HR News in Brief: Australian employers least open to flexible working

by Tammy Buckley03 Apr 2014
Australian employers least open to flexible working
Australian employers are the least open to flexible working arrangements of anyone in the Asia Pacific region, with 79% of local workers saying they are unable to work remotely in their current position according to the latest World of Work Report by recruitment and HR specialists, Randstad.
This compares to 59% of Chinese workers, 62% of Indian, 64% of Malaysian and 65% of workers in Hong Kong and New Zealand, who are unable to work remotely.
The report shows 40% of employees still rate their current employer’s efforts in creating and adopting flexible work options as average or poor. The findings also show Australians are craving a more flexible approach to work, with most stating their ideal working arrangement would involve spending 70% of their hours in the office, and 30% working remotely.

Businessman faces court for allegedly underpaying staff $870,000  
The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal proceedings against Sydney man Kia Silverbrook and three companies he has operated, alleging 21 employees are owed more than $870,000 in wages and entitlements.
In three separate legal proceedings, the Fair Work Ombudsman alleges that: Priority Matters Pty Ltd, which processes patent applications for inventions, underpaid 15 employees a total of $452,997; Geneasys Pty Ltd, a medical research and development company, underpaid five employees a total of $362,97; and Superlattice Solar Pty Ltd, a solar cell research company, underpaid one employee $55,969.
Silverbrook - who was allegedly responsible for the overall direction, management and supervision of operations at the three companies - is a respondent to each of the Fair Work Ombudsman’s legal proceedings.
Employment expectations highest in NSW

NSW has the strongest employment outlook of all states according to the latest Hudson Report: Employment Trends. There has been a 5.0 percentage points (pp) increase in intentions to hire in the state, its highest level since Q3 2012 with 27.9% expecting to hire.
Elsewhere shows that hiring intentions among Australian organisations remains steady at a national level, with 23.3% intending to take on more staff next quarter, down 0.1pp.
“We are seeing the Australian economy go through a shift from being natural resources-driven to one that is more balanced; a move away from the two-speed economy,” said Dean Davidson, Executive General Manager, Hudson Australia. “An improved hiring outlook for NSW gives confidence because its economy is broad-based, with a balanced range of industries and professions. Often a strong employment outlook for NSW is a good indicator for the direction the national economy might take.
Businesses intent to hire increases
The number of businesses indicating they will hire staff in the months ahead has increased for a third consecutive quarter according to Dun & Bradstreet's latest Business Expectations Survey.
The survey showed 22% of businesses plan to employ new staff during Q2 2014, compared to 12% which expect to reduce numbers. The response from businesses has lifted the employment expectations index to 9.2 points, up from 0.1 points a year earlier and to its highest level since the first quarter of 2011.
The employment outlook follows estimations by the Bureau of Statistics that the economy added 47,300 jobs in February, and its upward revision of January employment numbers from the loss of 3,700 jobs lost, to a gain of 18,000.



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