HC Online’s most commented articles of 2016

by HCA28 Dec 2016
HR professionals are an opinionated and intelligent group. Here's what got them fired up in 2016:
  1. Philosopher slams HR departments, 13 July 2016
Philosopher and business consultant, Alain de Botton, believes employers are reluctant to address employee dissatisfaction, perhaps because they see a split between ‘cultural’ and ‘business’. "People who come from cultural backgrounds are instinctively suspicious of businesses,” he said, whereas “CEOs are instinctively very shy about psychological material”. And just as suspicious are employees: he attributes employee dissatisfaction partly to the HR department. "These guys have a dual role, hiring and sacking. They are also accused of speaking the language no one else understands. It's warm and kind, but it's not true. The truth is, my boss can sack me any minute.”
  1. PwC abolishes employee dress code, 2 Jun 2016
Just weeks after one receptionist was sent home for refusing to wear high heels, the Australian arm of PwC officially abolished its traditional employee dress code. Sue Horlin, who was just stepping into the human capital leader role at PwC Australia, said the move was actually about keeping up with what industry competitors can offer as well as driving innovation at the firm. Previously, men were expected to wear fine knitwear, smart shirts with collars, tailored trousers, traditional suits and dress shoes or boots. Women had to wear similar attire, with additional options of tailored dresses, shirts, smart shirts or blouses and business-style shoes or boots.
  1. Domestic violence leave under fire, 26 Sept 2016
The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) expressed concern that the domestic violence leave proposed by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) could lead to entitlements for perpetrators as well as victims. In a submission to the Fair Work Commission in the ongoing 4 Yearly Review of Modern Awards, the union called for 10 days of paid domestic and family violence leave in all modern awards. However, Ai Group has responded with its own FWC submission, saying that a clause proposed by the ACTU stating that those ‘experiencing’ family or domestic violence were entitled to leave was vague and unclear and could be interpreted as entitling perpetrators of domestic violence to a period of leave – a claim the ACTU strenuously denied.
  1. Bullying conviction under WHS laws a salutary warning to businesses, 15 Jun 2016
The June criminal conviction of an employer for the persistent and serious bullying of an apprentice represented a stark warning for employers. Wayne Allan Dennert was fined $12,500 by Geelong Magistrates Court under workplace health and safety (WHS) laws for bullying by himself and other employees of an apprentice who suffered anxiety and depression as a result of his subjection to physical, verbal and psychological abuse over a period of two years. The case was unusual in that the employer was convicted under the workplace health and safety regime rather than the Fair Work Commission’s anti-bullying jurisdiction.


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