Here are 7 viable and creative alternatives available to employers when an employee's performance or conduct becomes an issue:
1. unpaid suspensions
2. fines (when you navigate the legal nuances – this is why we have jobs!)
3. alternative role/demotion
4. withholding of pay increase or bonus
5. increased supervision
6. regular internet and email spot-checking
7. focussed training
Some Practical Examples
Need to reprimand an employee who has been making bullying and harassing remarks to others? Why not enforce extra supervision and email spot-checking on their work computer and mobile devices. Got an employee who was caught falsifying time sheets? Their bonus could be withheld for that year or years to come. How about an employee who is consistently failing to meet their targets? A demotion to a lower position with reduced targets and corresponding lower pay might fit the bill.
Employee agreement is necessary though
Importantly, if you want to be able to use some of these tools (1 to 4 to be precise), you will need to ensure you have the right to do so under the relevant employment agreement or enterprise agreement. Without the employee expressly consenting to the action being taken, there is a risk you could end up in court, or with the Fair Work Ombudsman dropping by to say “Hello” (amongst other things). If an employee hasn’t consented to this approach, they may claim, for example, adverse action or repudiation of their contract.
For advice on performance managing employees, contact us at HR Tactics. www.hrtactics.com.au or contact Jackie directly on 0406 146 116 Jackie@hrtactics.com.au