Leave changes to modern awards Hyne Timber celebrates employees achievements
AS PART of the four-yearly modern award review, the Fair Work Commission has now issued a Full Bench decision amending most modern awards in the following areas: • cashing out annual leave • taking annual leave in advance • managing large (‘excessive’) • annual leave balances • payment for annual leave.
These changes will apply from the first pay period on or after 29 July 2016. Most modern awards will be amended to include these changes, including the Timber Industry Award 2010. Should you wish to check if these changes apply to your particular award, please contact the TTIA.
Cashing out annual leave
Most modern awards will now allow employees to cash out annual leave so long as: • an employee has at least 4 weeks’
annual leave left after cashing out • there is a signed written agreement
between the employer and employee • the maximum amount of annual leave that is cashed out does not exceed two weeks within a period of 12 months.
Taking annual leave in advance
Most modern awards now allow employees to take annual leave before they have accrued it if their employer agrees in writing. The agreement needs to: • state how much annual leave is to be
taken in advance • be signed by both the employer and the
employee • state the date on which the leave will commence. The Timber Industry Award 2010 will include examples of the agreements required for cashing out annual leave and taking annual leave in advance.
Managing excessive annual leave balances
The rules about what happens if an employee has accumulated an excessive annual leave balance have been changed in some awards. Excessive annual leave is when an employee has accumulated at least eight weeks of leave (or 10 weeks for a shift worker).
Direction by employer
If an employee has an excessive annual leave balance and can’t agree with an employer on when to take it, the employer can: • direct the employee, in writing, that they must take one or more periods of their annual leave • give the employee at least eight weeks’
notice (and not more • than12months)ofwhentheleavewillstart.
Request by employee for leave
Some awards have a new clause allowing employees with excessive annual leave balances to give their employer written notice to take one or more periods of paid annual leave. An employee can only give a notice to their employer if the employee has had an excessive leave accrual for more than 6 months. Please note this clause will not take effect until 29 July 2017.
Payment for annual leave
Some awards say that annual leave has to be paid before an employee starts leave. A new clause will provide that if an employee is paid by electronic funds transfer (EFT), they can continue to be paid using their usual pay cycle during periods of leave. Members can give the TTIA Hotline a call if they have any questions about the above (02 9264 0011). TTIA will be running national membership seminars later in the year dealing with these specific changes. Training delivers company-wide principles and tools for problem solving HYNE TIMBER stopped to recognise and celebrate the achievements of 19 employees at an event held on the lawns of their Tuan Mill near Maryborough.
While it wasn’t the first time this award-winning company made news for its celebration of employees, this particular event was the first where three of the graduates were actually the employees of long term partner and fellow iconic Maryborough business, Richers Transport.
The celebration marked the completion of either a Certificate III or IV in Competitive Systems and Practices, a course requirement of all 570 Hyne Timber employees nationwide.
Fifty people attended the formalities and BBQ including John Suthers, Director of Training and Skills (North Coast Region) from the Queensland Government’s Department of Education and Training, Fraser Coast Regional Councillor Anne Maddern and Chris Hyne, Director of Hyne Timber.
Operations Manager and graduate himself, James Hyne said celebrating achievements was an important element of the training requirements,
“We ask all our employees to undertake specific training in order to consistently participate in key processes and procedures throughout all Hyne Timber’s 11 sites.
“The training delivers our company-wide principles and tools for problem solving and empowerment of employees to strive for continuous improvement, all of which are essential for contemporary manufacturing and business growth.
“In return, employees achieve an accreditation, personal skills from the training principles and recognition by their employer.
“Taking the time out to formally present certificates, shake hands and generally enjoy each other’s company over a BBQ away from the usual work area is a small token of Hyne Timber’s appreciation for our dedicated and committed employees.
“This isn’t the first graduation event we have held, with two events held last year also at the Mill. This time, however, I too was a graduate,” Mr Hyne said.
The graduation was also enjoyed by the Richers Transport hierarchy who, for the same reasons, were present to celebrate the achievements of three of their employees who are based at the Tuan Mill.
By default, they became part of the same training, applying the same principles and working closely with Hyne Timber employees in a team environment.
Graham Richers, Managing Director of the iconic Maryborough transport business said there was no doubt that their employees who work from the despatch area of the Tuan Mill had benefited from Hyne Timber’s training,
“There are standards of reporting, presenting and problem solving, for example, that need to be consistent when permanently operating at a Hyne Timber site and the tools they use are quite specific.
“In addition to our own training culture and commitments, our graduating employees actually asked to be included in Hyne Timber’s training as well. We recognised the value in them being part of this broader supply chain team using the same processes,” Mr Richers said.
The training program at Hyne Timber is partially Government funded through both Commonwealth Incentives and the National Workforce Development Fund (since replaced by the ‘Industry Skills Fund’).
Hyne Timber employs a number of dedicated facilitators throughout its sites to ensure ongoing training and system implementation continues for both the graduates, and new employees.
Hyne Timber is currently a finalist in the Queensland North Coast Training Awards. Last year, Hyne was inducted into the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame before later being announced winner of the Queensland Training Awards – Large Employer of the Year Category.