Issue 36 • December 2011
The official publication of the Australian Furniture Removers Association.
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In this issue... • Industry Safety Awards • Pay Roll Obligations • Industrial Relations Info
presidents report Issue 36. december 2011
CONTENTS 3 Presidents Report 4 Executive Directors Report 5 Member Services Report 6 Training Report 8 TWU Superannuation 11 Member Profile – Peter Borain 15 Don’t Forget Payroll Tax 16 IR Matters for the Attention of Members 18 Safety Awards from Conference
Published by the Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA) and is edited by Mr. Viv Hanley. Contributions are welcome and are acknowledged. For further details call the Executive Director. Tel: 1800 671 806 or 02 9659 5300 Fax: 02 9659 5311 PO Box 7104 Baulkham Hills Business Centre NSW 2153 Website: www.afra.com.au Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Design & Print: Russell Edmundson twistpopfizz.com.au
ell, what a turbulent time AFRA has experienced over the last couple of months.
Firstly I would like to thank you all for your continued support offered to the AFRA office through this period. I hope you all got my update recently advising of the events we have had to deal with. I am confident that everything has been handled professionally and diligently by all those involved, and I thank Viv and the team in the office for all the extra work they’ve all had to do to get through this period. We are very close to finalising the whole situation now and can all look forward to a very positive year ahead for AFRA. A short break over Christmas for the team will be one that is truly deserved. Hopefully many of you will have met Janice Prasad, our newest staff member at the AFRA office. Janice comes to the AFRA team with fantastic experience and I hope you’ll all join me in welcoming her to the AFRA family. The industry is now starting to hit its straps into the busy. Hopefully for all of us, it will be a good peak to assist us through the year ahead. Large volumes are being reported heading up to North Queensland and also to and from Darwin. Other centres seem to be experiencing similar volumes to those of recent years. All going well it will roll on from here and we might get to put a few dollars back into the bank.
The world in general seems to be at a crossroads with all of the financial problems being highlighted in Europe and the US leading to so much uncertainty, and this appears to be having a roll on effect to every corner of globe. We can only cross our fingers and hope that Australia keeps moving forward, and any negative impacts are certainly minimised here. On the local front, AFRA has been doing a lot of work in preparation for the new Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) laws that come into effect on January 1 2012, now only a few weeks away. (You’ll note the name change. It is no longer OH&S.) There has already been a lot of information sent out by the office about these new laws and how they are going to impact on all of our businesses. I’m sure that if you are still wanting more information about the changes, the information that you need will be available from the AFRA office. On that note, I’d like to wish you all a fantastic 2012, and a safe and merry Christmas with your families. Andrew Garrety President
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executive directors report
his has been an extraordinary year for AFRA. By this I mean events have occurred that no one in their life time should have to face. While they have not been life threatening, nor in fact caused any injury to anyone, I can quite accurately state that we have all been gravely wounded but have weathered this quite considerable storm and not missed a beat:- that you’d notice. I do, of course, refer to the last 2 months when it was discovered we had been the victim of an elaborate, and deliberate fraud. I don’t want to make any further mention of this here except to state that we discovered the deception, we managed the response to the individual, we had the correct procedures and protection in place, we contacted the right people to fix the problem, and we learnt a whole lot about those you should trust and those you shouldn’t. But the reason for my report this quarter is to ask you all to reassess your insurance for a fidelity issue. I didn’t think we would ever have to draw on this backup because I trust implicitly those I have around me. It never occurred to me that I could be used and betrayed in the manner that has happened. I daresay you all feel the same about those you have around you as well. I also know there are quite a number of you out there who have, unfortunately, already experienced episodes of theft by your trusted employees. It is with this in mind that I would earnestly ask that you all review the systems you have in place to protect yourselves. I have been most perturbed by those I have met in the field while either doing audits or at State Meetings who have come to me claiming that nothing like that could ever happen in their businesses.
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Until September, I would have made the same claim. I have discovered it is unwise to be so sure you are immune to this sort of activity and I would urge you all to take stock and review, one your systems and two, your insurances. While this is not an advertisement for our Brokers and Associate Members, Aldridge and Street, I would like to thank them for their diligence in procuring for us, in the first instance, the correct cover with an excellent company and then to manage the claim as it progressed through the various steps we had to follow. In light of this I would suggest that for those of you who either think they have adequate cover, or have no cover at all, call them for a chat. It may be the best phone call you ever make in your business life. It certainly was one of the best investments we made on your behalf, both in time and expenditure.
