It’s no secret that Australians love their annual leave.

In recent years, many companies have chosen to go above and beyond minimum standards by offering extra leave – reflecting the view that rested employees are generally happier and more productive at work.

Some companies even let employees decide how much leave to take. For example

In the last five years, with the development of information technology and mobile devices, the distinction between being “at work” and “off work” has been profoundly altered. Working time is no longer confined to being in an office and working days are both more intense and infinitely extendable, making monitoring working times even more complex.Switching off

Coupled with a global economy, many employees feel that they are permanently connected to their work, irrespective of time zones and local laws.
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Video killed the radio star…or did it?Radio star

In its most recent research paper analysing the effects and possible responses to digital disruption, the Productivity Commission observes that with each wave of change “speculation about the effects of technologies often suffers from extreme optimism or pessimism”.

While perhaps raising more questions than it answers, the Productivity Commission focuses on the potential of digital technologies to deliver economic benefits if regulated appropriately.
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Doctor

Employers who proactively deal with employee absenteeism, and focus on assisting employees to return to work, can reduce the impact of employee downtime and disruption to working arrangements.

We’ve previously discussed some key tips about handling non-work-related illness and injury.  This post focuses on the importance of taking a collaborative approach when managing frequent or prolonged absences.

Frequent or prolonged absences due to stress, illness, injury or other personal reasons can be a major cause of frustration for employers. However, there are significant risks associated with taking punitive measures against employees who may be genuinely unwell, illustrated in several recent decisions.
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Recently, Virgin Group announced through its CEO Richard Branson, that it would be removing its workplace policy that limits holidays for employees. The ‘no policy’ approach to annual leave is to be implemented as a flexible working policy measure that allows all salaried staff to take off as much time as they want, whenever they want with no managerial monitoring of time away from work. The announcement was made during school holidays in Australia.
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