ACA Resource Sharing System27 May 2020
The ACA Resource Sharing System (RSS) is a very timely employment initiative designed to assist members in retaining valuable staff by entering into short-term secondment agreements.
For several years the ACA has been developing a Resource Sharing System to expand upon a long-held but unofficial practice within the architectural profession of loaning staff from one office to another.
The cyclical nature of the construction industry, particularly during an economic downturn, inevitably leads to an insecurity of workflow. Unfortunately, this can lead to architectural practices resorting to underbidding fees, losing money and then ultimately retrenching staff. Quality people are lost from the profession and the wider industry, with many practices unable to retain valuable staff. Each time this occurs the profession loses some of the brightest talent, who unfortunately do not return when the economy picks up.
While downturns are beyond the ACA’s control, we believe we can assist to smooth the curve and importantly maintain the employment of valuable staff by broadening the loan system.
Why is the RSS important?
At the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, the ACA connected with its members across the country to find out exactly what support they needed. Overwhelmingly, staffing issues presented as a key concern, with practices forced to make staff reductions, standing employees down, cutting their hours and/or considering redundancies. Many were also asking about secondment opportunities.
The ACA has brought forward the release of the Resource Sharing System (RSS) in direct response to the increasing need to retain and sustain employees in the workforce now and into the future. The RSS is also supported with a new ACA Secondment Agreement.
How does it work?
This peer to peer collegiate networking system enables the identification of available and required resources and matches them on the basis of skill, experience, location and timeframe. It has a mapping application built in for geographical search function.
It connects practices together at a Director to Director level where opportunities can be explored and agreed upon, and secondment agreements set in place.
The RSS is primarily intended to enable practices to maintain quality valued staff during downturns and enable staff to expand their networks and gain different work experience while still maintaining and accruing entitlements such as annual leave, personal and long service leave. The aim is to provide greater certainty in employment for many members of the profession.
What are the benefits?
The RSS is a straightforward system designed to ensure that valuable and talented architects retain employment within the profession. It features simple secondment agreements between Directors, but these have the potential to save architectural practices tens of thousands of dollars a year in recruitment costs and/or redundancy payments.
Given the recent Federal Court decision with respect to entitlements to casual staff, the RSS should give a greater level of confidence in employing staff in the knowledge that there is an option other than termination if work volumes reduce.
How do I access the RSS?
The ACA Resource Sharing System (RSS) is accessible to ACA members at no cost. You can log in to the RSS here.
This service is only as good as the number of members that use it. The greater the level of participation, the more valuable the tool will become. As it is in its infancy, we welcome any comment or feedback that can assist in further developing and improving the tool. Please note that this is a desktop version. Mobile versions will be released in due course.
For more information and to give feedback, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The ACA looks forward to supporting you and your practice, so we can retain and encourage architectural talent within our communities.
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