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The coronavirus outbreak is posing a great ethical challenge for many employers, along with a huge opportunity for HR to step up into a bigger strategic role, says HR vice-president at Gartner, Aaron McEwan. "Just because you don't legally have to pay somebody, maybe doesn't mean you shouldn't, from an ethical perspective and a corporate reputation perspective," he says.

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The enterprise bargaining space is currently quite volatile and will likely remain that way for some time. But certain recent rulings have provided some much-needed clarity for employers, says Herbert Smith Freehills partner Natalie Gaspar.

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Researchers have affirmed a positive link between HR gamification and employees' job satisfaction and engagement. The academics describe gamification as "one of the most prominent modern trends" in organisational management.

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The new framework recommended for managing workplace sexual harassment is a welcome step beyond just compliance, but falls short of a truly victim-centred approach, says Human Synergistics ANZ chair Shaun McCarthy. He warns the framework 'isolates culture instead of respecting its central role.

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Organisations often have unrealistic expectations when workplace conflicts arise, handballing problems to HR functions in ways that undermine their expertise, The Zalt Group director Zandy Fell says. In a new webcast, she discusses how to overcome common obstacles to conflict resolution and the importance of diagnosing conflict before taking action.

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Diversity "fatigue" is challenging even the most committed advocates in organisations, but Diversity Council Australia's CEO Lisa Annese says there are still many good reasons to keep pushing the agenda. Meanwhile, organisations have been reporting their achievements against gender diversity targets and their efforts to attract, develop and retain more women.