With the Commonwealth Games 2018 being held on the Gold Coast in April there are several challenges facing businesses located in this region for the duration of the games and possibly for some time before they commence and after they are completed.
Some of the problems facing both employers and employees are:
- Traffic congestion
- Road closures and restricted access to clients and customers
- Delivery and service restrictions
- Hours of work (some reduced and some increased)
- Business increases or slowdowns
While the greater good is the focus of the games and the region, businesses still must cope with these and other issues during this period.
Some of the options available to employers are:
- Close the business if practical for 2-4 weeks and allow staff to take annual leave or leave without pay for this period
- Advise casual staff that their services are not required for this period
- Restructure the hours and operations of the business to suit the changed circumstances where possible
- Allow staff to work from home where possible
If any or all of these options are selected, employers need to consult with employees, reach agreement where possible, and check closely that the terms of their employment contracts, enterprise or individual flexibility agreements and/or Modern Awards are not breached by their actions.
Where staff are required to work additional hours it is important to ensure that the correct overtime and penalty rates are applied, and any changes to working hours or conditions must be within the regulatory framework.
Where employees are working from home, adequate workplace health and safety inspections of the home work site should be undertaken and approved before commencing, and the relevant insurance checked to ensure proper coverage of employees while working from home.
It is also essential to provide and agree upon the work to be performed between the parties, and the timeframes and quality of the tasks to be performed including hours of work and access to computer systems and security requirements.
Staff should be advised that it is up to them to start work at their normal time, and they may have to commence their journey earlier than usual during this period and allow extra time after closure to return home.
Employers should be flexible during this period and allow some deviation from expected start times initially, but staff should be able to accurately assess their travel times after a few days and leave home each day taking the delays into account so that they arrive at work on their designated start times.
Planning and reducing staff movements while attempting to continue to service clients will assist during this time and most people will understand that any problems that may arise will quickly dissipate once the games are completed and the region and its traffic returns to normal.
During this testing period, constant communication with employees, clients and customers is crucial to allow everybody to be appraised of changing conditions and workplace requirements so that any disruption is minimised and business opportunities and maximised.
This is a general communication and is not intended to be advice which could be specifically relied upon as each workplace has their own unique compliance requirements which will differ depending upon their individual circumstances.
News article provided by Leigh Bernhardt, SBAA Advisory Board and Think Tank Member.
Leigh Bernhardt Corporate Consulting Services Pty Ltd
Phone: (07) 55 307 625
Mobile: 0421 399 145
Fax: (07) 55 307 625