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Employment and Workplace Relations Blog

Employment Law and Workplace Relations Blog

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Can emails be legally binding?

What will the court look for? When determining whether or not there is a binding contract the court will look objectively at the broader context of the emails and the intention of the parties, including: whether there is any indication that the parties intended to be bound immediately;, whether there is reference to a formal contract and intention to formally sign one; and, whether offer and acceptance of a contract can be read into the emails....

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When is an Independent Contractor an Employee? Recent media interest in the prospective class action against Appco Group Australia raised the difficult issue of when is an independent contractor actually an employee? From an employer’s perspective, it may in certain circumstances be preferable to engage a person as an independent contractor rather than an employee. A principal contractor will ...

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In the FWO’s line of fire: A warning to all medical practice owners/doctors

The Federal Circuit Court of Australia has ordered that Windaroo Medical Surgery pay a pecuniary penalty of $39,600 for acting in contravention of sections 343 and 340 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).  The unlawful conduct included: making the following threats to coerce the doctor into not pursuing a complaint that he had made to the Fair Work Ombudsman against the surgery (Complaint); threatening ...

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Reasonable Management Action Trumps Bullying Claim. A manager recently was successful in satisfying the Fair Work Commission that anti-bullying orders were not required because his actions were, on the whole, reasonable and lawful management actions. The employee had made an application for anti-bullying orders claiming he was the victim of a sustained campaign of bullying and intimidation. Commissioner ...

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Accessorial Liability and HR Advisers – Don’t Get Caught in the FWO’s Net . In a recent speech to the Australian Human Resources Institute, the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), Natalie James, warned people working in human resources management and recruitment that they could be at risk of accessorial liability for breaches of the Fair Work Act 2009 (the Act). Section 550 of the Act ...

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Are you across your health and safety responsibilities in the workplace?. Generally, the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (WA) (the Act) and supporting regulations and codes set out responsibilities applicable to all persons in the workplace in Western Australia.  Other more specific legislation and regulations may apply depending on the type of industry involved (eg. mining and gas)....

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Updated Workplace Bullying Prevention and Management Guides. Safe Work Australia have published updated versions of their anti-bullying guides. The two publications, “Guide for preventing and responding to workplace bullying” and “Dealing with workplace bullying – A worker’s guide” provide information to employers and workers in the context of the work health and safety laws (WHS)....

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Recent decision of interest:. Interim anti-bullying orders to deal with picketing The Fair Work Commission has issued interim anti-bullying orders in a Melbourne Brewery dispute to stop five replacement workers from being approached or harassed by picketers. The picketers were protesting along the worksite’s entrance after more than 50 employees were made redundant following a contract changeover....

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News and events:. Cashing out annual leave On 29 July 2016 the Fair Work Commission (FWC) updated 112 modern workplace awards to allow workers to choose to cash out some of their annual leave. The changes will allow workers to cash in 2 weeks of leave per 12-month period, and has sparked discussions about the impact on work-life balance. Click here to read more. Networking event – Perth Young Professionals Date: Wednesday 31 August Time: 5....

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Workplace Bullying in Healthcare Practices

It used to be the case that there was no national legislation prohibiting workplace bullying. This meant that a worker who wanted to pursue a bullying claim had to rely on general laws such as workers’ compensation laws, anti-discrimination laws and common law claims. This changed on 1 January 2014 when new workplace bullying laws were introduced as part of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), making ...

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