Why is that Racing Queensland has a 3 year average employee separation rate of 38%?
Or a three year aggregate rate of 117%?
An employee separation rate means the number of employees that quit or get sacked from a company each year.
What these numbers mean is that more than of RQ’s employees on average exit the building each year, never to return.
In the space of 3 years, more employees have left Racing Queensland than actually work there.
It’s a true story.
RQ has just 85 employees.
But 97 people have come and gone only three years.
No organisation other than cold-call sales companies whose employees are paid on commission only turn over that number of staff.
In fact extensive research by the HR Nicholls Society, a leading employer association, shows that the average staff turnover rate across all industries was only 18 percent.
Racing Queensland’s turnover is more than double that figure, and remember here we are talking about a State Government department that pays public service wages and offers excellent conditions, including a 36.5 hour week, over time, flexitime, RDO’s, and superannuation contributions well in excess of the standard minimum 9.5% that other employers pay.
Given all these goodies, you’d expect people to be crawling over broken glass to get in the door, and chaining themselves to the desk to keep their jobs; but instead they are leaving in droves, and there is no sign of the outward tide receding.
It doesn’t make sense on paper. Why would so many people be walking out the door?
There can be only one reason, and that is this.
Racing Queensland has a serious management problem.
That’s speculation of course, because I don’t work there, but I ran public sector unions here and abroad for twenty years, and understand the dynamics of government workplaces better than most.
That I am correct in pointing the finger at Racing Queensland’s management is borne out by the numbers of ex-gratia payments and court ordered settlements made by Racing Queensland over the past two financial years since Brendan Parnell took over the reins as CEO of the organisation.
An ex-gratia payment is what we used to call piss-off money in the union trade, meaning that it is a cash payment of salary or wages that an employee is not entitled to, paid to them as part of exit deal to settle an employment dispute.
An ex-gratia payment can sometimes also be a golden handshake bestowed on a departing employee as a reward for their sterling service, but as this type of payment is totally prohibited in the public sector, in this case it can’t be that.
A court-ordered settlement is a payment that the Queensland Industrial Commission or the Federal Court (Employment Division) order an employer to make in relation to an unfair dismissal or adverse action case brought by a former employee.
Racing Queensland have made 12 of these types of payment over the past 2 reported financial years.
The total paid was more than half a million dollars.
That’s about $40 grand a head, and it doesn’t include the former CEO Eliot Forbes payout of around half a million dollars, because that’s recorded separately in the books.
Those numbers are outrageous.
In the previous two years Racing Queensland had only paid out only $89 000 in these types of exit payments.
Under Parnell’s leadership – if that is the right word – that number has multiplied by greater than 500%.
And this is scarce racing money don’t forget, not lollies.
There is something very, very wrong with our Principal Racing Authority.
In fact I would take it a step further, and say that this organisation is sick.
Just compare the QRIC staff turnover numbers and you can see it clearly.
Now I have been as critical of the QRIC Commissioner Ross Barnett in the past about racing matters, and perhaps even more, but I have never said that Barnett is anything but a brilliant public service CEO and a top class people manager, and it’s borne out here.
The QRIC has almost double the number of staff that Racing Queensland does, yet it’s annual turnover rate is only 5.5% over two years, and only 3.78% in the last 12 months.
Compare those numbers to Racing Queensland’s.
Average – 5.5% v 38%
Last 12 months – 3.78% v 28.9%
I’m sure that Ross Barnett is doing plenty of things right.
Just as I’m certain that Brendan Parnell must be doing a whole lot wrong.
Numbers don’t lie, only people do.
There is a cancer in the Deagon bunker.
For the good of racing, it must be excised.