Friday 18 Nov 2016

New Constitution & By Laws

TBA

MLA Insurance

The requirement of insurance for Business Membership will take effect as of July 1, 2016. The minimum requirements as set by the MLA Board are as follows:

  • General Liability (Public Liability & Advertising Injury) – AUD$20 million
  • Products Liability - AUD$20 million
  • Errors and Omissions - AUD$1 million
  • Loss of Keys - AUD$250,000
  • Statutory Liability - AUD$500,000

Australia

TBA

Required Limits of Liability - Business Members

TBA

General Liability

TBA

Products Liability

TBA

Errors & Omissions

TBA

Statutory Liability

TBA

Loss of Keys

TBA

 

ALTERNATE BUSINESS WEBSITES – PASSING OFF (revised)

The practice of using alternate or affiliated websites to attract customers to a business is a marketing method utilised across many industries and our industry is certainly no different.

What is causing concern from our perspective are secondary websites (third, fourth, fifth etc) with a unique URL (domain name) or alternate business name (often using a suburb as a reference point) that’s content has no connection to the business other than perhaps a phone number, purporting to be members of the Association. This may be through the use of the MLA logo or membership reference on the About Us page.

Put simply – secondary websites that have no clearly visible association or connection via content to the business or trading name that has been supplied to the MLA cannot purport to be members or reference themselves as members.

Customers must be easily able to identify who is a member of the MLA and who is not. If we (the Association) can’t decipher which member business a site belongs to, how can we expect the consumer too.

We must also emphasise that secondary websites or any website for that matter, should not incorporate the business names of competing locksmith businesses. This is passing off (making out your something you’re not) and it’s something that you shouldn’t be doing.

If you do have a secondary website that uses a domain name with no connection to your actual business name (business name attached to MLA membership) please ensure there is no reference to being a MLA Member (logo or text) or alternatively, be transparent with who you are. Have your business name and logo front and square. The design, layout or content might be different, but it is clear who the business is.

The customer will certainly appreciate it – they’ll know exactly who they are calling or which logo to expect on the uniform when the locksmith arrives at the job.

We are getting far to many complaints from the public about deceptive and misleading advertising.

 

The After Hours Conundrum

Locksmithing is a profession that operates 24-7 and where business is often born out of necessity e.g. I’m locked out of my house, can you let me in or I’ve lost my car keys and I need a replacement now.

After-hours work forms a critical component of a locksmiths job and one’s business. Ensuring the delivery of an after-hours emergency service is profitable or at the very least covers the associated costs, is a concern for a great number of businesses.

Deciding on appropriate remuneration (whilst adhering to pay conditions set out in the Award) for staff on the after-hours shift can be a constant headache for many of you, particularly if the phone doesn’t ring.

Many of you may have already have agreements in place with your staff, others may not be aware of alternate pay arrangements that can be discussed and implemented with your staff.

What does the Award say?

Any work performed outside the normal spread of hours must be paid at overtime rates – time and a half for the first three hours and double time for the fourth (an any additional hours thereafter).

Hourly Rate First 3 Hours Fourth Hour Total Wages
$20.10* $90.58 $40.16 $130.84
$30.00 $135.00 $60.00 $195.00
$40.00 $180.00 $80.00 $260.00
*$20.13 is the Adult tradespersons rate of pay. Figures are gross.

Then you add in the additional costs including petrol, tools, equipment maintenance, materials and the total cost only increases.

Are you starting to question why am I offering an after-hours service, is there a better way to do this that conforms with the rules set out by Fair Work Australia or a more poignant question – am I charging enough?

What is the alternative?

Individual Flexibility Agreements (IFA)

Individual Flexibility Agreements allow for variations to modern awards or enterprise agreements in order to meet the genuine needs of employers and individual employees while ensuring minimum entitlements and protections are not undermined.

The terms the employer and the individual employee may agree to vary the application of are those concerning:

  • arrangements for when work is performed
  • overtime rates
  • penalty rates
  • allowances
  • leave loading

For example, would allowing the employee to take a percentage or all the revenue from after-hours jobs provide a solution that benefits both the employer and employee.

The simple question to ask yourself is will the employee and the business be better off moving towards a flexible agreement arrangement?

To implement a IFA, the employee must not be any worse off than what they would be under the current Award.

Important things to note

  1. Employers responsibility to ensure that the IFA is made correctly and meets all the requirement of the Fair Work Act.

  2. The employer and the individual employee must have genuinely made the agreement without coercion or duress

  3. The agreement must result in the employee being better off overall than the employee would have been if no individual flexibility agreement had been agreed to

  4. The agreement between the employer and the individual employee must:

    1. be in writing, name the parties to the agreement and be signed by the employer and the individual employee and, if the employee is under 18 years of age, the employee’s parent or guardian;

    2. state each term of this award that the employer and the individual employee have agreed to vary;

    3. detail how the application of each term has been varied by agreement between the employer and the individual employee

    4. The employer must give the individual employee a copy of the agreement and keep the agreement as a time and wages record.

    5. Except as provided in clause 7.4(a) the agreement must not require the approval or consent of a person other than the employer and the individual employee.

    6. An employer seeking to enter into an agreement must provide a written proposal to the employee. Where the employee’s understanding of written English is limited the employer must take measures, including translation into an appropriate language, to ensure the employee understands the proposal

 

Where to from here

For each business the answer will be different, but crunch some numbers and work out the pro’s and cons for each scenario – whether you stick to what is required under the Award (MA000010) or move to a flexible arrangement where they receive all or a portion of the takings for services rendered on shift.

We will endeavour to have a pro-forma Flexibile Work Agreement available to members in the new year.