MEETING DATES We have received information from the following States regarding your next State meetings. Agendas and venue information will be sent to you closer to the date. Please keep these dates free:
ANNUAL CONFERENCE 23rd to 25th August, Queenstown, New Zealand
NATIONAL COUNCIL 24th February, 2012 19th April, 2012
NSW 13th March 2012 19th June 2012
TAS 1st March, 2012
So, having said all this, I’d like to wish you all well for this busy season. It appears to me that you’re all seeing an increase in activity and your customers are much more knowledgeable about what they want and what they are willing to pay for. Because they’re much more knowledgeable, they’re less likely to accept a mediocre job. It’s therefore up to you to deliver what you promise. Don’t forget, over this period there will be over 100,000 removals across Australia and we might receive 10 complaints out of this number. We believe that is a fantastic effort. It’s just unfortunate that this 0.00001% receive all the publicity. But then, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.
21st March, 2012 – Cairns 18th July, 2012 – Townsville
Finally, all of you have a very happy Christmas, and a wonderfully profitable New Year.
Easter – 6th to 9th April Anzac Day – 25th April Queen’s Birthday – 11th June Bank Holiday – 6th August
Viv Hanley Executive Director
VIC 7th March, 2012
QLD 29th February, 2012 1st May, 2012 25th July, 2012
SA 15th February, 2012
NT No dates at this stage
WA No dates at this stage
Other important dates:
member services report
ello All, my name is Janice Prasad and I’m the newest member of the AFRA team.
Before I dive into my life history, I should give you a heads up as to how my entrance into the world of furniture removals and AFRA has been for me. Most of you will know that my employment has been a result of much turbulence and heart break within the AFRA organisation and its members. I was given a little bit of an insight prior to my commencement of the circumstances surrounding my position and in all honesty, I had mixed emotions about the position but I believed that the situation, although rife with challenges, would prove beneficial to all once the dust finally settled. My previous position was at NSW Parliament working right alongside all those people we sometimes love to hate, approving their expenses and sometimes getting my head ripped for disallowing them as well, but seriously, what would you expect with politicians? Previous to that I was working as an Office Manager for an electrical contracting company doing just about everything. I enjoy variety and learning new skills. I recently completed a Bachelor of Social Science Degree earlier this year. I have an avid interest in learning and understanding how the world works and one day I hope to teach English to new Australians, possibly in a voluntary role later on in life. So….My first week consisted of an endless trail of discovery, conversations surrounding auditors and solicitors and then straight into interstate travel and my first National Council Meeting. I was innately aware of how deeply this issue had affected all of AFRA and its members and
expected that from time to time feelings and emotions would fester over, which it did on many an occasion. What I didn’t expect to feel was how much it also affected me. It is hard to distance yourself from people and their pain, particularly since you are in the thick of it right alongside them. To the National Council’s credit, these gentlemen made me feel very welcome in what was obviously a very difficult time for them also. I can honestly say that my initiation into this industry has been a baptism of fire to say the very least!
go into that… we’ll leave that for another time. Thank you all for your warm welcome and I look forward to working and meeting each of you in the very near future. I’d also like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year. Janice Prasad Manager Member Services
I am very pleased to be a part of it all however. From what I have observed, the furniture removal industry is like a band of brothers; they treat each other like an extension of the family and regard one another with a mutual respect. I realised this when attending my first National Council dinner as I encountered all affectionately hackling and joking with each other; it was both humbling and confrontAuto Move, excellence at every turn ing at the same Toll transports vehicles interstate and locally throughout time. Needless Australia. We draw upon a dynamic network of resources and to say, humbling specialised equipment to offer you affordable rates. and confronting is an understateWhether you are relocating family cars, prestige or classic cars, motorcycles, boats or camper trailers, we strive to provide you ment as I dodged with quality care and premium service. a wet serviette being pegged at 1300 660 616 www.tollauto.com.au my head… personally, I think that was a test but we won’t
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estern Australia has recently been bombarded with all things Removals. AFRA Members embarked on a school based “RoadShow” which has been hugely successful. The tour kicked off on the 15th November with Chess Moving Perth visiting Kent Street High School where the students viewed one of their large prime movers. The next event took place on the 17th November where Keys Bros and Kent presented to over 100 students at Canning Vale College. Nick D’Adamo explained the career pathways within the removals industry and outlined the amazing opportunities available to young school leavers, dispelling a few myths and perceptions of the industry along the way. Year 10 and 11 students took part in the educational initiative and had the opportunity to interact with displays, outdoor activities, packing cartons and even trying out their new found skills with the good old drop test.
