Article 6 of 6: Dirty truth of handshake agreements – Scrutinise your standards

By Kathleen Tierney
(Career Embassy)


Article 6: Scrutinise Your Standards

When defending against claims of wrong doing in the workplace, the typical practices and protocols of owners, managers and employees within may be scrutinised. It is the day to day behaviours, actions and decisions that define what is to be considered normal or standard practice within the business. Therefore, regardless of having all the right policies, procedures, and other compliance in place, it is the practices that tell if certain behaviours, actions or decisions are being condoned, role modelled and accepted by the managers and owners.

This means that a claim can be more readily defended if the right practices and protocols, including those that meet compliance and governance standards, are the norm within the workplace.

Workplace Compliance Training

Ideally all managers and business owners have been educated as to what is workplace compliance, how it impacts the business, them and their employees and what they can do about it. Again, they don’t need to become employment law experts, however, they do need to know what and why certain compliance is mandatory.

Local business and industry associations provide masterclasses and workshops that are tailored to adult learning, the various levels of knowledge and time poor business owners and managers.

Ignorance is not an excuse

When it relates to being an employer of people, the regulators do not accept ignorance as an acceptable excuse. Employees don’t care if you have the capacity to pay large back pay sums, they just want their money. Also, it is very quick and easy for any employee to make a quick phone call or online enquiry to the Fair Work Ombudsman to make a complaint, especially now that they can do so anonymously.

100% of attendees at our training programs, including the most conscientious, did not know important elements of workplace compliance that expose their business daily.

Why comply?

Approximately 45,000 claims are dealt with in the Fair Work system per annum. We suggest you be the business owners who do the right thing. Don’t rely on ‘handshake agreements’, be pro-active, source the right HR/People management advice and support, and invest in a tidy up of your workplace compliance.

About the Author

Kathy Tierney
Kathleen Tierney is the Executive Director and Owner of Business Embassy and its parent company, Career Embassy. She helps Australian companies with business management, HR services, policies and procedures. Kathy believes that great leadership and business success is achieved and sustained by connecting with our personal values.




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