Information Hub

Enhance your Professional Development through our Coaching Program

Think of someone you know, or know of, whom you regard as a high performer – whether it be in business, sport or just life in general. Chances are that person has a coach or a mentor who has helped to guide them along the path to their success. Coaching offers an opportunity to share thoughts and challenges, identify goals, develop self-awareness, improve relationships and so much more.
If you’re ready to focus on your professional development this year, we can provide you with access to first class coaching services to assist you in becoming the best version of you. There are limited places available, but we do have a number of focus options with your choice of monthly or bi-monthly sessions.
Download our brochure to find out how to take advantage of this opportunity. Special discounted rates apply for registrations received by 31 July.

Minimum Wage Increase

The Fair Work Commission last week announced an increase in the National Minimum Wage, which will take effect, for most awards, from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2022. The National Minimum Wage will be increased by 5.2% to $812.60 per week (or $21.38 per hour). This amounts to an increase of $40 per week.
Importantly, the increase to the minimum wage in modern awards is different. The minimum award wage will increase by 4.6% or $40 per week, whichever is greater. This means that:
  • Minimum award wages above $869.60 per week will receive a 4.6% increase.
  • Minimum award wages below $869.60 per week will receive a $40 increase
In essence, all minimum wages will increase by at least $40 per week.
Please note that for some awards which are considered to still be adversely affected by the pandemic, namely the aviation, hospitality and tourism industries, the increase will occur from 1 October 2022. As always, you should ensure that you confirm the correct rates within your specific award. If unsure, please contact one of our consultants for advice.
June 2022

Important Changes to Superannuation

There are a number of changes to superannuation legislation coming in effect in the 2022/23 financial year and it’s important that employers are aware of these changes to ensure that employees receive their correct entitlements.
The Superannuation Guarantee rate will increase from 10% to 10.5% from 1 July. This rate will continue to rise by 0.5% each year until 2025, when it reaches 12%.
Also from 1 July, employers must pay Superannuation Guarantee (SG) to all adult employees, regardless of the amount of their earnings. Currently, SG is only paid when the employee earns $450 or more in a month. The only exception is for employees aged under 18, where SG need only be paid if the employee works more than 30 hours in a week.
Practically, these changes take effect from the first pay run you process on or after 1 July, so even if the pay relates to work performed prior to 1 July, the new rates still apply.
We recommend that you contact your Payroll Software provider to ensure that your software will update accordingly with these changes. Also, if you are unsure if your Payroll Software is compliant with Single Touch Payroll Phase 2, you should get in touch with them as soon as possible. The ATO has a useful Checklist on STP Phase 2 here.
June 2022

Catriona achieves AHRI Fellowship

March 2022
Congratulations to our Director, Catriona who after a rigorous selection process has been recognised as a Fellow Certified Practitioner of Human Resources with the Australian Human Resources institute. AHRI Fellowship is the highest level of professional membership, which recognises HR professionals who have made a substantial contribution to, and have a record of achievement in, the practice of HR and will continue to contribute to the profession.
We are pleased that Catriona’s dedication and passionate commitment to elevating the impact of the human resources profession in Australian workplaces has been recognised. Catriona shared “my main focus will be to continue to support organisations in seeing the true value of HR professionals as strategic partners and part of the engine room for achieving organisational success. I also intend to build the profile of our profession to ensure that astute minds continue to elect HR as a profession of choice throughout their educational pathway.”

Employment Opportunities Galore

If you haven't looked at our Employment page for a while, you may be missing out on an amazing opportunity. We are currently advertising a number of exciting roles for a variety of local organisations. Whether you're looking for a fresh start in a new role, or ready to take a step up in your professional development, we encourage you to browse our listings - a new opportunity may be right around the corner for you.

January 2022

Welcome to 2022!

