It is late September. It is a bit early to consider Christmas to be ‘around the corner’ but we are mere days from seeing Christmas decorations instore, and now is the time for businesses to begin planning for the Christmas period.  Planning, engagement and communication now can ensure smooth functioning during the Christmas period, when we are busy serving customers, or busy with family and friends.  This weeks HR Highlight will look at some of the thing businesses can do now to make sure they have a hassle free Christmas.

Trading through or temporarily shutting down?

Businesses need to understand, and communicate to staff, if they are planning on trading through the Christmas period or not.

Trading through can mean with full staff, skeleton staff or even additional staff.  All of these options will have an impact on the rostering, management and payment of staff through this period.

For businesses that are planning of temporarily shutting down it is important to understand the annual shutdown provisions, which allow the business to direct staff with annual leave entitlements to take annual leave during the annual shutdown.  Activating these provisions requires a level of consultation and notice, along with a company policy so if the business is going to call on this provision now is the time to move on this one.
Rostering, Workloads and Payments?

Regardless of whether the business is trading through or temporarily shutting down for the Christmas period, rosters still need to be prepared, workloads allocated and payments made.

When setting rosters businesses should give consideration to the type of workers that are engaged, impact of annual leave that is likely to be requested, public holiday payments and rates in addition to the standard questions of servicing customers and employee availability.  Once the rosters are set they should be communicated to the staff,  the earlier the better, this allows for the rosters to be locked down after the inevitable shift swapping, which also allows payroll to begin to understand and answer any questions regarding public holiday pay and to prepare for those payments wherever possible.
Christmas Party?

The Christmas Party is always an opportunity for fun, engagement and potential drama.  Now is the time to start planning and communicating the businesses expectations around, travel, alcohol and appropriate behaviour.
Here to Help

Through the festive season ACAPMA Workplace Relations Professionals are available to assist members on 1300 160 270 or you can email Members can access resources and can call on the advice and support of the ACAPMAlliance Workplace Relations Professionals on 1300 160 270.

HR Highlights are things to consider, implement and watch out for in your business. They are provided as general advice and you should seek further advice on your situation by  calling 1300 160 270 and speaking to one of ACAPMA Workplace Relations Professionals its free for members. ACAPMA membership is affordable at only $770 per year for a single site, which represents great value with sites gaining HR advice support and representation as well as a raft of other benefits and discounts. Learn more about ACAPMA membership here.