The tour has highlighted that removals is just not about the physical aspect of moving but there are many other career opportunities that can be explored such as; estimating, business admin, operations, imports and exports and so on. Students from the schools can apply for Workplace Learning with any one of our six participating Members. The students will undertake a Certificate II school based traineeship and will be mentored by the best in the business.
Above: The drop test
As we are now full swing into the busy period I would like to remind Members and employees of the vital importance of safety over the Christmas period. What should be a joyous time can often result in a very busy and stressful period where some shortcuts are often taken to get the job done in time. Remember, “there are no shortcuts when it comes to safety” so on that note I’d like to wish you all a Safe and Merry Christmas and I look forward to another year of Training in 2012.
Kent and Keys Bros training team.
n Friday 2nd of December, we visited our friends at Bear Cottage and presented them with a generous cheque, being the proceeds from this years auction at the conference.
at this time of the year for all the great gifts we have, of health, happiness, family and business.
In return we have been presented with this delightful statue of their trademark bear, waving in thanks. It is appropriate for us all to give thanks
While our activities are with our own families and friends, our thoughts are firmly with those families being challenged with the ultimate test
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of courage and love. To you all we offer our love and encouragement. We know money can’t make things better, but we hope it goes someway in making you all more comfortable.
Planning for the future
Brisbane Project Division Gold Coast
Geraldton Perth - Bayswater Perth - Bibra Lake Adelaide Melbourne - Sunshine
Newcastle Newcastle Self Storage Central Coast Sydney - St Marys Sydney - Moorebank Canberra Melbourne - Clayton Hobart
Introducing our Newest Associate Member at the Silver Level
he TWUSUPER may be known to many of you already. We are very pleased to have them aboard supporting the removal industry. Their membership begins on the 1st of January and I’m sure you will want to catch up with them at various State meetings and at the conference in August. The following information is by way of introduction, letting you know what they can do for you and how you can contact them.
Hardworking super for people in the removal industry Members of AFRA can join TWUSUPER – the $2.7 billion industry super fund for people in transport and logistics. As an industry super fund, TWUSUPER is run only to benefit members. It does this by maintaining low fees, not paying commissions, providing low
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cost insurance and pension options and delivering products and services tailored to the needs of the transport and logistics industry. That’s why today, TWUSUPER is the superannuation choice of almost 15,000 businesses with more than 130,000 members.
TWUSUPER is the easier choice for business • No business fees • Access to knowledgeable super specialists • Dedicated employer hotline providing administrative support • Regular superannuation information updates • Easy to use online administration • Flexible payment options • Clearing house facilities so you can make multiple payments to multiple funds under ‘choice of fund’ • Regular investment updates • Free super information sessions for your staff
Super that delivers to members • • • •
• • • • • • •
Low fees Strong long term performance Choice of investment options Personalised assistance from people who understand the removal industry Flexible and affordable insurance cover Super that moves from job to job Online account access Help filling in paperwork at a time and place to suit members Education sessions at the workplace Low cost pension options as members transition to retirement Extra member benefits like low cost banking and affordable, unbiased financial planning
Like to know more? To discuss your current superannuation arrangements, get answers to questions or find out more about our
products and services, just call one of TWUSUPERâ€™s business development consultants on one of the numbers following. NSW, ACT Michael Darmanin 02 8893 1238 0447 668 005 VIC, SA, TAS, NT John Cotter 03 9646 8590 0418 547 742 QLD Graham Parsons 07 3324 1647 0402 039 179 WA Brendon Adams 08 9355 3022 0448 067 679 Below: Brendon Adams
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his issue of On the Move features as our Member Profile, Peter Borain of Metromovers in Melbourne. How long have you been in the removals industry? 7 Years. When did you start and why? My partner Mairead and I and our two daughters emigrated from South Africa 8 years ago. We arrived with the intention of starting a business. Having both been involved in the services industry we set out to find something within this sector. While researching our options, we came across and bought a small business called Whitehorse Removals which consisted of one truck and a few future bookings. It was enough to get us started. We made numerous changes and re-branded the name to the MetroMovers. Would you do the same things if you had your time over again or would you change things? Under the circumstances at the time we would have done the same thing. It has worked out well for us.
