March 2014

What do new anti-workplace bullying laws mean for small business?

The Productivity Commission estimates that workplace bullying costs the Australian economy is somewhere between $6 billion and $36 billion annually.  For business, the price-tag for a workplace bullying case averages between $17,000 and $24,000, and the cost of these compensation claims is much higher when compared to payouts for 'traditional' physical injury.

I shouldn’t have to pay overtime and penalty rates as I already pay over the award!

If I had a dollar for every time a business owner made this statement, I would be rich woman!

As business owners it just does not seem right that we must pay a loading of at least 50% and often 100% of an already above award rate when our employees work overtime or outside their ordinary hours.

However, under many modern awards, this is exactly what we are compelled to do.  We may convince ourselves that if we get investigated authorities will be satisfied that we have paid over the award rate, but the reality is very different!