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HR Toolbox: Edition 9 – 2017

Latest news: The latest Annual Report released by the Fair Work Commission has revealed that in the last 12 months there has been an upwards trend in general protections (involving dismissal) applications, with a 14% increase in this type of claim from 2015-2016.  Out of the 3,564 general protections applications made to the Commission, 73% of them were finalised at the Commission level and ...

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HR Toolbox: Edition 8 – 2017

Latest news The McGowan government has introduced amendments to the Occupational Safety & Health Act 1984 (WA) to increase penalties for offences under the Act. The significant increases are aimed at ensuring that penalties better reflect the importance of a safe workplace and to bring Western Australia’s penalties in line with other jurisdictions in Australia.  To review the Bill and explanatory memorandum, click here....

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HR Toolbox Edition 7 – 2017

Latest decisions The Fair Work Commission, which found that an employee’s dismissal was not a genuine redundancy, has ordered to have the employee reinstated back into his former job (or an equivalent position) despite the employer opposing such an order on the basis that the former job no longer existed and the employment relationship had been irretrievably broken. Links to the full decision ...

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Think Twice Before Withholding a Bonus Or Changing a Bonus Scheme

Mr Anthony Loone was the Managing Principal of the Launceston arm of Crowe Horwath (Aust) Pty Ltd (CHA).  Mr Loone’s contract contained a term that provided for the payment of a bonus. The relevant clause of the contract provided that: “The bonus you may be eligible to get forms a discretionary component of your Remuneration. The Company will determine from time to time, at its ...

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New liabilities and higher penalties - recent changes to the Fair Work Act

We summarise below the key changes to the FW Act that may impact on you or your business: Higher penalties The maximum penalties for civil remedy provisions of the FW Act have now increased tenfold.  An employer who seriously contravenes their obligations under certain provisions of the FW Act may be liable for up to $126,000 per contravention where the employer is an individual and up to $630,000 where the employer is a corporation....

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HR Toolbox Edition 6 - 2017

Recent News. On 4 September 2017, the Senate voted to expanded the Fair Work Ombudsman's investigative powers, while imposing limits on the types of matters it can examine. The Opposition’s amendments to the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017, still enable the FWO to exercise coercive powers with respect to gathering evidence of breaches, but these powers are subject ...

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Employer Successfully Rebuts Aged Care Worker’s Bullying Claim

The employee made multiple bullying allegations covering a period of approximately 3 years. Amongst those allegations she claimed that: the first day she met the manager that the manager yelled and screamed at her in the office;, she was detained against her will when she was asked to complete paperwork regarding a car accident at the end of her shift;, the manager’s concerns about timekeeping ...

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HR Toolbox Edition 5 - 2017

1.  Latest decisions. Disciplinary meeting attendance a must The Federal Court of Australia has held that failure to attend a disciplinary meeting amounted to repudiation of a dentist’s employment contract. The contract contained a clause to “obey the reasonable directions” of the employer. The disciplinary meeting sought to address staff concerns that the dentist’s ...

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Be Careful of New Employees Bearing Gifts

Two ex-employees of the appellant Lifeplan, a company engaged in the business of fund management and the provision of investment products including funeral bonds and pre-paid funeral products, joined Foresters, another friendly society in late 2010. Foresters’ business included similar investment products and pre-paid funeral products as that provided by Lifeplan. Shortly prior to leaving ...

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HR Toolbox Edition 4 - 2017

1.  Latest decisions. Here to stay: casual conversion clauses introduced in modern awards The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has found that casual employees on modern awards should be entitled to elect to convert to full-time or part-time employment, subject to certain rules and restrictions. Casual employees will be eligible to convert to permanent employment sufficient to a qualifying ...

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HR Toolbox: Edition 3 - 2017

1.  Latest Decisions   Breach of Social Media Policy May be Cause for Dismissal The FWC confirms that social media activity may be grounds for termination, if the employer has conducted a full investigation to understand the context of any perceived inappropriate comments. In a recent case, the employee made “ridiculous” posts on Facebook including one announcing that “We all support ISIS” which led to his dismissal....

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HR Toolbox: Edition 2 - 2017

1.  Latest Decisions   Sunday and public holiday penalty rates slashed! In an historic decision, the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission has reduced Sunday and public holiday penalty rate structures in awards for the hospitality, retail, fast food and pharmacy industry, effective from 1 July 2017. For further details about this changes, refer to our previous blog. Long ...

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