Would you tell us some of your favourite moments in the industry? • Taking delivery of one of our first purposely built removals trucks. • The recent opening of our Sydney depot. • The great company culture at MetroMovers and enjoying working with a dynamic group of people. • Our management team who is creative and competitive and driven and we love the constant excitement and challenges of the business • and most recently, being rewarded by our recent inclusion into the BRWfast100 for 2011. Would you tell us some of your worst moments in the industry and how you managed the issues either in solving them or having to grin and bear it? In the earlier days we were invited to tender on a very large commercial relocation, which was awarded to us. Unfortunately at the time we were not in a position to logistically service it and we had to turn down the job. It was a hard decision but we realized we were doing the right thing and it has set the benchmark for how we are expanding our business; to never compromise on quality and service by over-promising what we cannot deliver. If you could change something within the removals industry, what would it be? Our industry is not regulated and I am not sure it should be. There are some areas however, in which regulation is essential. A watchdog should be set up to ensure that removalist and removals companies adhere to statutory and basic requirements in order to operate in the industry. Customers
are unaware of the risks associated with hiring companies who do not comply with basic industry standards. What do you like to do most when you are not working? Our family has always been involved in sports and have competed in numerous endurance sports including cycling, triathlons, rowing and adventure racing. I am currently active in surf life saving and masters swimming. Recently, Mairead and I ran the Gold Coast marathon together and last weekend we bought a double surfski and paddled it from Port Melbourne to Mount Eliza. We enjoy taking our girls on bush camping and other out-there adventures. On the lighter side I enjoy reading business and marketing material and a really good cappuccino. If you didn’t have to work tomorrow and money was no object, what would you be doing? I enjoy a challenge and always like to be actively creating or doing something. I would diversify and put that no-object-money to good work and continue developing and moving forward. Of course, I would balance this with spending long periods of time having wonderful adventures all over the world with my family and seeing a lot more of our family in South Africa. Retirement does not inspire me at all. Finally, where do you want to be, and what do you want to be doing in ten years time? I would like to think we will achieve our goals and set new ones along the way. Our roles in the business will develop and change with this. 10 years from now we will hope to have more great dynamic people working together in a global enterprise.
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Do You Have Good Roadside Assist Cover?
n September, Jan and I undertook an audit road trip around WA visiting all our member companies in the farthest reaches of the State from Esperence to Karratha. We continued our audit road trip across the Gibb River Road to Kununurra and then to Katherine and up to Darwin. We spent 2 days visiting companies in Darwin before setting sail for Alice one very early morning, completing the trip in one day arriving at 7pm. Like the good trucking couple we are, we drove 100 kilometres each at a time making it a very pleasant way to spend the day. I have to report that it was really worth travelling the distance and visiting all our members. It was valuable from all sides, I got to see their depots and they got to show them to me. There is obviously a great deal of pride in our member companies and it shows. But that’s not the topic for my article today. It is about an incident we experienced in Gilgandra, NSW. Now I’m going to have to give you some background before I get to Gilgandra. We were travelling in our 100 Series Toyota Landcruiser. As we were about to embark on the round WA/ Australia trip we thought replacing the tyres would be a good idea as two had passed the 85,000km mark being
the same tyres we’d travelled Russia and Mongolia on. We had had 2 tyres just recently expire with punctures. Unfortunately, replacing them with our chosen brand was impossible as they are as scarce as hen’s teeth, much to the chagrin of the suppliers who were hamstrung by their overseas suppliers who don’t think Australia is very important. But the upshot of this was that we had to start the trip on two front BF Goodrich tyres (85,000km) and 2 spares we had as part of our 4x4 driving kit. One was the original Dunlop and another a Bridgestone. We also had 2 Bridgestones as spares. We had these all checked before setting out and it was confirmed we would easily make the distance considering the condition and tread were still good. The vehicle was also serviced. (We do this before any long trip.) All went very well for the first 8,000km. Unfortunately, we hadn’t counted on the Gibb River Road. About 100km from the end of the road we had a spectacular blow out. This wasn’t just a little pfft, but a massive boom. The result was a tyre that looked like it had been knitted. Of course, we had no idea where all the tyre changing gear in the car was because we’d not had a puncture on the road recently, for 85,000km actually. It took us an
hour to replace the wheel. But the road wasn’t finished with us yet. About 50k from Kununurra, in the dark, the other back wheel deflated. We replaced that in 15 minutes. Well, we knew where all the gear was now. But we were still 8000km from home and were out of spares. (We always carry 2 and this is the first time we have had to use both). The plan was to spend the night in Kununurra anyway, so this we did. While having dinner at the hotel, we mentioned our dilemma to the waiter about needing 2 new tyres for the morning. “No problems”, he announced and rushed off to get us the brochure that gave us a discount for tyres at ‘his mates’ place. So in the morning we made our way to the tyre specialist grateful the 4 remaining tyres we had had remained inflated over night. Arriving at the tyre place we asked, jokingly, do you have any BF Goodrich All Terrain to fit our vehicle. Knowing that the whole country had been unable to acquire any, we felt sure we’d have to resort to something we really didn’t want. “As a matter of fact’, he said. “I had 6 come in yesterday. A customer took 2 and I have 4 left. I’ve had them on back order for 6 months.” Within seconds he had none left and we were properly shod and on our way. Of the L-R: Allied Esperence; Wridgways Kalgoorlie; Gibb River Road; Blown tyre.
