Human Capital Online’s top stories of 2014

by Chloe Taylor19 Dec 2014
From professional mermaids and menstrual leave to egg freezing and multi-million dollar payouts, the world of HR has seen its fair share of news in 2014, be it highly relevant or downright bizarre. HC revisits the top ten stories that had you clicking this year.
  1. Abbott announces reforms to 457 visa program
The Prime Minister’s announcement on changes to the 457 visa was HC’s top story this year. Changes to the visa were implemented to make it easier for employers to source talent from “low risk” countries.

Ryan Curtis-Griffiths, director at Nevett Ford, told HC that overregulation of the visa program had caused “processing times to be too long” meaning 457 “did not often meet Australian business needs.”
  1. 1 July employment law changes: What you need to know
HC outlined the laws that came into effect on 1 July this year. New legislations saw changes to the high income threshold for unfair dismissal eligibility, which increased to $133,000 per year. The changes also affected superannuation and transitional provisions in modern awards. Additionally, 1 July also saw an increase in the national minimum wage, which now stands at $640.90 per week or $16.87 per hour.
  1. Terminating absent employees: What you need to know
Saul Harben and Conor Fahey of Clayton Lutz law firm outlined the best practice for employers considering the termination of a long-term absentee employee. They gave HC readers a detailed explanation of what to do – and how to avoid slipping up.
  1. Paid parental leave changes: what you need to know 

The fourth most read story of the year reported on Australia’s 2014-15 budget, and how it saw Abbott leaving his $5 billion parental leave scheme hanging.  HC addressed concerns that the new scheme would be a “one-size-fits-all” practice, and how this could lead to some people losing out.
  1. The no.1 killer of staff morale
HC reported on how managers unintentionally destroy staff morale. The key issue was micro-managing, which was described as “one of the quickest ways to demotivate your workforce”.
  1. The worst CV mistakes, according to Google’s HR chief
HC reported on the biggest mistakes seen on CVs – according to the chief of HR at Google,  who claims to have personally viewed more than 20,000 CVs over the course of his career.
  1. Revealed: Australia’s highest paid HR professionals
This story disclosed the details of the top salaries in Australian HR, which were published by Businessweek.
  1. “F***ing stupid”: “Unjust” dismissal of employee sacked for swearing
Coca-Cola Amatil came under fire after the company sacked an employee who swore at a colleague. The FWC found that CCA’s actions were “harsh, unjust and unreasonable.” An employment law expert at Nevett Ford outlined CCA’s errors, and explained how employers could avoid making the same mistakes.
  1. FWC announces changes to minimum wage
When the FWC made its first announcements about changing the minimum wage, HC was on the case. The FWC said in its announcement that the decision was made as “the country’s economic outlook remained sound and employment growth was expected to be stronger in 2014-15”.
  1. Australian HR Award winners revealed!
The tenth most-read story of the year was HC’s exclusive on the winners at the Australian HR Awards. The story gave a detailed run-through of the winners, as well as a description of the event itself, which was described as “an exciting and suspense-filled night.” HC also reported that 2014 saw a record number of nominations for the awards… Until next year?


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