Home' Hotel Management : HM JUNE 2016 Contents Kathryn Dent Elizabeth Kenny
announces major legal
The Accommodation Association of Australia
(AAoA) announced its partnership with long
term corporate members at People and Culture
Strategies (PCS), a specialist employment and
labour law firm.
Joining the team at AAoA includes Kathryn
Dent, Director at PCS and Elizabeth Kenny,
Associate at PCS. AAoA members will now have access to an exceptional level of WPR
legal advice on a limited basis included in their membership, including access to an in-house
solicitor and advice on visas through a PCS Senior Associate who is also a registered
migration agent. Member rates (on a discounted basis) are also available for both
contentious and case specific matters.
In addition to their current series of events, PCS will also be conducting a quarterly
human resources directors and managers forum that specifically addresses workplace
relations issues within the accommodation industry.
ROBINSON TO BOARD
The Accommodation Association of
Australia (AAoA) is pleased to welcome
Barry Robinson from Wyndham Hotel
Group and Wyndham Vacation Resorts to
the Association's Board of Directors.
Robinson is the President and
Managing Director of the Wyndham
Hotel Group South East Asia and Pacific
Rim, Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia
Pacific and is also the President of the Australian Timeshare
and Holiday Ownership Council (ATHOC).
The Association would also like to thank outgoing Board
Member, Mantra Group's Andrew Turner, for his support and
contributions to the AAoA Board and members.
Managing and embracing diversity in the workplace
At the very core of diversity is the appreciation that each and every employee
brings a di erent background and set of values to their work. However, in
reality, many employers struggle with the challenges associated with a diverse
workforce and how best to manage this. One matter increasingly requiring
the careful consideration by employers involves managing the transition or
integration of transgender employees in the workplace.
Employers must be aware that there is an important distinction between the
legal rights in the workplace of those who identify as transgender and those
who are legally a 'recognised transgender person' (that is, recognised at law
as their identified gender rather than their birth gender). This is important
in the context of transgender discrimination. Transgender discrimination
in the workplace is deemed to be unlawful under various pieces of anti-
discrimination legislation, including the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth).
Under anti-discrimination laws, both Federal and State, employers have a legal
responsibility to prevent discrimination and harassment in the workplace. If
an employer fails to do so, they may be found to be vicariously liable for any
workplace discrimination or harassment engaged in by their employees. Taking
reasonable steps to prevent such conduct, for example, by way of training,
contractual obligations and policies as well as taking disciplinary action for
breaches will be a defence.
Employers must also consider how best to manage hostile reactions and
ensure that their workplace behaviour policies reflect the organisation's stance
on having an inclusive environment and ensure that all employees are aware
of their obligations under anti-discrimination law. Employers may also wish
to consider working with transgender employees to develop transition plans
specific to the individual employee which includes strategies on how the
employee wishes to be addressed, any support or assistance which may be
required, how the matter will be addressed with colleagues in the workplace
and any other matters relevant to each individual case.
It is becoming increasingly common around Australia for employers of choice
to realise the need to move away from homogeny and take steps towards
developing and implementing specific recruitment practices and recognising
the role that diversity plays in their organisations. Innovation in the workplace
has been shown to be driven by employees approaching challenges from
di erent angles, and finding more varied solutions. However, an organisation
can only be as 'diverse' as its leaders, and for an organisation to truly harness
the potential of its individuals, it must practice what it preaches when choosing
its board and executive team.
Employers must acknowledge that there is no 'one size fits all' approach
to matters that involves an employee's personal circumstances and an
organisation must ensure it has a clear process and structure on dealing with
sensitive matters in a supportive and inclusive manner. In managing and
supporting employees, and embracing diversity, an organisation will benefit
through retention of key sta and develop an inclusive and diverse culture
which makes for a happy and productive workforce.
BY ELIZABETH KENNY, ASSOCIATE AT PEOPLE + CULTURE
STRATEGIES, WORKPLACE RELATIONS LEGAL AT AAOA.
Many employers struggle with the challenges associated with a diverse workforce
14 HM The Business of Accommodation
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