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Clockwise from top left: Will that Landcruiser really fit on that tow truck; Another long days driving; Grace Bunbury; Sign on outback toilet door.
best two tyres we kept for the spares, one is a BF Goodrich that has completed 100,000km. Our new ones are on back order. We continued in supreme confidence to Darwin, then Alice. We stopped overnight in Coober Pedy and then set off for home early in the morning. In all we averaged 1000km per day to cover the ground we had to over the 16 days. Include in that the 2 days we spent in Perth, Darwin and a weekend break in Denham. All went well until we were 40km from Cobar. All of a sudden there was an ominous noise in the front left wheel. Stopping to look, there was no obvious problem. We drove slowly into Cobar and made it to the Toyota Dealership where they immediately took the truck into the workshop to inspect. It appeared a stone had lodged itself between the rotor and the brake pad. It wasn’t until we were half way between Gilgandra and Mendooran in the NSW hinterland, 450km from Sydney, that we were stopped in our tracks by what proved to be fatal, and undetected at Cobar. The truck could not move, the front wheel was ‘broke’. Now we get to the reason for my story. As isolated as we were, on the fringe of telephone reception we managed to get a call to the NRMA to ask for help. It took several attempts because the reception was unreliable but we finally got the message to them as to
exactly where we were and they said they were on their way – and then the phones died, both of them. But in 45 minutes, a tow truck arrived and winched her onto the back, lifting the tow trucks nose off the ground in the process. We were returned to Gilgandra where a full inspection could be made. It was there discovered the wheel bearings had melted and welded themselves to the hub. A very sorry state of affairs and one that couldn’t be fixed overnight, and certainly not in Gilgandra. It was then we discovered we had wisely subscribed to the Premium Roadside Assist NRMA program some 5 months before. I had wondered at why I should pay the extra at the time, but as we live in a fairly remote location decided it was just a sensible option. The NRMA, once they’d had the mechanics report that the truck really was ‘indisposed’ went into full swing in an effort to return us to Sydney. They went to extraordinary lengths to make sure we had all we needed. First, they put us up in a motel in Gilgandra. There being no hire cars or even taxi services in Gilgandra, they dispatched a taxi from Dubbo, some 65 kilometres away, to come and get us. This accomplished, we
arrived in Dubbo and were delivered to the Hertz hire car depot where we were presented with the top of the range Ford Falcon XT: a black one, for three days. This got us back to Sydney, but there was still the matter of the truck. The next morning at 5am, a towing company from Mendooran arrived at Gilgandra and picked up the Landcruiser and delivered it to our local Toyota service centre by 2 pm the next day. The cost to us – zip. The cost to NRMA - $2,000. Is Premium Membership worth it? You’ve got to believe it. We would recommend everyone who travels extensively, to look at this service offered by the Motoring Associations. It has to be one of the best investments we ever made. We’d like to congratulate the NRMA on this wonderful service. We were rescued from what could have been an impossible situation. And the repair on the vehicle? - took 6 weeks. A whole new stub axle assembly had to be imported from Japan before we had her back on her feet. Have to admit, we wondered what the roadside assist would have been like for Mongolia!
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x a T l l o r y a P
by Peter Bembrick, HLB Mann Judd Sydney
hile there is always a lot of focus on what the ATO is doing, businesses should also be prepared for a knock on the door by one of the State revenue offices. The annual registration thresholds, based on total wages paid by the business throughout Australia, vary from $550,000 in Victoria up to $1,500,000 in NT and ACT. It is common for businesses to register in the State where the main business operations are located, but neglect to register in other states where they have a small number of employees. For example, Orange Pty Limited has total Australian wages of $2m, mostly in NSW, but it has two employees in Victoria where total wages are just $120,000. While the Victorian operation itself is relatively small, the company must register for payroll tax in Victoria because its total Australian wages exceed the threshold of $550,000. We have seen increased audit and review activity by State revenue offices across the country focusing on key industries identified by the ATO as having a high level of payroll tax risk. There are so many traps in the payroll tax rules that the auditors usually find something and conducting a review of your payroll is paramount to minimising the risk of falling into these traps. In NSW, for example, nearly 3,000 registered businesses were audited, resulting in an average additional payroll tax liability of around $29,000 plus interest and penalties. At the same time, over 2,500 unregistered businesses were audited, with more than 60% found to be over the
threshold, with on average around $27,000 payroll tax owing, plus penalties. While the rules vary across the various States and Territories there are some common themes in terms of key risk areas in the furniture removalist industry. These include: • Payments to contractors, including “one-man bands” even where using a company • Using owner/driver contractors • Grouping rules that can bring together related entities and businesses • Failure to report certain items such as bonuses and commissions • Superannuation contributions and fringe benefits The revenue offices can apply hefty fines, penalties and interest, but as with the ATO it is possible to minimise or eliminate the penalties by making a voluntary disclosure. The best policy is always to identify the problem and put up your hand before they get to you.