Office Closure during Christmas Period

Our team is planning a well-earned break over the festive season and as such there are a number of days whenwe will either be closed or operating with limited capacity.  Our office will be closed from Monday 27 December to Monday 3 January (inclusive) and we will not be available on these days.
Please also note the following dates as we will have an “on call” consultant only: Thursday 23 December, Friday 24 December, Tuesday 4 January and Wednesday 5 January. Should you require assistance on any of these days, please email or phone 0448 971 711, leave a message and we will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible.
Normal business hours will resume on Thursday 6 January 2022.
We wish all of our valued clients a wonderful festive season and hope that you are able to put your feet up and enjoy some quality time with your family and friends.

Class of 2022: People Managers Program

After the overwhelming success of the inaugural Class of 2021 program, we are excited to announce that our HR Practitioners Program is returning in 2022. 
This program is designed for anyone who is involved in people management and HR processes, and follows the employee lifecycle from Hire through to Retire (or Fire). We'll provide you with practical strategies to get the process right from the start. We'll also explore the legislative environment relating to each topic.
In the words of a Class of 2021 graduate, here is why you should register for Class of 2022:
"Catriona delivers the content of this course in a very easy listening manner. Her insight and knowledge into the issues faced at all points of the employee lifecycle is shared throughout the sessions with her personal anecdotes and best practice tips. This course is a must for all those dealing with HR issues on a daily basis."
Please click here to download the flyer.

What is a 'Stapled Super Fund'?

A stapled super fund is a super fund that is 'stapled' or linked to an employee. it is generally the fund to which the employee last received a contribution or alternatively, if the employee has multiple funds, the fund which has the greater account balance.
You can request an employee's stapled super fund details through the ATO. Only in cases where a stapled super fund does not exist and the employee has not provided you with any fund details will you be permitted to use your existing default provider. Super stapling took effect on 1 November.
If you are unsure of your obligations in this area, please contact our Senior Workplace Relations Advisor, Ed Thomas, for assistance. Ed can be contacted at:

Employment Contracts

With Senior Workplace Relations Advisor, Ed Thomas
An employment contract is an agreement between an employer and employee that sets out the terms and conditions of employment. An employment contract can be in writing or verbal. An employment contract cannot provide an entitlement that is less than what is set out in the National Employment Standards (NES) or the applicable award, enterprise agreement or other registered agreement. Does your business have employment contracts for all employees? Do they meet all legal minimum entitlements? Please feel free to contact me, or any of my colleagues, for further support in relation to employment contracts.
September 2021

Annual Wage Review 2021

With Senior Workplace Relations Advisor, Ed Thomas
It has now been over a month since the Fair Work Commission (FWC) announced a 2.5% increase to the national minimum wage and all award wages. The new national minimum wage applied from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2021. The increase applies to anyone who is paid minimum award wages or the national minimum wage. The award increase is happening in 3 stages, which is dependent on what award covers your business. Are you paying all your employees at the correct rate of pay as at the 1 July 2021? Click here to contact one of our team members for further support in relation to correct rates of pay.
August 2021

Leadership Essentials Workshop

Have you been recently appointed to a supervisory or managerial role? Or perhaps you have been in the role for some time but not sure how best to spend your limited time, energy and effort to achieve the outcomes you desire? In this workshop we will share with you a range of tools and techniques that you can use to maximise your impact and build your confidence as a leader of teams or individuals.
This workshop will be conducted via Zoom on Thursday 16 September, from 9:00am to 4:00pm. For further details please download our flyer here.

You're Invited to Join our Free Webinar

This lockdown feeling for team Victoria is getting all too familiar and it is clear that a lot of people are feeling the effects more than ever this time around. It's in these challenging times that our self care, wellbeing and resilience strategies are put to the test.
Cooper Hardiman's wellbeing strategies have helped many hundreds of managers and employees over the journey to ensure they are not pouring from an empty cup. It is simply impossible to effectively lead others if we are not first leading ourselves.
As our way of supporting each other, we would like to offer a free introductory session on Resilience, Self Leadership and Wellbeing via Zoom to help us all get through lockdown 5.0. You don't need to be a leader on the organisational chart to come along - absolutely everyone is welcome. For homeschooling parents, kids are very welcome too (ours are likely to be lurking in the background, or foreground also!).
Pre-registration is not necessary. Just click here to join! 

