Achieve business success through growing a high-performing team

Your HR questions answered

Welcome back to a new season of our podcast!

In this episode we answer the questions you submitted to us.

Here we go…

  1. What if someone resigns while doing higher duties?

If they finish up at a time they are currently performing higher duties for you, and you are paying them an allowance for that, you would still need to keep paying that allowance until their last day.

But keep in mind, you’re not paying any additional higher rate when you go to calculate unused annual leave, for example, it’s just honouring the agreement up until their last day.

Reminder: Write down these sorts of little nuances when varying employment details and don’t forget a start and end date.

  1. Is a new employee allowed to take leave during probation?

They are entitled to the full scope of leave entitlements as per the National Employment Standards, right from day one.

So, if they’re casual, that might be nothing, except for family and domestic violence leave. But if they’re part-time or full-time, they’ll certainly be entitled to start to accrue annual leave and sick leave and, therefore, can use it.

Caution: Probationary periods are not in legislation – it is up to you to set your own organisational policy about this. Check out our episode on probation.

  1. How can a business owner trust to do the work like they would do?

You know that feeling of “I’ve always been the one that’s doing it, now I’ve got to get someone else to do it. Are they going to do a good job?” We’ve all been there.

They might not do it precisely the same as you would do it. That’s a bit scary. But it can be great too! What if they do it better?

The worst thing you can do is hire someone to do a job because you believe they have the skills and experience to do that job, and they’re not given the work you intended to do.

So how can you trust them? Ideally, you’ve gone through a recruitment process where you were very clear about what you needed for someone to do that role. And align your values to the new employee you choose. So bring your values along in your recruitment process (and into all parts of employment) to ensure a good match.

That will go a long way to at least feeling sure they will support your clients or deliver products/services to the same standard you would.

  1. I’ve got a remote worker who was ill but feels like they can work through it because they are working from home. Should I ask them to take a sick day or let them work through it?

This depends on many variables. It’s going to depend on:

  • the sort of work they’re doing

e.g. if they’ve got a sniffle or a cough, you may not want them talking to clients

  • if you think that they can be productive

e.g. if you have someone highly motivated, you know they can get the work done even though they’re feeling a bit off and you don’t want them in the office, working from home may be a good choice

To keep working even when ill is probably not good for the workplace or the individual. So communicating with your staff is so important. If you regularly talk to them, this sort of thing won’t escape you. You’ll have the opportunity to speak to them and review the options.

A lot of it also comes down to the culture that you want. So you want people to feel they can take time off to get well and not be expected to work.

The temptation might be there to turn the computer on if it’s just in the other room when working from home, but as a manager, it is part of your job to support your employees, giving them skills to be able to switch off. Help them get the balance they need to have a healthy life because, in many ways, employers depend on the well-being of their team.

  1. I’ve just made an offer to hire a new employee, but they’ve asked me for more money because their current employer made them an offer to stay. Should I make a counteroffer?

It depends on where you are in the process and how committed you are to having that person.

But beware of what you are inviting…

If money is their prime motivator, you could be falling into a trap.

You could find that you’re constantly getting pushed to pay them more. Or they could look for more money elsewhere, even after starting with you.

So put some guidelines around what that looks like.


  • Start them at the rate at your advertised rate but agree to reassess and possibly increase pay after a successful probation period


  • Start them at the rate they are after, but fix it for a period (e.g. 2 years)

Also, be clear about the other benefits you’re offering (flexible work, more of a say in how they do what they do, a more collaborative workplace than where they are now, etc.).

So, if you pay that extra money to bring them on board that you weren’t intending, you need to know that you can afford that in the long run.

Can you relate to any of these questions?

We hope the answers were helpful. If you would like to submit a question to the show, you can do that here.

Thanks for listening!

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