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Ed Mallett’s advice for the long weekend

Penalty RatesMay 28, 2015

Ed Mallett’s advice for the long weekend (Last Updated On: May 28, 2015)

The June long weekend approaches and employers, especially in the hospitality industry, need to start thinking about penalty rates. Do you know the penalty rates that apply to your business? Do you understand how to implement them? Or are you unsure whether it is actually viable to open over the long weekend?

This week Edward Mallett, Employsure’s Managing Director spoke with Hospitality Magazine and discussed the issues surrounding small businesses and the complications of penalty rates. Mr. Mallett said that public holiday rates are out-dated and small business owners are struck with a catch-22. Do you open and pay your staff exorbitant penalty rates? Or do you shut-up-shop and miss out on the opportunity of entertaining your customers who are enjoying time off work?

In a recent survey by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, small businesses expressed that they felt that the economy will deteriorate in the coming year. This is rather confronting for SMEs in this country who wish to make a profit. Mr. Mallet said that the current economy and penalty rates are only adding to the stress behind employer’s enthusiasm to pay their staff extra on public holidays.

“The main concern for most hospitality business owners is making enough money to keep the business afloat” said Edward Mallett.

At Employsure we frequently experience a large number of calls from clients around public holidays, majority of the questions are the same; “is it financially viable for my business to be open due to penalty rates?” “Which penalty rates apply to my business?” Mr. Mallett says the system is mind bogglingly complex and “adds to the burden of red tape in running a business in the industry”.

Edward Mallett has shared his top five tips to help hospitality employers in the wake of the June long weekend:

  1. Know your industry: Make sure you know which award applies to your staff.  Treatment of public holidays can vary from industry to industry and it’s important to know what your options are.
  2. Understand your obligations: Even if you don’t know what your obligations are, there’s a good chance your staff will. It’s important that you know which penalties apply and from when, and whether the applicable award allows for substitution of public holidays.
  3. What are your options? Most hospitality businesses have a mix of casual, permanent and part-time employees – rostering options can help you determine who would be most beneficial to have working on a public holiday.
  4. To open or not to open? Compare the costs of staying open versus staying shut before deciding to close, and remember your customers’ expectations, especially your regulars. Not all public holidays are national – if it is business as usual in WA, you risk losing business if you decide to close.
  5. The public-holiday sickie: Have a process for addressing unexplained absenteeism, and communicate clearly any expectations your business will have for employees to work on the public holiday.

If you would like to discuss your employment obligations over the June long weekend, give Employsure a call today on 1300 651 415.

Sourced: Hospitality Magazine

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