award free (unless you work in a bank in which case you'd be covered by that award), considered professional and the employment contract should state this, and the fact that the salary paid includes reasonable extra hours. And yes, professionals are paid to do the job, not for the hours worked so it is assumed you get the job done in the required time frame, if you can't do that, you should be having a conversation with your employer as to work load etc. is it reasonable? are there the required tools (systems) available etc?

    If your job is covered by this award, then you should be paid as per that, ie with additional hours paid as overtime plus penalty rates for Saturdays/Sundays etc, unless of course, the employer is paying a salary with the 'reasonable' additional hours anticipated included. If you've concerns about that, I suggesting keeping a detailed diary record of all additional hours as well as Saturdays/Sundays/Public Holidays worked so that a reconciliation can be done at year end and if your pay hasn't covered those hours/penalties, there should be a make up pay. Often employers pay a salary to an award covered employee to make it easier on the payroll ie having to do varying calculations each pay can be time consuming so they just round out what they think person will work and pay that as a 'salary'. But an annual reconciliation is essential if that's the case.

    I recommend you contact Fair Work in relation to the award coverage issue. Further, if you know an employment lawyer, get someone to review the contract you've been given before you sign. Sign only if you are comfortable with requirements.

    38 hours/wk is in synch with Australian work hours. 'Reasonable' additional hours in my book would be about 2 hrs per week, but again, a question for your employer. I'd be asking for how they calculated these and the penalty rates, do an estimate yourself so you are prepared when you have that discussion. EG 2 hrs per week x 48 (assumption employees only really work 48 of the 52 wks per year due to leave etc) + # w/e hours x penalty = total $$ on top of base for your award classification. If what you are getting is less, then you've been underpaid.

    Whilst it's not unusual for an employer to restrict the taking of A/L during certain critical to business times of the year, there should be discussion with employees as to why etc. I've seen this happen at end of calendar year where a business may have an overseas parent and be subject to that country's financial reporting or in the case of a Photography entity, mid year due to all the school photos having to be taken. But you also mention Australia's financial year end?? So I'd be having a conversation with your employer about this. It could be considered unreasonable to have a blanket approach about this period and no leave - 6 months I think is excessive! especially since it's our whole summer! So think about what you want, perhaps every other year at that time or something and propose that to the employer during your discussion. With an enforcement restriction of 6 months, I'm pretty sure Fair Work would have a view on that!!
    Tiger

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    10

    Default

    Thank you Tiger for your guidance

    I have made some alterations/notes to the contract and initialled them, asking for a meeting to discuss the changes and see where it goes from there.
    Others have indicated they won't sign it in the present form, not happy about the six month holiday clause or the Monday to Sunday 8-4 24/7.

    I realise the employer would like to update some clauses but usually there is some discussion etc to update the staff on the new terms of employment.
    I suspect it is because there is an employee on stress leave siting work schedules, getting behind , the boss indicated they should have come in on the weekends to clear the backlog like the boss does.
    I am hoping this can resolved quickly as possible.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    10

    Default

    We had a quick meeting with the consultant who drew up the new contracts.

    Their expectation for reasonable hours is approx 5 hours per week based on general case law, but I stated that is usually case by case basis not blanket rule.
    I explained as salary position we don't do timesheets so how will you balance the expected pay difference unless there is a system put in place to help capture the hours worked. Other than timesheets how do you capture this information..

    I have requested the back up information regarding the reasonable hours being 5 hours a week requirement, Fairwork has always been a vague on the requirement but average answer has been 2 hours.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
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    Default

    I'm no expert, but expecting people to work an extra 5 hours PER WEEK seems excessive. That's over 200 hours each year.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    196

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tempsol View Post
    Thank you Tiger for your guidance

    I have made some alterations/notes to the contract and initialled them, asking for a meeting to discuss the changes and see where it goes from there.
    Others have indicated they won't sign it in the present form, not happy about the six month holiday clause or the Monday to Sunday 8-4 24/7.

    I realise the employer would like to update some clauses but usually there is some discussion etc to update the staff on the new terms of employment.
    I suspect it is because there is an employee on stress leave siting work schedules, getting behind , the boss indicated they should have come in on the weekends to clear the backlog like the boss does.
    I am hoping this can resolved quickly as possible.
    I think you should use Fair Work as your guide. I can't see why anyone would thing that these days an increase from two to five hours is acceptable??
    Of course, if a Salary is paid based on five hours, then that is another matter. So do the maths and keep a record of actual hours you do work. That way, if it comes down to it, you can make a claim later for underpayment and have the proof to support it.
    Tiger

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    10

    Default

    The consultant was ok, but stated it is 5 hours expected. I have requested information from her with regard to 5 hours ruling.

    Basically I was told I was overpaid, so reasonable hours was acceptable.

    I am a financial officer who has over 30 years experience, i process end to end payroll, accounts, payment runs, update systems and process, BAS IAS payroll tax and end of year procedures before handing over to the accountant for verification audit.
    I keep all my qualifications and registrations up to date and pay for all my courses which benefit my workplace as well as me.

    I don't get paid for 5 hours and usually do approx 1 hour a week to keep everything up to date, which is reasonable to me.

    The minimum rate is a guideline as far as I'm aware, depending on experience, qualifications etc there are above award rates paid.

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