Work with us at Cooper Hardiman

Are you seeking a more relaxed lifestyle and the opportunity to join a team renowned for their expertise and professionalism in business consultancy? Due to organic growth we are seeking a quality person with HR Advisory and/or Consultancy experience to join our small, highly skilled team in Warrnambool.  This position would suit an 'all rounder’ HR generalist or those with one or more particular skill sets in I.R, workplace investigations, case management, training design and delivery, executive coaching or strategic HR Consultancy. 
 We offer genuinely flexible working practices, direct control over your workload, attractive incentive opportunities, a wide variety of interesting work with established clientele (with capacity to specialise in industries or areas of your interest) and can tailor the role to your particular strengths and needs. 
Many aspects of this role can be performed remotely but it would probably best suit someone looking to relocate to our beautiful and affordable coastal location of Warrnambool or nearby surrounds where you can enjoy a seachange or tree change. 
Click on the Employment tab for further details.

Annual Wage Review 2021

With Senior Workplace Relations Adviser, Ed Thomas
The Fair Work Commission this week announced a 2.5% increase to the national minimum wage from 1 July 2021. The new national minimum wage will be $772.60 per week or $20.33 per hour. This increase will apply to all award wages, with the award increase happening in 3 different stages. It is important to note that there are some awards in which the wage increase has been deferred to either 1 September 2021 or 1 November 2021, as the FWC deemed there were exceptional circumstances. Please make sure you check your award carefully to determine when this increase will apply or contact us directly for detailed advice.
June 2021

Annual Leave & Workers Compensation

With Senior Workplace Relations Adviser, Ed Thomas
Do you currently have an employee receiving workers compensation? If so, does annual leave accumulate during this period?
The answer is.... it depends! In each state and territory the laws are different. We've provided an overview below, but we recommend that you seek specific advice pertaining to your applicable industrial instrument. If you wish to obtain further information please don't hesitate to contact me at
  • In New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia, annual leave continues to accumulate during workers compensation;
  • In South Australia, generally annual leave accumulates during workers compensation; and
  • In the ACT, Northern Territory and Norfolk Island, annual leave does not accumulate during workers compensation.
May 2021

Portable Long Service Leave

With Senior Workplace Relations Adviser, Ed Thomas
Victoria’s portable long service leave scheme applies to workers in community services, contract cleaning and security and means that these employees can now accrue long service entitlements and transfer them if they change jobs but stay in the relevant industry. If you currently employ staff in these sectors and are not aware of your obligations under the portable long service leave scheme, please feel free to contact me for further information.
April 2021

Kangaroobie Klassic - Race Report

On Saturday Team Cooper Hardiman successfully completed the Kangaroobie Klassic – an adventure race featuring a 1km swim, 15km mountain bike, 5.7km kayak and 7km trail run. There was much enthusiasm for this event a couple of months ago, until our team was hit hard by injuries to Catriona and Ed. Thankfully, Andrew and Claire stepped in to take up the swim and run legs respectively, with Team Captain Gavan taking on dual responsibilities of riding and paddling.

Our first challenge of the day was just getting the kayak to the start line, with Gavan’s navigating and ability to follow instructions coming into question. The crisis was averted however with team members and equipment all ready to go at the allotted hour.

Andy led us off with a valiant swim in the murky waters of the Gellibrand River. It was a crowded up-and-back swim course which required courage and determination, not to mention an iron stomach, and Andy was up for the challenge. A grueling 600m uphill run to the transition area followed where Andy passed the baton to Gavan who was kitted out in his bike gear and more excited than a kid in a candy store.

A quick bib changeover and Gavan was away, rounding up competitors left right and centre and navigating the notoriously treacherous steep downhill section with ease. The rain came in during the second lap, but it did not deter our fearless leader who soldiered on, conquering the 15km ride and raising barely a sweat in doing so.

