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Sudden staff shortages mean Easter weekend not all it’s cracked up to be for frustrated employers

Published April 12, 2022 (last updated on November 29, 2023) | Adam Wyatt - Content Writer

A woman carrying a small basket full of Easter eggs

As small to medium businesses across Australia respond to sudden staff shortages because of the pandemic, the looming 4-day Easter break is not what it’s cracked up to be when it comes to effectively understanding and managing correct holiday period entitlements for workers.

Employsure Business Partner, Ms Emma Dawson, said thousands of workers continue to call in sick with short notice to employers because they have either tested positive to the Covid-19 virus or are forced to isolate because they are a close contact, putting SMEs employers further under the pump.

“As we head towards the Easter holiday period, we encourage employers to do all they can in this ever-changing environment to be as best prepared as possible for the break and understand the impact of employee entitlements on their business,” Ms Dawson said.

“While most people are looking forward to a 4-day break and the beginning of school holidays, there are plenty of employers scratching their heads as they look to roster staff – particularly casual staff – and work out their different entitlements so they can do the right thing and still stay sustainable,” she said.

“This Easter break is shaping up to be one of the busiest we have seen for many years, as people take opportunity to visit family and friends and venture further afield in response to relaxed restrictions and border re-openings. That is a great opportunity for many businesses but creates an increased likelihood of an SME employer making an unintentional payment mistake because they are busy trying to cover for last minute gaps in staffing.”

The Employsure team is bracing for a spike in contacts over the holiday period from employers wanting help to navigate the complexity of worker entitlements, correctly remunerate staff and fulfil their many obligations under an array of Awards.

“Employsure has developed a comprehensive and easy-to-understand guide to support businesses and help them understand their obligations as an employer,” Ms Dawson said.

“Employers particularly need to understand the impact of the 11 minimum entitlements of the National Employment Standards (NES) on their business, which cover important issues such the maximum number of hours an employee can work in a week, obligations for parental, annual leave and other leave types, and responsibilities regarding flexible working arrangements.”

More information about NES entitlements can be found here, and 24/7 employment relations support offered by Employsure is available on 1300 651 415.

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