Roubler solution resolves modern award headaches for retailers

Australia’s commitment to fair practice in the workplace has resulted in a unique challenge for employers navigating the modern award system, which sets out minimum terms of employment including rosters, allowances and pay.

The complexities of modern awards all too frequently lead to non-compliance, often committed by well-meaning retailers whose systems and processes simply can’t cope. The result? Hefty fines for simple misinterpretations.

This is a concern that Roubler founder Andrew Northcott set out to resolve after experiencing the challenges of managing complex workforces first-hand. Northcott launched the software in 2016 as an all-in-one workforce management system, consciously built around compliance – and after a proven track record helping businesses avoid the pitfalls of compliance, Roubler recently secured a significant investment from leading business management platform MYOB.

“The fact is, modern awards are really complicated, and even Fair Work would tell you that compliance can come down to an interpretation,” says Northcott. “Basically, every business has to go in and interpret the awards for themselves, and that obviously leaves a huge amount of room for error. That’s where our software comes in. We have the retail award built in, as well as checks and measures in place throughout the rostering and time and attendance process; it’s tried and tested and proven by the retailers across Australia already using it.”

To help ensure businesses using the platform remain in the clear even when there are changes to awards, Roubler has worked closely with Fair Work, contributing to the team that is digitising award compliance processes Australia-wide. This consultation process will ultimately see Roubler have access to revisions to modern awards directly from Fair Work. 

This builds on Roubler’s existing compliance features, including the ability to automatically apply changes across a business as soon as an award is updated. System administrators receive a notification as the award changes, and can roll out the update at the click of a button. With Roubler, managers are also alerted to potential non-compliance issues as they arise at any stage of the workforce management process.

“You know when you’re creating a roster, for example, that the store manager isn’t going to know the intricacies of the awards and how they affect the way they should be rostering,” says Northcott. “When a business gets set up with Roubler, we build in the relevant checks and measures to help ensure compliance, so that every team member doesn’t have to be an expert.

“For example, if a manager rosters a team member on without the right length break, there’ll be an alert; or if they haven’t had enough consecutive days off in a row, they’ll be notified. That’s what takes the pressure off those managers who are creating their rosters day to day – and it gives head office the peace of mind that they’re going to be compliant in a way that can’t be overridden by the wrong person.”

Roubler’s system has proven a welcome solution for many well-known businesses, including the likes of WHSmith, Terry White Chemists, MAC, Guess, Estee Lauder and Guzman y Gomez. These businesses that may have previously relied on manual data entry or various unconnected rostering and payroll systems have now moved to Roubler, which incorporates everything they need to recruit, onboard, roster, manage and pay teams – all while circumventing the risk of costly compliance blunders. With all workforce management data within the one system, much of the management of shift-based workforces is automated, clearing the way for a more concentrated leadership focus on the broader objectives of the business.

According to Northcott, the system setup is also relatively straightforward. “Basically, you sign up, and we will work with you to coach you through the process and help you understand the system,” he says. “Typically you can be up and running within a month. From that point on, a dedicated customer success person will be available to you, and we also have a 24 hour, five days a week support team to help with any questions you may have.”

While the recent MYOB investment has already fast-tracked Roubler’s growth, potentially the most transformative evolution of Roubler’s software is expected to go live later this year. By overlaying the existing one-click smart roster feature with AI-driven insights into employee engagement and sales performance, the solution is set to become a game-changer that not only resolves the award compliance issue, but also provides digital insights to optimise the rostering process far beyond the limitations of human capabilities.

“The results will be intelligent rosters the likes of which have never been seen before,” says Northcott – which will see Roubler providing a depth of insight and intelligence that could well be influencing the way many Australian retailers shape their workforces in years to come.
To book a demo or find out more, visit Roubler’s website.