Myths of managing employees debunked

Staff Writer

The Human Resources Manager for CRA, David Fuller, hosted a session this afternoon on ‘Debunking the Myths’ in managing employees.

Here’s a little of what he discussed:

There are times you need to tap into HR and ask the experts in their field to help us tackle HR issues. What are your rights and responsibilities

What can and can’t you do ?

Myth 1 – 3 strikes and you’re out?

Not true. There is no award that says this. BUT It does though come under “Unfair dismissal ” which states that you should be warned of consequences of employees actions. There is no need for a warning if an employ commits serious misconduct, like theft, excessive alcohol and situations that puts others in harm or hurts the business. 

However, it does depend on the context. Management will be judged by fair work on their consistency. Employers must be fair to all staff and remain consistent to all staff on all matters.

Myth 2 – Am I safe to dismiss staff during probation period?

A good standard time for probation is 6 months, not 3. You can let people go fairly at any time during employees probation period. But you can’t let people go if you as an employer breach anti-discrimination laws.

Unlawful grounds for dismissal include race, religion, age, disability, or employment activity.

Myth 3 – People with disabilities are untouchable.

Not true. Disabilities are covered under anti-discrimination laws, and you the employer can’t act less favourably towards any employee. Disabilities are not relevant, nor need to be disclosed to employers unless the employees disability impacts their ability to do their job.

Myth 4 – People resigning in the heat of the moment.

This resignation may not always stand. Heat of the moment resignations are allowed to be overturned. Even if the employee actually resigns. Always ask for it in writing. A cool down period is needed for this type of resignation.

Myth 5 – I can’t expect my staff to work late or on weekends.

Not true. We are a 24-hour organisation, which should be stated in contracts. If it’s reasonable to ask staff to work overtime, they are paid accordingly and you’re being reasonable, then you are allowed to enforce staff to work these hours, but a culture of flexibility is advised.

Myth 6 – People can say what they like on Facebook

Not true. Employers have the right to manage employee behaviour and in doing that provide a safe place of work. Common law principles apply, as do bullying laws.

Myth 7 – Staff take excessive sick leave, is that ok?

No. Unsupported absences are not acceptable. Except if you are notified of satisfactory evidence. A doctors certificate is required.
Unpaid leave is also acceptable where doctors evidence is provided.however, doctors certificates can be challenged and independent medical request can be made.

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