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The Punnet – April 2023

By April 5, 2023Newsletter
The Punnet

What is happening in the world of HR for small business?

Do your employees work Public Holidays?

A recent (28 March 2023) Federal Court decision now requires that Employers “request” employees to work on public holidays rather than simply roster and allow the employee to decline the shift. This is effective immediately.

This means that your usual rostering system may not be adequate to incorporate a “request” for employees to work a public holiday. This is because rosters have historically worked on the assumption that the employee is available unless otherwise advised.

Employers must now add a method of requesting the employee to work the public holiday shift, which is before the rostering. 

How this looks practically may vary depending on your business and industry. The employer could issue a draft roster – ensuring employees understand that the roster is in draft form. Employees allocated to a public holiday shift must then indicate whether they accept or refuse that allocation before the roster is finalised.

Alternatively, you may offer employees the shifts before each public holiday in writing, indicating that you are requesting they work these shifts and that they may refuse.

Finally, an employment contract may be updated to contain a provision foreshadowing that the employees may be asked to work on public holidays and may be required where the request is reasonable and a refusal unreasonable.

This ruling is effective immediately and will impact the upcoming Easter public holidays. Employers should check in with employees already rostered to work to ensure they agree to work any public holidays.

It is a new ruling that employer groups may appeal. But until then, employers will need to comply.

Need help?

If you need assistance navigating these changes for your business, contact the Strawberry Seed team at (03) 4216 5200 or

Recruitment Services

Did you know Strawberry Seed can help with your recruitment needs?

At Strawberry Seed, we know how important it is to hire the right employees the first time. That’s why we have an in-house Recruitment and HR Advisor, Kelly Furniss, who helps our clients with all their recruitment needs.

We are different to large recruitment firms. We have a personalised approach customised to your small business, aiming to ensure that every candidate has a positive experience with your company and brand, regardless of how far they get in the recruitment process.

Flexibility is key. YOU decide what parts of the process you would like us to do. You can select one of our new Recruitment packages or pick and choose the elements you want us to do, paying by the hour.

Whether you are new to recruitment or just short of time, Kelly can take the pain out of the process. If you would like to learn more, book a chat with our team or reach out to your regular HR Advisor.

Upcoming Training and Development

Free April Webinar 

The next in our series of free webinars will be held on the 19th April, 2023 at 7.30 pm. Bookings can be made here, and please feel free to pass this on to other business owners.

Restructure and Redundancy – Understanding how to get it right

When restructuring a business, there are many considerations for employers, especially if the result is fewer positions will be required. Redundancies can be stressful for all parties.

In this webinar, our Director, Carli Saw, will explore the actions you should take before, during and after a restructuring process to ensure compliance with your legal obligations to employees.

As we understand small business people have busy days, we have scheduled this session for the evening (so you can enjoy it with a glass of wine if you wish)!

Upcoming Leadership Training Workshops – Brisbane

One of our popular HR services is to develop and deliver customised in-house Leadership Training for our clients. However, we realise that not all small businesses are large enough to have a session independently.

Our Leadership Training Workshop is designed to bring together people managers from the small business community to share their experiences and develop their knowledge and skills to be better leaders. This workshop aims to ensure leaders get the most out of their people, improve productivity and reduce organisational risk.

Next Available Workshops

Brisbane – Thursday 4th May 2023

For more information and details on how to book, click here.

Mental Health First Aid Training

Undetected mental health issues have a long-term negative impact on your staff and the wider workplace. Recognising the signs and symptoms of mental health issues is the first step to supporting an employee or workmate struggling.

Our Senior HR Advisor and Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Frances Orr, is an accredited MHFA trainer and has been delivering in-house MHFA training for many clients since 2021.

We now have a regular schedule of public blended online workplace MHFA. The May course is full, but we still have spaces available in June and August.  The public courses allow businesses to send a smaller number of their team to attend the course. We will also be offering discounted rates for our HR Business Support Package and previous Fixed Price Package clients, so reach out to your HR Advisor for the codes.

Blended Online Workplace Course

The blended online course is split into two components.  In the first component, your team will undertake a self-paced eLearning component (4-6 hours online directly with MHFA).  This is followed up by component 2, two 2.5 hour instructor-led webinar sessions. Each attendee will receive an MHFA manual and a certificate of attendance and can gain accreditation for mental health first aid. During this course, we can address current industry issues or concerns you are experiencing in your organisation. This public delivery is limited to 12 participants in each webinar session.

The cost of this course is $250 plus GST for each attendee.

The dates for the upcoming instructor lead webinar sessions can be found here.

Why is Mental Health First Aid training important?

As a manager or business owner, you’re likely to have been confronted with mental health issues at your workplace. Do you know how to talk to a team member who’s struggling? Maybe you hold back because you don’t know what to say, or you’re worried about saying the wrong thing.

Mental Health First Aid training teaches practical first aid skills to help a team member or co-worker experiencing mental health issues. We’ll teach you how to approach someone struggling, ask the right questions and help them access professional help.

To learn more about our in-house training options, click here or contact Frances for an obligation-free customised quote at

Expressions of Interest for Training in 2023

We will have several existing and new training programs running in 2023. Please fill in this EOI survey if you are interested in upcoming courses.

Carli Saw

Author Carli Saw

Carli is a Human Resources professional with more than 20 years of experience across a range of industries and a passion for supporting small business.

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