positions, the scrutiny from revenue offices can only be expected to get tougher, and it pays to be ready when you get the call. HLB Mann Judd can assist you with any tax or accounting issues for your business, as well as succession and strategic planning. We have many years of experience working with family owned and operated businesses in the freight and transport sector. For assistance please call Peter Bembrick on (02) 9020 4223 or by e-mail email@example.com
Peter Pembrick HLB, Mann Judd, Sydney
There are also some opportunities or savings that can be made with good planning. For example, ensure that wages are excluded from payroll tax calculations where they have been effectively reimbursed to the business through a workers compensation claim. Also in NSW there is currently a job creation incentive in the form of a rebate of up to $4,000 per employee for new positions created since 1 July 2011 and maintained for at least two years. In the current uncertain economic climate, and with State governments looking for every available dollar of revenue to shore up their budget
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Various IR matters for the attention of Members Ordinary hours of work under the RTD Award
removers allowance however continue to receive enquiries.
We have received several calls regarding the issue of how many ordinary hours can be worked by an employee under the Road Transport and Distribution Award before overtime becomes payable. The answer is:
Full-time employees are entitled to the full weekly allowance – with part-time employees entitled to a pro-rata component based upon the hours worked.
1. Where an accrued RDO (per month) system is in operation, overtime is payable after 8 hours has been worked. 2. Where no accrued RDO (per month) system is in operation, overtime is payable after 7.6 hours has been worked. The reason for this is that ‘ordinary hours’ is an average of 38 hours per week – worked in accordance with the options provided in the Award. If an RDO is being accrued the employee works 40 hours a week in the first 3 weeks (banking 6 hours toward an RDO per month) and 32 hours in the last week (4 x 8 hour days) – which is a total of 152 hours over the 4 weeks or an average of 38 hours per week. It is for this reason that overtime doesn’t commence until after 8 hours of work. Where no RDO is worked there is no ‘banking of time toward a day off’ so the overtime commences after 7.6 hours. Of course, if employers are paying in excess of the Award rate and implement an Enterprise Agreement or an appropriately drafted contract of employment the above award component of the salary can be used to extend the time worked before overtime commences – but only in these circumstances. Furniture Removers Allowance We have previously advised members about the application of furniture
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The ombudsman is of the view that a casual employee is entitled to the full weekly amount – regardless of the hours worked in a week – and therefore this amount should be provided. Of course, if implementing an Enterprise Agreement our view is this allowance could be made an hourly allowance and therefore tied to ordinary hours worked in regard to casuals. It is important to remember however, that if you are loading the furniture removers allowance into the hourly rate, that the employee is provided with written notification that the above award component of the hourly rate is in compensation for the furniture removers allowance and that this is maintained as a time and wage record for future reference. Recent decision regarding an Enterprise Agreement allows roll-up of leave entitlements A recent decision of Fair Work Australia approved an Enterprise Agreement which ‘rolled-up’ payment for leave entitlements into an hourly rate. The result of this is that employees working subject to the Agreement will still be entitled to 4 weeks annual leave (if full-time) and 10 days personal leave – however if they take the time off they won’t be paid as the hourly rate already builds in payment for the holidays and so employees are effectively paid these entitlements as they work on a progressive basis.
