You are the manager of the Brisbane West Softball Club (BWSC). The club was very profitable from the day it opened in 2005. In late 2013 another sporting club opened in the next suburb. As a result of this the BWSC slowly started to lose customers and by June 2015 the club was just covering its costs and it was likely to start operating at a loss by December 2015. A significant portion of the costs of the club were the wages that had to be paid to staff. The Rates of Pay Act 2009 (Qld) (Pay Act) stated that the rates of pay for work after 5pm on a Saturday was to be paid at time and a half and staff were to be paid double time on Sunday. This meant that a staff member who was paid $20 per hour on a weekday would be paid $30 per hour after 5pm on Saturday and $40 per hour on a Sunday.
In August 2015, the Queensland government amended the Pay Act. The amendments to the Pay Act meant that all businesses that operate in the hospitality industry, which BWSC did, could pay staff that commenced employment after 30 August 2015 at standard pay rates at all time. That is, they did not have to pay overtime and staff would be paid $20 per hour regardless of when they worked.
Staff who had an employment contract before 30 August 2015 continued to be entitled to overtime.
BWSC had a number of casual staff who had been working at the club since 2005. Because the staff were casual the club did not have to give them any hours at all. As the manager, you can legally say to the staff that unless they sign a new employment contract you will not give them any more hours. This would mean that the staff would be out of work and have no money.
You have become close friends with two of the staff members Aaron and Petra.
Aaron is studying Engineering at QUT and he has moved to Brisbane from Roma, a Country town in Queensland. Aaron’s family own a farming property and are not able to give Aaron any money as the farm is in drought. Aaron lives from week to week and if he does not work and get the overtime he may have to stop studying as government benefits are not enough to pay for his expenses.
Petra is also studying at QUT. She has family on the Gold Coast, but chooses to live in her own unit in New Farm. Petra depends on the overtime to pay her bills. If she was not able to get the overtime she would have to move back in with her family which is something that she does not want to do.
You have to make a decision and get the owners of the company to agree. If the BWSC continues to pay overtime the club may have to close or cut the hours of staff. You also know the BWSC provides a safe place for a number of community groups to be meet and have their weekly meetings. Without the BWSC a number of these clubs would not be able to have their important weekly meetings.
You have gone back to your BSB111 materials from when you studied at QUT and have discovered your notes on some different ethical frameworks – Utilitarianism, Kant’s ethics and Virtue Ethics. You decide that the only way to resolve the dilemma is to use these three theories and decide whether you should tell Aaron and Petra that they will not get any more hours unless they sign a new contract of whether you continue to pay them overtime under their current employment contracts.
Instructions: Answer both Questions 1 and 2
Question 1 assesses SE5.1 Social, Ethical and Global Understanding: Demonstrate and apply knowledge of ethical and legal principles and practices in analysing and responding to business issues
Question 2 assesses PC3.1 Professional Communication: Use information literacy skills, and communicate effectively and professionally in written forms and using media appropriate for diverse purposes and contexts
Question 1 [SE5.1] (13 marks)
Prepare a presentation for the owners of the club outlining whether all casual staff should have to sign a new employment contract. In preparing your presentation you should:
· Analyse the dilemma by applying the ethical theories of utilitarianism, Kant’s ethics and virtue ethics covered in BSB111 and
For each theory, draw a conclusion as to whether it would be ethical to require casual staff to sign a new employment contract