Inducting young workers into your team? What should you consider?

Wednesday October 21, 2020

The recent Federal budget included an incentive for businesses to hire young workers. Called the JobMaker Hiring Credit, it’s seen as a huge boost for young people whose employment opportunities have been hard hit by the pandemic. It also encourages employers to take the leap and commit to hiring additional staff.

But hiring young workers has it’s challenges – particularly in an era of remote working. Here are 3 questions to consider before you start your recruitment process.

Question 1:  Are you eligible to apply for the JobMaker Hiring Credit?

New jobs created between 7 October 2020 – 6 October 2021 will attract the JobMaker Hiring Credit if the position is filled by a person aged between 16-35. The highest Credit of $200 per week per employee is for new hires aged between 16-29 while the Credit for new employees aged between 30-35 is $100 per week per employee. The subsidy will be paid to eligible employers quarterly in arrears.

To be eligible, the employee must have received JobSeeker, youth allowance or parenting payments for at least one month in the previous three months before being hired. Employees receiving apprenticeship funding are NOT eligible. There are some other criteria so if you are considering hiring a young person, speak to us first.

Question 2:  What training do you need to provide?

The younger your new employee, the more training you will probably need to provide as your job could be their first permanent position. Think of your young employee as a blank slate. They won’t know much about the basics of workplace etiquette such as letting you know if they are taking a sick day. Or how to keep themselves safe – even in low hazard workplaces.

However, the benefits of hiring a young and inexperienced worker is that you can mould their approach to work to suit your workplace expectations.

Question 3:  How will you induct and manage your young employee – particularly if all or most of your team are working remotely?

Most businesses still have training and safety processes that rely on in-person induction systems. However, if your business is working remotely or on staggered shifts, your usual system won’t work.

Before you begin the recruitment process, you need to review and adapt your induction processes to accommodate the COVID-era.

Topics to include when inducting a young employee

According to Fair Work Australia, when recruiting young workers, there are a number of topics employers need to cover in detail. These include:

  • Providing a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement
  • Explaining basic entitlements, personal leave entitlements and how their wage will be paid
  • Describing the process for applying for leave
  • Providing information on all employment related policies and the reasons for them
  • Supplying contact details of a mentor or senior staff member the young employee can get in touch with if they have questions or experience any issues

Safety is a key issue with young workers

Due to their inexperience in the workforce, young workers are often at greatest risk of workplace injury – even in so-called “safe” occupations. Again, Fair Work Australia warns employers to pay extra attention to this aspect of work – not just on the first day but on-going. In reality, this should be the case for all staff.

Young workers are also more at risk of workplace bullying. The emotional and physical damage caused by bullying should be top of mind for all employers and that means providing anti-bullying training to all staff on a regular basis.

Get in touch with us if you don’t yet have these types of training programs in place.

Employing young people has some fantastic advantages

Giving someone an opportunity – especially now – can be tremendously rewarding on a personal level. From a business perspective, it can also be a wise move – especially if you qualify for the JobMaker Hiring Credit.  However, recruitment, induction and training are time consuming tasks for even the most experienced employer. If you’d like help, get in touch with The HR Dept.

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