Boardroom briefing: HR post pandemic, overhauling the gig economy, and Australia’s role in PNG


The changing role of HR post-COVID-19, making the gig economy fairer, and ICAC Bill an opportunity for Australia-PNG relationship. Readings from around the world on business, leadership and management.

Ways business will change after the pandemic


COVID-19 is reshaping the way HR departments work. Credit: Gartner/Instagram

According to Gartner, you need to be aware of the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping hiring and working practices, lest your business lose ground to its competitors.

For example, Gartner suggests 32 per cent of organisations are replacing full-time contracts with contingent or casual workers in the current unstable environment.

Beyond the obvious remote working change, there are a number of other observations including the expanded role of an employer in their employees’ financial, physical and mental wellbeing and the role of key jobs when it comes to company workflow.

Gartner also suggests successful businesses will need to make a shift from knee-jerk cost reduction to making sure they have long-term resilience in the face of a very uncertain trading future.

Making the gig economy fairer

COVID-19 has unmasked the ugliest face of the gig economy. Credit Uber/Instagram

With the pandemic making companies shift further away from full-time employees, Nikkei Asian Review takes a timely look at the gig economy.

Jai Vipra, a Technology Police Researcher, says that many start ups suchas Uber, Gojek and Deliveroo depended on a fast-growing, highly flexible staff of gig workers to grow – and they shed them quickly and ruthlessly as the pandemic took hold.

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‘Gig workers’ misery has called into question the business models of digital platforms,’ Vipra says. ‘If their workers have had to bear economic risk, why should they not be participants in economic prosperity? The questions COVID-19 has prompted are going to loom large over the digital era of capitalism.’

Vipra calls for a revolution in the sector, with gig workers afforded more rights, especially since many are putting their health on the line to deliver food and services during the COVID-19 crisis.

Australia needs to step up its role in PNG

Australia needs to take a stronger more proactive role in relations with Papua New Guinea, argues Jeffrey Wall who has had a 43-year association with Papua New Guinea, including as an adviser to prime ministers and senior ministers.

Wall says in The Strategist that when the two countries work well together it has positive outcomes for PNG, like the assistance and support given to the PNG judiciary by Australia over the years.

‘A window of opportunity is about to open, and Australia must take it – robustly and urgently,’ Walls argues. ‘Legislation to establish the long-promised, and long-delayed, PNG anti-corruption commission is now very close to becoming a reality. Earlier this month, the Independent Commission Against Corruption Bill had its second reading in the parliament and it is expected to pass the final hurdle in August.

‘Australia must use all its influence with the PNG government to ensure that the new commission is focused on weeding out corruption and misuse of funds at all levels of public administration.’

He believes that a robust anti-corruption commission will ensure that aid and assistance from PNG’s near neighbour not only continue, but be better spent.

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