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Employment and Workplace Relations Blog

Employment Law and Workplace Relations Blog

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HR Toolbox Edition 10 2018

Recent news In a recent controversial decision by the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission, employers using “back to back” term contracts may now run the risk of facing an unfair dismissal claim where a contract is not renewed. Click here to read our full blog on this key decision. , The results of the Fair Work Ombudsman’s healthcare sector campaign have found that ...

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RISK ALERT: A non-renewal of a term contract may now be considered a dismissal by the employer

Generally, under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FWA) an employee can only bring an unfair dismissal claim if their employment has been terminated at the initiative of the employer. Prior to the decision of the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission in Saeid Khayam v Navitas English Pty Ltd t/as Navitas English [2017] FWCFB 5162 (Navitas) an employee under a term contract that expired and was not ...

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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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Occupational Health and Safety Blog

Whilst Western Australia never quite made it out of the starting gate, the majority of other Australian jurisdictions (with the exception of Victoria) have since enacted harmonised OHS legislation based on the Model Legislation published in or about 2010. Having spent considerable time and resources in preparation for the Model legislation that never came, it is unsurprising that many Western Australian industries are a little jaded and more than a little confused....

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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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