Team Leadership & Management
Your recruitment, appointment and induction processes for both paid staff and volunteers need to be clear and well documented. Key aspects of this area are governed by legislation and the Agreement your organisation is signed on to or applicable awards.
For a range of information and resources on the recruitment and engagement of employees including Working With Children Checks and Police Checks, see the Not for Profit Law web page
Your employment practices need to reflect the values of the organisation, foster a positive workplace culture, be fair and compliant with all legislative and funding body requirements
Agreements and Awards
All neighbourhood houses that are signed on to a neighbourhood house sector collective agreement must comply with the terms and conditions of that agreement.
NHACE Agreement 2008 (pdf, 278KB)
NHACE Agreement 2007 (pdf, 459KB)
The current pay tables for all the Agreements 2007 - 2018 are available below in one consolidated document.
Neighbourhood houses not signed on to a NH sector collective agreement or where applicable, covered by their auspicing / managing organisation's agreement, are governed by the award system.
For specialist community sector industrial relations and human resources management advice contact Jobs Australia.
Long Service Leave
Most Victorian employees, including full time, part time, casual, seasonal and fixed term workers have an entitlement to Long Service Leave (LSL). The LSL Act 2018 outlines the minimum standards.
Some Agreements including the neighbourhood house Agreements, may have more generous provisions than the legislated minimum but can't fall below the standards outlined in the Act. Check the terms of your Agreement above.
More information on the LSL Act 2018 can be found on the Business Victoria web site including an online long service leave calculator and a clear readable guide to LSL.
The Victorian State Government Portable Long Service Leave Scheme
Registration is now open for employers with the PLSL Authority. The scheme includes most Neighbourhood Houses.
Register your organisation as an employer with PLSL Authority Neighbourhood Houses by 30 September 2019. This can be completed online through the PLS Authority site here.
The portable long service scheme ensures workers will be able to move from employer to employer without losing their accrued entitlements, provided they stay within the contract cleaning, security or community services sectors. Neighbourhood houses are covered by the new scheme. The scheme does not replace existing Long Service leave schemes, but sits along side them.
Attend a PLSL Authority pop up information session in your area.
Attend an Aust Services Union information session in your area, open to all community sector workers. Book here
There are many implementation details yet to be clarified, including the interaction between the neighbourhood houses agreement portability and transfer of service provisions and the new scheme. NHVic is working with relevant stakeholders to ensure neighbourhood houses are kept accurately informed. For the details of what we know so far see the information paper below.
Frequently asked questions
Is it compulsory?
Yes it is! Due to changes in state government legislation it is compulsory for Neighbourhood Houses to be registered as organisations in this scheme. Go to the PLSL Authority website to register at https://www.vic.gov.au/portable-long-service
Which staff members are covered?
According to the PLSL Authority advice it seems that most NH employees are covered by this scheme and must be included in your quarterly returns to the Authority.
The Authority Guidance Note at https://www.vic.gov.au/guidance-note-1-applying-predominance-test-community-services provides an amount of detail about working our which staff members are eligible (see pages 4 and 5).
The guidance note says that a person whose role is predominantly the ‘personal delivery of services or performance of community service activities’ is covered. It also says that the coverage is not restricted to direct interactions with the community but also includes those who manage, directly assist, plan for or directly enable and support front line workers. The deadline for entering your employees’ details is 31 October
How do they define community services work?
There is a list of community service work categories in the Authority Guidance Note (see page 7 and 8). The list specifically includes Neighbourhood Houses. It also includes training and employment support, financial support and goods and other support services for vulnerable or disadvantaged people, community education and information, community advocacy, community development and services assisting cultural or linguistically diverse people. Registered children’s services are not in the list at the moment but will come into it 1 Jan 2020.
What about the extra cost?
Many people are concerned about the extra cost, administrative burden and loss of ability to reabsorb provisions when people leave the organisation before they are eligible to access LSL. These are all justifiable concerns but it is difficult to actually assess the impact until we know more about how the Scheme will operate in practice.
How does this PLSL scheme interact with or affect our current LSL obligations?
The Scheme does not replace any existing LSL obligations as outlined in your award or Agreement. However until we know more about how this works in practice it is difficult to assess the impact.
How is NHVic advocating for NHs in relation to the PLSL scheme?
NHVic along with a large number of other community sector peak bodies along with VCOSS is regularly questioning the Authority about the implementation of the Scheme. NHVic is also in direct contact with the Authority pursuing the many unanswered questions and detailing the negative impact the Scheme could have on Neighbourhood Houses.
It is vital that you keep your position descriptions up to date both in terms of the needs of your organisation and to stay compliant with current industrial legislation.
The annual staff performance review is an opportunity for feedback between staff members and manager, to discuss their performance relative to their role, acknowledge achievements, address areas of concern and identify opportunities for professional development or training.