This is a most unusual outcome however opens the way for members to consider implementing similar conditions in an Enterprise Agreement. Remember this can only be achieved where an Enterprise Agreement containing such terms is approved by Fair Work Australia and would otherwise be unlawful. Christmas Parties It’s that time of year again. But remember, end of year Christmas functions are a regular source of discrimination and harassment claims. Remember too - Employers have a vicarious liability for the conduct of their employees in the workplace – this means if one of your employees harasses another employee at your Christmas party, then you may be liable for his or her conduct, unless you have done all that is reasonable to have prevented its occurrence. What can you do? Apart from having a discrimination, harassment and bullying policy, a procedure for resolving complaints, explaining all of this to staff and investigating and addressing complaints – in regard to any upcoming Christmas parties we recommend employers provide a memorandum to all staff detailing the following: • If Kris Kringles (gifts between staff members) are part of the festive celebrations ensure that all staff know beforehand that gifts must not be potentially offensive or embarrassing for anyone. Gifts should not be lewd, racist, sexist or in any manner breach any discrimination or harassment policy. • Make sure you remind all staff that the discrimination and harassment policy applies at all Christmas
New Associate Bronze Member –
King Hoists functions and that employees should review the policy to ensure compliance and that they behave appropriately at Christmas functions. Refer them to examples of behaviour that is unacceptable in the policy. • Where alcohol is provided or available at the Christmas function, remind staff of their obligation to drink responsibly and not to drive if they intend to drink. You may also consider assisting employees to obtain taxis on the evening. • Staff should be informed that the Christmas party commences at a certain time, and more importantly, ceases at a particular time. The memorandum should state that should festivities continue after that time, regardless of where or who is in attendance, such festivities are outside of the company Christmas function and the company accepts no responsibility or liability for any actions or incidents which may occur. While some employees may react by saying you have taken away their Christmas fun, the reality is that the requirements of the law are such that if an employer doesn’t act in the manner described above it risks being liable. Who would want to throw a party and carry the liability because an invitee acts inappropriately? At the end of the day have fun – but don’t get stung! Enjoy your Christmas festivities! IR Assist can assist you to ensure you comply with your lawful obligations and/ or to implement an EA in your business to give you a lawful and protected footing moving forward. p: 1300 393 519 W: www.irassist.com.au e: firstname.lastname@example.org
e are pleased to announce that King Hoists in Sydney has become our newest Bronze Associate Member. As well, Michael King has just announced he now can offer a new service for our members in S.E. Queensland. Until now a balcony hoist service has only been available in Sydney, through King Hoists. Now this service is also available in Brisbane and on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, through Blue-Chip Technology. The new truck-mounted ladder hoist can lift furniture up to 28 metres in height (approximately an eighth floor) and carry a maximum of 400 kg. AFRA has been recommending the use of the balcony hoist as the preferred solution for lifting furniture over balconies. This has seen extensive use by AFRA-member companies of the service provided by King Hoists in the Sydney area. We welcome this extension of a very valuable service. Contact details for balcony hoists are as follows: For Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and Canberra, ring Michael King, King Hoists, on 0404 032 320. email@example.com www.kinghoists.com.au. For Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, ring Stephen Lee, Blue-Chip Technology, on 0427 015 207. firstname.lastname@example.org www.bluechiptechnology.net
Jim McClusky 1941 - 2011
im McCluskey, the former head of Grace Removals in Australia and the President of FIDI for 1988 and 1989 died on 1 December. He was 70. Mr. McCluskey was one of the most respected names in the international moving industry and a hugely popular individual in his own right. As a visionary, he did much to change the way International Removals were operated and how this arm of the removal industry, presented itself to the world. Within Australia, Jim was much admired by his peers and his legacy will live on through the many vital procedural changes he instigated for the industry he loved. AFRA extends its sincere condolences to his wife Irene and son Paul, as well as his brothers David, Frank, Rick and sister Fiona. AFRA has been happy to make a donation to the Make A Wish Foundation at the request of the family, rather than send flowers. If you would also like to honour his memory, a donation can be sent to the Make a Wish Foundation at email@example.com The funeral service was held in Brisbane on Thursday 8th December 2011.
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AFRA WORKPLACE SAFETY AWARDS We have had comments from some members regarding the fact that we left out the winners of the Safety Awards at this years conference FROM THE LAST MAGAZINE. I just wanted to reassure you that it was intentional. We simply ran out of room and decided to run a separate acknowledgement in the next On the Move, which is this one.
SMALL BUSINESS SAFETY AWARD
in workers compensation expense with a saving of 20% for the 2011 year.
Sponsored by Australian Workplace Management
Congratulations to Kim Mosely and the staff of Chess Moving Perth.
