OPINION | EMOTIONAL LOAD

“People want their cake and want to eat it too”. The somewhat naïve but totally innocent comment made by a family member, regarding business closures and border shutdowns in the state of Queensland sparked a fierce reaction.

Whilst I do not disagree that the Queensland State Government has done an excellent job of containing Coronavirus, especially given the recent events in the state of Victoria, it would be remiss to not understand or to underestimate the impact that closures have had on local businesses’, especially in our local area.

From an economic stance, small businesses account for 35 per cent of Australia’s gross domestic profit and employ 44 per cent of Australia’s workforce.

Recently I was talking to a local accountant, and she aptly described Covid as a cliff, that many are about to fall off once JobKeeper ends.  

With Covid, there was no preparation or planning. Everything just stopped, literally overnight. There was no ability to trade out of tough times, there simply was no trade. Taking a wildlife park or reef trip online doesn’t work! Adapting can only go so far if you are a tourism business.

Back to the cake comment. It was this comment made by this family member that made me realise that people do not realise the emotional load that we give our small businesses, and if they fail as we are starting to see as a result of covid, the mental fall out of a business failure is long and arduous.

No one quite realises the amount of blood, sweat and tears that go into a business, or if they do they don’t realise the extent of dreams, concentration, time spent away from family to build it.

Having a business is more than owning it, it’s more than the product or service, it represents the dream, pride and for some it’s an identity. 

People who believe that having a small business is about greed and making money, have clearly never had a small business!

For the majority of small businesses owners it is certainly not a pathway to a million dollar mansion! Small business ownership is about realising a dream, and putting everything on the line for it to work. Usually it’s about mortgaging your house, your kids’ education, your superannuation. So, to have someone say it’s about having cake and eating it too is just simply offensive.

Covid restrictions are more than the economic impact, they are for some who have to change their businesses, or reduce their footprint greatly, a loss of identity. A sense of failure (which is not their fault), a loss of many years, sometimes even generations of work.

So many sacrifices made that have not been rewarded by overtime payments, by bonus’ payments, they have been rewarded in the satisfaction of building a dream. Not only that, small business failure is the loss of many jobs that the sector employs.

Be kind to those small business owners, support local. We are all in this together, and whilst we may have differing views on border closures and political policies, none of that changes the fact that Covid has had a rapid impact on our local mum and dad businesses, and to save them we all need to work together.

Webinar Recording: Casual Employment Under the Spotlight

Covid-19 Recovery Group – Webinar

Click here for the Webinar Recording:

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/play/vcIuIbz9-D83GdOT4wSDA_4vW9Tuev2sgXAf__YLmh7jAndRM1b3MuNAMOpuGjdrMI1pmv_B8NCwaZTs?startTime=1591311506000

This webinar covers the following topics:
** What does the new Workpac case mean for casual employment in your business?
** Do you need to make changes to your casual employment arrangements?
** The importance of casual conversion
** JobKeeper update
** JobMaker… what does this mean for you?

Congratulations! You have made it to mid- May 2020

You have now reached Level 5 of Jumanji! 

The workplace and business environment are still dominated by confusion and anxiety – and the with the constant changes it really is starting to feel like we are in a game of Jumanji.   Unfortunately, with these changes introduced the industrial relations environment has become even more clouded and uncertain.

We’ve tried to re-cap below the best that we can:

Stand Downs 

Are you a business that has decided that the ten-person rule just means that it is uneconomical to re-open at this stage?

  • The Pre JobKeeper Stand Down that you have issued your staff (so those stand downs that you issued when the restrictions were first put in place, prior to JobKeeper even becoming a word!), now needs to be replaced with a JobKeeper Directives Letter (contact us if you do not have these and have not sent these out to your staff, they are a Fair Work requirement)
  • The Stand Down is no longer relevant as it can be argued that you are not closed for “reasons outside of your control”

ATO Notification Details

  • It is now become clear that the Employer has an obligation to notify all employees that their details have been provided to the ATO for the payment fortnight, within 7 days of that payment fortnight
  • Our recommendation is that you can add a note to your payslip to state this
  • Suggested wording (thanks to our friends at CCIQ):
    • In accordance with section 6(4) of the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Rules 2020 this memorandum is to confirm that [insert business name] has given information to the Australian Taxation Commissioner, including your details, and details about your entitlement,  confirming you are an eligible employee to receive JobKeeper payments for the payment fortnight/s to [insert end date of payment fortnight].  
    • We will continue to make JobKeeper payments to you in accordance with the eligibility rules.

JobKeeper Nomination Notices (ATO has amended the form)

  • The ATO have amended the nomination notice (around juniors and their eligibility)
  • If you have a workforce that includes juniors, we recommend re-issuing these forms and getting them completed again by employees

Covid Safe Workplace

We needed some new words in our vocabulary – and this week’s catch phrase is a “Covid Safe Workplace”.  What is a Covid Safe workplace?   It is simply having a workplace plan in place that ensures that you have identified all of the risks of Covid when reopening and protect your customers and staff.

The absolute best website with industry specific details is:

I would also just like to re-cap on my last https://hrdynamics.com.au/2020/05/08/leadership-in-corona-recovery-phase-1/ post where I talked about some of the anger that we are starting to see. 

I touched on the fact that we are starting to see employees react with anger and frustration and management is becoming even more difficult and leadership is even more important during these times.   The part of our brain that is response for the fight or flight response is also responsible for fear.  Fear in turn is then responsible for higher levels of agitation which and very quickly turn unto anger and annoyance and conflict.   When dealing with staff, remember that they are feeling a very primary emotion – fear.  Bring out your best management skills, pushing your employees into a corner and then making them come out swinging is not going to solve anything at this stage. 

Mental health experts are starting to study the fact that our response to the virus may outlast the virus and the ramifications of the virus itself.  We are lucky that we have been (to date) able to control the virus as we have, we now need to make sure that we are setting ourselves up mentally to be able to cope with the constant changes and changes in our lives.  There is no one size fits all, we just need to ensure that we have times of mindfulness in our days, structure, routine and that we still connect with those close to us to ensure that we maintain a sense of meaning and purpose.  Do what works for you.

As a final note, one of the things that we are totally enjoying is watching John Krasinski (of “The Office” fame) SGN… channel on YouTube.  SGN stand for Some Good News –  Highly recommend this channel as a bit of light relief in these times.  YouTube it – you won’t regret it!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOe_y6KKvS3PdIfb9q9pGug