There was no rest in sight for Gavan however, as he immediately set off down to the river for his 5.7km kayak. Wading through the mud, slush and cow pats was perhaps more difficult that the kayak itself, but Gavan was a match for both challenges and suddenly we found ourselves in a terrific position leading into the final leg.

A quick bib changeover to Claire who leapt over the stile with the grace of a baby giraffe and was away into the forest, hills, swamp and cow paddocks of the run leg. Not deterred by a knee-depth wade through the marshy swamp, climbing over and under tree branches and a foray through cattle yards, she battled on to the dirty, sweaty end, and it was a win (metaphorically, not literally of course) for Team Cooper Hardiman.

A fantastic day was had by all, in an event that it as much fun as it is hard work. Big thanks to Catriona and Sophie for their on-course encouragement and cheerleading to help get Team CH across the line. We’re definitely looking forward to tackling this one again next year.

And also a big congrats to our Team Captain Gavan, who backed up the following day to complete the Warrnambool Tri Club’s Killarney Triathlon, nailing a top 10 finish! Well done Gav!

We’re now on the lookout for a new challenge for Team CH, so if you have any suggestions please let us know, we’d love to hear them!

March 2021

Workplace Investigations

Ed Thomas, Senior Workplace Relations Adviser

If an allegation of bullying, discrimination, harassment or other inappropriate workplace behaviour is made in your workplace it is critical that employers investigate thoroughly and respond in a timely and appropriate manner. Cooper Hardiman investigators bring their training, years of experience and objectivity to bear in identifying the issues for investigation, interviewing relevant witnesses and providing a comprehensive written report that outlines the allegations, relevant evidence and findings. Click the link belowfor further information on how we can assist you.

March 2021

Flexible Workplace Practices

Catriona Hardiman, Lead Facilitator and Senior Adviser

We would love to hear from you! Your participation into our study into the impact of Covid-related flexible work practices on both employers and employees would be invaluable to us. You can contribute your experiences by clicking on the survey link below – the survey takes approximately 5 minutes to complete and your individual and confidential responses will provide great insights into organisational practices going forward. 

Whilst individual survey responses remain confidential, we will share with our network the aggregate survey data to assist businesses in understanding employee sentiment surrounding flexible workplace practices.

Click here to start the survey now:

And if you have a further few minutes to spare, Catriona offers up her views on the importance of leadership ‘soft skills’ and the link to managing workforce transitions in the video below…..but of course if you’d rather speak to her on this topic directly please drop her a line at

The EDucator

Ed Thomas, Senior Workplace RelationsAdviser

Workplace bullying can happen in any workplace. Workplace bullying is repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed at an employee or group of employees that creates risk to health and safety.

Employers have a responsibility under relevant legislation to maintain a workplace that is safe and without risks to psychological and physical health and safety, so far as is reasonably practicable. Employers should develop a workplace policy and procedure for workplace bullying.

Are you meeting your responsibilities as an employer? The team at Cooper Hardiman can help. Click on About Us to contact one of our Consultants.

January 2021

Flexible Workplaces

What are your Obligations?

As many of you know, our Cooper Hardiman team is based in the beautiful coastal city of Warrnambool. But if there's one thing we've learnt from the pandemic, it's that dynamic careers and successful businesses don't have be city based. If you currently have staff who are working from home, now is the time to have a meaningful conversations about remote working opportunities going forward in the post-pandemic world. Flexible workplaces are sure to be employers of choice in the future.

If you're unsure of your obligations as an employer or would like some advice on how to initiate these conversations, please don't hesitate to contact one of our team members. Click on About Us for our contact details. 

January 2021


Catriona Hardiman, Principal

Welcome and thanks for visiting our website. If you're not familiar with Cooper Hardiman, we are the trusted adviser of choice for Human Resources, Industrial Relations and business advisory and training services in Regional Victoria, South Australia and beyond. We are passionate about supporting organizations to achieve their potential through the provision of expert advice and high quality training services. We look forward to providing you with advice, tips and tactics going forward that can be easily implemented within your workplace. You'll also learn more about the Cooper Hardiman team as we work to inspire and motivate you!

December 2020

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