Like previous recipients and applicants for the Safety Award for small to medium businesses, this yearâ€™s winner has clearly demonstrated that a positive safety culture is achievable and safety awareness can be maintained, leading to measurable positive results for the organisation and all its workers. Success has been achieved by having a structured safety management system that is embedded into daily operations. This facilitates ongoing procedures including risk assessment, demonstratable worker competencies and positive worker consultation. The safety procedures have been in place for some years and have developed to the level of compliance with the Australian Standard for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems.
penalty for claims history. This has been achieved by continual improvement in hazard and risk identification and worker awareness of appropriate assessment and control measures in the workplace. With the introduction of the OHS harmonisation laws in January when duty of care will reach far beyond the physical safety boundaries, the organisation has developed programs to ensure workers mental health and capacity is cared for.
Previous initiatives dedicated to minimising President Mike Jones presenting Paul Connor from Crown Relocations with their award. physical workplace injuries have allowed the company to LARGE BUSINESS shift their focus towards the mental SAFETY AWARD health of workers. Stress and depression are the largest contributors to Sponsored by lost productivity in Australia, directly Australian Workplace Management costing employers an estimated $10 The Safety Management Award for billion a year. Workplace counselling a large company this year went to for anxiety and stress has increased by Crown Relocations who has continu10% compounded since 2007. ally improved on past performances. Natalie Moiler and Anthony Crown has devised a program that Crown Relocations has mainHynam with the AFRA 2011 will continue to be rolled out during tained its record of no new Safety Award 2011. The program has already delivrecorded workers compensation ered positive measurable results claims nationally for the 2010 â€“ and recently was honoured by 2011 financial year, from both the Australian Human Resources employees and contractors. The Initiative with a Highly Commended significance of this achievement Award for the education of all workers is validated by the fact that this on the implication of mental health in rating of zero claims encomthe workplace. In the coming months passes nearly 300 workers across 6 each branch will participate in awarebranch operations. ness and management programs The effectiveness and worker accep- Investment in safety has yielded a covering anti-bullying and harasstance of this yearâ€™s recipient initiatives workers compensation expense based ment for all staff aptly named Dignity is evidenced by a continual reduction upon the basic tariff rate without any at Work.
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Letter from a Member
Contributed by Allison Lipman of Coffs Removals Storage and Packaging
O SPECIAL SAFETY AWARD Sponsored by AFRA This year it was decided to recognise an Associate Member with a special safety award. Paul Kurts, of Homewrap accepted the award on behalf of his whole organisation from President, Mike Jones. Homewrap have maintained a wonderful record of safety over a long period and pride themselves in keeping their workers safe with innovative programs and constant monitoring. Safety is an issue for all our members and it is worth noting the efforts made by not only the furniture removal side of our industry, but our suppliers as well.
Mike Jones presenting Paul Kurts of Homewrap with their special award.
ur company, Coffs Removals Storage & Packaging (CRSP), is a major sponsor for men with mental health problems getting back into the work force. We recently attended the 6th annual art show held by CHESS Employment in Coffs Harbour in October. As our company is a family owned & operated business, we thought it would be great if there were a group of us that attended. Matthew Lipman, the CRSP Managing Director gave a speech on his thoughts of the subject of mental health in men and pointed out that many of us do not realise that this is a very real problem throughout all industries for business owners and employees. Matthew stated that men with these health issues can be integrated into the work force quite successfully with the correct management and care. When we are able to assist these men back to work, their self esteem improves immeasurably and they once again begin to feel worthwhile and useful. He spoke about the importance of business owners and employees attending to their duty of care. He said it was so important that business owners implement and maintain management systems with regards to safety & training, driver fatigue, stress management, bullying & intimidation to protect their valuable resource, their employees. It was a very successful evening at the art show. The presentation was excellent and the meet and greet was a great opportunity for CRSP staff to make contact with the local business owners who shared with us several of their own personal stories with regards to mental health problems in the work place.
Top: Max Graham. (CRSP Commercial Manager) and Lindsay Poynter in the middle of ‘The walk of Thought – what you put your mind to you can achieve ‘– one of the exhibits at the show.
CRSP sponsored the “SAFE STRONG Above: The “Paperbark Tree”. HANDS” uplift & delivery of all art works. This required some ingenuity on our behalf when it came to the relocation & delivery of the “Paperbark Tree”. This particular piece of art was extremely fragile and had to be handled with great care & attention. Editors note: We always like to hear from members who are involved in local events, who are supporting the community and getting the AFRA brand out there.
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Brisbane Project Division Gold Coast
Geraldton Perth - Bayswater Perth - Bibra Lake Adelaide Melbourne - Sunshine
Newcastle Newcastle Self Storage Central Coast Sydney - St Marys Sydney - Moorebank Canberra Melbourne - Clayton Hobart