Home' Border Enterprise : Summer-Autumn 2011-2012 Contents 25
Vol 5. Summer/Autumn
FINDING your way through the
labyrinth of legal, political, social and
economic influences on business
can be a nightmare but there is one
port of call where you can get all the
necessary assistance to stay on track.
For more than 150 years the Victorian
Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry
(VECCI) has provided leadership, information,
representation and networking opportunities to
businesses across the state. As the peak body
for business in Victoria it can provide a whole
range of services and advice to help assist and
grow your business.
"VECCI services more than 15,000 members
and customers around Victoria, many of whom
are based right here in the Wodonga region,"
said regional manager, Katrina Wise.
"We are an independent, non-government
organisation which means we concentrate solely
on the best interests of Wodonga and North
East Victoria businesses at all times."
One of VECCI's most important roles is to brief
businesses on their legal obligations.
"Laws are changing all the time and in the
last few years we've had overhauls of industrial
relations, equal opportunity and occupational
health and safety legislation," Ms Wise said.
"To help businesses know what their ever-
changing obligations are, we stage regular
briefings in Wodonga and other parts of regional
Victoria so you can have a chance to hear about
the changes from a qualified expert and ask any
questions you have."
Employing staff is not without its complications
and risks and knowing your obligations and
commitments as an employer is vital. VECCI
is available assist businesses to meet their
requirements with minimal fuss.
"Our Workplace Relations Helpline can answer
any query you have about a workplace issue,
including interpreting laws and legislation,
employee entitlements, record keeping
responsibilities and much more," Ms Wise said.
"We have a dedicated team of trained and
experienced advisors just a phone call away."
For more complex situations like handling
terminations, discrimination claims and other
human resources issues, VECCI consultants
can come to your workplace for a one-on-one
briefing, so you get a solution tailored to your
Occupational health and safety (OHS) is
another vital issue for all employers and non-
compliance can lead to warnings, fines and
possible prosecution. VECCI's OHS Helpline
is available Monday to Friday to assist with
queries about workers' compensation, legislative
requirements and potential OHS risks.
"For more involved matters, our OHS
consultants can provide more detailed advice
and conduct risk assessments, workplace
audits and incident investigations, so you'll
know how to provide a safe workplace for your
employees," Ms Wise advised.
"In addition, there are many broader
challenges facing Victorian businesses and
specific challenges in and around Wodonga.
"VECCI is a consistent advocate for the
interests and needs of business with all levels
of government -- at a local and state level and,
through our affiliations, at a federal level too.
"We are regularly in touch with our members
to determine what the pressing issues are
and where businesses need a helping hand,"
Ms Wise explained. "We also act as the
'voice of business' to ensure local needs and
achievements are well publicised."
In addition, VECCI provides its members
with access to a document library containing
hundreds of different business tools and
templates that can be downloaded and
customised to your business's needs, at no
These tools and templates take the hassle out
of record keeping. You can get everything from
equal opportunity and privacy policies to generic
position descriptions and performance review
templates, so you can spend more time on the
"With regional Victoria being at the heart of the
state's economic success, we have a special
focus on helping our regional businesses grow,"
Ms Wise said.
In support of this, VECCI is committed
to offering a wider selection of affordable,
professional training courses that are more
accessible to businesses in regional Victoria.
"We stage regular courses in Wodonga on
topics as varied as improving customer service
to presentation skills and the responsible service
of alcohol," Ms Wise said.
"Another part of getting ahead in business is
connecting with the right people. We stage a
regular series of networking events all around
Victoria where you can meet with like-minded
people and potentially get to know new clients
and customers, such as our Fast Forward speed
VECCI is also committed to ensuring that
businesses are sustainable, which has both
environmental advantages and economic
advantages. Its sustainability team offers
advice specifically for small and medium sized
Ms Wise, who was raised in Wodonga, has
an intimate knowledge of the area and would
be delighted to discuss your business's issues,
connect you to the appropriate service and talk
about the range of membership VECCI offers.
Your guide through
the business maze
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