Flexible Work Arrangements

Major sectoral shifts in employment in Australia have caused many changes in the mix of standard and non-standard jobs, and, against a backdrop of growth in employment, part-time and casual work has expanded at the expense of full-time employment.

The survey shows that 75% of respondent’s organisations offered permanent part-time work to employees. The survey data is consistent with the notion that the growth of part-time jobs is a by-product of the expansion of the services sector, with 100% of service organisations offering part-time employment. The survey also shows a high incidence of casual employment, with 53% of organisations offering casual hours, which suggests that call centres are seeking to extend the use of part-time and casual employees to meet daily fluctuations in call volumes and to provide service outside the ordinary hours of work. Other figures include:

Variable Reward Schemes

Variable reward strategies were reported by some 54% of call centres. Of these, the main focus was on individual and team performance. This emphasis was influenced by the presence of telesales staff in the sample, an area that has traditionally included some form of sales target related reward or bonus. Many call centres benefit from wider organisational variable reward schemes.

The advantage of a variable pay scheme lies in the fact that it does not become a permanent cost to the company, or an annuity to the employee. This allows control of the fixed portion of direct pay and employee costs while the variable portion changes from period to period depending on individual, work group, business unit or corporate performance.

Variable remuneration systems allow companies to pay on their capacity to pay rather than on external market pressures or other factors often unrelated to business performance. Further, variable remuneration allows companies to increase the flexible portion of the package to attract candidates when the market demand for such skills sets are high. Conversely, organisations are able to reduce the variable proportion when market demand for particular skill sets subsides.

The incidence of variable reward schemes being linked to customer satisfaction was reported by a significant proportion of call centres (15%).

Note to the chart: The larger the proportion in the pie chart, the higher the emphasis reported by call centres on the variable reward factor.

Enterprise Bargaining and Employment Agreements

An insight into the broader issues surrounding employment relations and remuneration contributed by Phillips Fox, employment relations specialists, is at Appendix 3.

Turnover

Wide variances were reported in turnover figures from call centres with the lowest rate reported in financial services and insurance provider call centres. Services and Other Industries (includes telecommunications, utilities and manufacturing) reported higher levels of turnover.

Causes of turnover, ways to reduce the incidence of, and costs associated with turnover are explored in the Hallis study into turnover in call centres. To subscribe to this study, please indicate your preference on the enclosed subscriber service card.

Average

Q1

Median

Q3

Summary

22%

10.0%

16.0%

25.0%

By Industry

Average

Q1

Median

Q3

Financial Services & Insurance

7%

5.0%

7.3%

10.0%

Services

33%

20.0%

23.5%

40.8%

Other Industries

23%

15.0%

16.0%

20.0%

 

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