JobKeeper Employee Conversations

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It’s super important for your business to have good employee conversations.

The ideal scenario is that you have ‘consultative’ conversations with your individual team members and try to come to mutually agreeable working arrangements.

In most instances, these arrangements you will now put in place, will be until end September, so again, having mutually agreeable terms is the best outcome.

Like yourselves, we’ve seen lots of non-ideal discussions around this already …

Job Keeper is about retaining key staff and keeping people employed with your business.

It’s about the process of getting from where you are now to coming out the other end.

Will it look the same?

No, it won’t..

Most of us will need to rebuild, whether this is marketing and sales momentum, teams, suppliers, customers, etc.   Other may be already in the process of rebuilding, with a totally different business model (how exciting!)

Whatever your current situation, in order to rebuild, you will need a strong team!  So, getting this part of the process right, is super important.

So, how do you have these consultative conversations? 

Here’s a brief outline:

  • Be prepared.
  • Thank people for their patience and cooperation during this difficult time and reassure them that you are doing everything possible to get things back on track.
  • Go to each meeting with your team members, knowing what you can and can’t do.  Think about what you may be able to flexible around, ie, working days and hours, job role (relevant to their skills), working from home, etc
  • If you have had to close the doors to your business during this time:
    • Let the individual know that you’ve applied for Job Keeper payment for their role and based on the current situation, you would be keen for them to return to work (remember whatever work you offer them must be within their skillset)
    • Let them know that you’ve looked at the business situation and believe you can do X arrangement until end September (eg, get them back to work, in their current role, working from the office/home, 3 days per week for 5 hours per day).  Ask them how they feel about that?  
    • Ideally if they are not currently working, this will be a very positive message and you can then agree a return date, etc.
    • Remember, it may take some people time to re-establish things like childcare arrangements, etc, so if possible, try to be flexible around this
  • If your business doors have remained open, it’s still important to re-confirm things with the people that are still working (as people will always be wondering, so communication and confirmations are important):
    • If they’ve been working from home, talk through any proposed changes to this arrangement (ie, no change, change of days, hours, alternative work (again, must be within their skillset)

Again, we can only encourage you to try and get agreeable arrangements in place. 

There are still options available if your staff are unable to return to work at this time, so please ensure you do explore these.

If you can’t reach mutually agreeable arrangements, again, there are options, but please ensure you understand your employer obligations and seek legal advice around these before taking any actions.

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