2021 HR Trends

2021, Trending, Teamwork, Employees, Managers

2020 was a big year, but what is to come for 2021. How will the events of last year affect our workplaces, and what do employers need to consider looking forward?

We have outlined the top six areas that will be important to HR in 2021 to help business owners stay ahead.

  1. Workplace Mental Health

Stress was a leading factor in 2020 effecting business performance and productivity. This forced business owners to realise the need for prioritising employees’ mental health. In the future, it may be expected that employers support their staff’s mental health and promote inclusive safe workplaces. To do this it is crucial for employers to develop the skills to support good workplace mental health.

  1. Flexible Working Arrangements

Flexible working arrangements are another trend bought about by COVID-19. In the year to come, flexible working times and locations may be of higher priority to employees. There may be pressure from employees to make flexible work arrangements permanent. Employers may need to consider this when offering new positions or adjusting the hours/locations of existing employees.

  1. Underpayments

There were several companies were found to be underpaying their workers in 2020 including, WHSmith, The National Library, IBM, and The ABC.  These underpayments resulted in large pay outs to employees after award entitlements were not correctly paid. The Fair Work Commission will continue to uncover and penalize businesses for underpaying their employees in 2021. Business owners should be aware of the consequences of underpayment and work to become compliant.

  1. Conducting Fair Dismissals

During the COVID pandemic, a record number of applications for unfair dismissal were lodged. Dismissals in 2021 must be conducted fairly to avoid unfair dismissal claims with high pay outs. This it is vital employers know what makes a dismissal fair and how to conduct one to avoid pay outs.

  1. New WHS Legislation

New WHS laws are due to come into effect in WA in mid-2021. Industrial manslaughter has been added to the Act, making it possible for body corporates, business owners, and managers to be held liable if an employee dies at work. This year employers should direct their focus to establishing compliant safety systems and ensuring they are on top of their safety practices to avoid safety incidents and prosecution.

  1. Federal Legislation Changes

The Federal Government announced proposed changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 at the end of last year. The changes have been controversial and will be debated and negotiated in Parliament during 2021. Including, changes to minimum guaranteed hours for Accommodation, Food and Retail industries, casual conversions for long term casuals and increasing base pay rates for the Club, Retail, Restaurant and Hospitality industries.

ProcessWorx offers HR policies, procedures, BOOTs, employment contracts, and workplace safety services to assist small businesses remain compliant to the changing HR and Safety landscape.

For more information about how we can help your business contact ProcessWorx on (08) 9316 9896 or enquiries@processworx.com.au

Follow ProcessWorx on LinkedInFacebookInstagram, and Twitter to keep up to date with the latest HR and Safety news.

Written by Danielle McNamee



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Marisa Ross

HR Advisor

Marisa is an experienced and motivated HR professional with a strong HR generalist and business operations background with a focus on employee relations, performance management, leadership training & development, workers compensation & injury management, and employee retention. Marisa holds a Bachelor of Human Resource Management and a Bachelor of Behavioural Science with a minor in Counselling. Having worked in a variety of industries from SMEs to large blue-chip organisations, Marisa is passionate about enriching employee experience, employee retention, and building leadership capability in people management.

Aimee Grigson

Aimee Grigson

WHS Advisor

Aimee has a strong understanding of Workplace Health and Safety Legislation and standards and has extensive HSEQ experience in a number of industries. Aimee has a great ability to engage across all levels of organisation, including field teams, leadership and external stakeholders. Aimee ensures Health and Safety Management Systems are compliant to legislation, effectively implemented and understood by all. Aimee has a Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety and qualifications in auditing and incident investigations. Aimee is passionate about coaching and developing small businesses towards a positive safety culture.