How you treat your employees affects so many things. From staff turnover to interpersonal conflict, to staff health, your business’s reputation, and of course your legal liability – all can be negatively affected by, or perceptions of, unfair treatment in your business.
Having clear and reasonable workplace standards along with a means for team members to have grievances aired are essential to maintaining an efficient and productive business.
Fair Treatment is all about how you treat your employees and giving them the ability to have their concerns considered and addressed. Your business’s values, policies, management standards, guides, employment contracts and other like documents describe how your business treats its team members. In addition, there are a range of federal, state, and territory laws dealing with a wide variety of unacceptable workplace conduct that prohibits certain actions and provides legal recourse for wronged employees.
Examples of what is not fair treatment include:
- Harassment, including Sexual Harassment
- Being refused flexible work arrangements without reasonable business grounds
- Having annual and long service leave applications unreasonably refused
- Not having access to different types of work or overtime without a valid reason
- Being passed over, without a valid reason, for promotion, pay rises, training, or career opportunities, etc. that were available to others
- Unreasonable management action such as undeserved disciplinary action.
Your business should encourage team members who believe they have not been treated fairly to raise those concerns, so you can investigate the issues and respond appropriately. It is far better for your business to resolve these concerns internally, rather than experience the blunt force of the law or other undesirable consequences.
It is important to remember that as a business owner or manager, you as well as your business, have personal legal accountability for unfair treatment committed by other employees that you know of, or should reasonably know of.
NatRoad has more detailed information about Fair Treatment in our Factsheet: Resolving Fair Treatment Issues and Grievances.
NatRoad’s advisers have significant expertise in drafting fair treatment policies, providing related training, and helping businesses manage fair treatment issues.
Contact an adviser to discuss how they can help you.