April/May is a hard month to manage as a business owner, we have week after week of four days, limiting capacity. Throw in school holidays, parenting commitments and the lingering Covid challenges and we have a challenging month to negotiate! 

We have seen a spike in recruitment requests from clients in March and early April. It is good to know that the ‘Easter period’ is traditionally a great attraction period, often passive job seekers scroll LinkedIn and Job Boards while taking an Easter and/or school holiday break.  Like the Xmas period, we find this a fruitful time of year to attract talent. 

If you are lucky enough to secure some new talent, consider when the best time is to get them to commence and avoid the short weeks and public holiday costs? Do you have the right people available to onboard, induct and train the new starters and get them to hit the ground running? 

Sometimes it makes commercial sense to wait until after Labour Day at the start of May!

Easter is fast approaching and so is the public holiday season! It is a good time to refresh on Public Holiday entitlements and what this means for businesses. April/May 2022 sees several Public Holidays coincide, resulting in several short work weeks for the majority of businesses due to: 

  • Good Friday on 02 April 2022
  • The day after Good Friday on 03 April 2022
  • Easter Sunday on 04 April 2022
  • Easter Monday on 05 April 2022
  • ANZAC Day on 26 April 2022
  • Labour Day on 03 May 2022

It’s important to note that any permanent employee who has regular ordinary hours of work on these days is entitled to be absent and paid their ordinary rate of pay for such hours, unless reasonably requested to work. With this, it’s often that employers see an uptick in paid Sick Leave utilised and rightfully so may have some concerns about employees taking advantage of this entitlement. 

To assist, wattsnext would like to remind all employers that you can request evidence when an employee takes Sick Leave and should consider:

  • Ensuring employees are aware of what process to follow when accessing Sick Leave (i.e., who to contact and how/when to contact them); 
  • Requesting evidence of entitlement to paid Sick Leave (i.e., a Medical Certificate, a Statutory Declaration and/or other evidence that satisfies a reasonable person); and/or
  • Having a brief meeting with employees on return to work to check-in and ensure they are ok / catch up on what has been missed.

Importantly these requests/actions can be made in addition to what requirements are outlined in a Leave Policy / Contract of Employment. If you or anyone is having difficulty with attendance and/or entitlement enquiries following Public Holidays, please feel free to reach out to the team at wattsnext for some advice on managing the situation in a fair and compliant manner.

Author: Ben Watts
Ben is a veteran in the HR space- a forward-thinking leader specialising in functional business structures and people performance techniques. With twenty years’ experience managing large ASX listed corporates across multiple industries, Ben adds depth and expertise to our clients' strategy solutions, genuinely providing a commercial result for their investment.