How to check if your venue is HR Compliant?
The consequences of being non-compliant could be dire for your venue
Hospitality HR Management – well, that word may not be music to many café & restaurant owners. It is an issue that more often than not is ignored by hospo business owners at their own risk.
So what is Hospitality HR Management? It is simply – the implementation of compliant and effective human resource practices in your business and includes but not limited to legally binding employment contracts, comprehensive employee position descriptions, workplace health & safety policies, employee dispute resolution management and workplace processes & documents.
With an increasing number of hospitality staff turning to Fair Work for assistance with recovering unpaid wages, underpayment of wages and other work-related issues, it is imperative hospitality business owners take the issue of HR, employee management and workplace safety very seriously. Now more than ever, more and more hospo businesses are being investigated by Fair Work for various employment breaches.
Below are some questions that all hospitality business owners should need to have a think about.
1. Are your staff employment contracts legally compliant and comprehensive enough to cover all situations, including potential employee disputes that may arise?
2. Do you have a HR system in place that covers your workplace processes and documents, employee disputes resolution process, staff warnings, etc?
3. Are your employee pay-rates in line with the relevant industry award?
4. Are your Work Health & Safety policies current and legally compliant?
5. Does your venue have a Health & Safety Handbook that you provide to your employees?
6. Is your work cover policy up to date?
7. Are staff position descriptions comprehensive enough to cover the duties they undertake?
Does your venue have a restaurant bookkeeper who is happy to get the numbers right but does not focus on the important aspect of HR Management? In today’s environment, it is not enough to hire a number-cruncher bookkeeper (there are hundreds of these waiting to grab your attention). For an industry like hospitality, the experience and expertise of a qualified restaurant bookkeeper is invaluable.
An experienced restaurant bookkeeper will take the time to evaluate your business from a HR point of view, assess the risks present and implement a detailed plan of action to ensure compliance with Fair Work. Undoubtedly, the most pressing HR issue in hospitality is exposure to legal risks.
Below are some HR issues that you can prioritise in your hospitality venue –
1. Review your Employment Contracts – make sure they incorporate the relevant employment award, employment status, working hours including overtime and penalties, employment conditions including leave and other entitlements, remuneration, clear position descriptions, adherence to your venue policies and procedures, privacy statement, reporting structure, protection of intellectual property, termination process and dispute resolution.
2. Review your Work Health and Safety Policies – WHS laws and regulations keep changing all the time. This means you need to ensure that your work health and safety policies are relevant as well as legally compliant at all times. By doing this, you are ensuring the physical safety as well as the mental health of your employees. Risk assessment is an inherent part of this process – assess what risks might arise in your workplace and what the consequences might be, and implement processes and systems to mitigate these employment risks.
3. Keep up to date with Hospitality Industry updates – State as well as industry regulations keep changing all the time. For example, employee super increased to 10% from 1st July 2021. While some software like XERO can automatically update this for you, other software may not have this functionality which means you or your restaurant bookkeeper needs to manually update this in the accounting software. Award rates keep changing all the time, it is important to stay on top of these as well. A hospitality bookkeeper can help you keep on top of all these changes as they are the first ones to receive notifications regarding any changes and updates to the hospitality industry regulations.
4. Invest in your staff – undoubtedly, this is the most important action that you could take to ensure the success of your venue. As they say, Happy Staff = Happy Customers. Reward your employees for meeting their KPI’s or something as small as going out of their way to fix something for an unhappy customer, encourage feedback so that they feel they can approach you with any questions or issues that may arise, build positive working relationships, and most importantly, lead by example.
As restaurant bookkeeping experts, our focus here at Brunch & Books is not only on improving your profitability by implementing smart bookkeeping systems & processes, but HR is an integral part of the service we provide to our hospo clients. We assist our clients with employment contracts, workplace policies, position descriptions, performance review and management and risk management.
You don’t need to invest in expensive HR systems (these are excellent, and I recommend these if your cashflow allows it), all you need is a comprehensive checklist that ticks all the boxes and covers you for any employment related issues that may arise in the future. If you think your hospo venue might benefit from the expertise of an expert restaurant bookkeeper like Brunch & Books, please get in touch with us today to see how we can assist you to stay HR-compliant 100%, at all times!