Choccies and HR lesson at Auburn

AUBURN:  The many challenges for business owners when it comes to employment created lots of discussion at the latest Women in Business Regional Network lunch at Auburn this week.

The lunch was hosted by Ally Guerin and the team in the historic stable at The Rising Sun.

Evelyn Pollard, Ally Guerin, Deb Keleher,
Nan Berrett, Kirstie Killen, Ruth Chesters,
Carmel Vandermolen and Joan Stam.

And those in attendance got to take home a sample of delicious handmade chocolates courtesy of Jamestown member Ruth Chesters from Chesters Chocolate.  Those with dietary restrictions were thrilled to learn that all of Ruth’s chocolates are gluten-free.

The guest speaker at the lunch was member and HR consultant Evelyn Pollard from Evelyn Pollard Consulting with the focus being on the differences between contractors and employees.

Although it was agreed that making the leap to become an employer is challenging, the women in attendance were advised not to be discouraged as adding to your team can make a positive difference in both the bottom line and in the day-to-day workload for business owners.

Evelyn provided a comprehensive and easy-to-follow checklist for business owners to determine which was the correct mode of appointment, warning that the Fair Work Commission imposed heavy penalties for making the wrong choice.

She said that people often chose the contractor option, rather than an employee, to avoid additional work and expense of superannuation and leave, or because they felt they had more control over a contractor. 

Proper performance management could be put in place to deal with employee issues, and she said not making the right choice between contractor or employee could be more costly and stressful in the longer term.

Employers often choose to tell someone to “get an ABN” before they are engaged to do work, but Evelyn pointed out that this may not protect a business against claims for rights as an employee. 

And, if you’re planning on purchasing a business, she warned that the purchaser could be liable for past underpayments, so encouraged those present to ensure they have pay records of a business checked thoroughly before purchasing.

The next Clare Valley lunch will be held on Wednesday, November 11 when the topic will be how to get noticed online even if you don’t have a website.  A venue will be announced soon.