Recent Blogs

Increasingly, ordinary people around the world are seeking and finding services through apps on our phones – arranging transportation with Uber, ordering food using Deliveroo, and sourcing a handyman through Airtasker. This technology-enabled expansion of the ‘gig economy’ is providing increased options and simplicity for consumers. However, it also raises complex questions about the employment […]

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Managing long-term absentees is possibly the most difficult workplace challenge for employers. A recent decision of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) unfortunately maintains an element of uncertainty for business. When confronted with an employee who has taken a lengthy period of absence that is not covered by workers compensation or that goes beyond accrued leave […]

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On 15 December 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse delivered its mammoth final report.  This was the culmination of the five year inquiry, during which the Commission heard from over 8,000 survivors of abuse. The report is wide ranging in the scope of its recommendations for an array of parties […]

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As the ‘silly season’ approaches, it is time to have another look at past cases to see what lessons might be learnt to help your workplace get through the 2017/2018 season unscathed. Christmas Parties The Fair Work Commission frequently hears cases about inappropriate conduct at parties during the silly season, including recent cases about: the […]

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A recent Queensland Supreme Court decision1 has found that Queensland Health was negligent in failing to manage a series of workplace grievances adequately – which caused a senior nurse to develop a psychological injury, rendering her unable to work. THE FACTS Mrs Robinson was the District Director of Nursing for the Cape York Health Service and […]

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The highly anticipated joint Parliamentary Committee report on whistleblower protections was released in September 2017, and with it came a series of sweeping recommendations for reform to whistleblower protections. These recommendations are likely to form the basis of legislative change, to bring Australia in line with comparable jurisdictions such as the USA and the UK. […]

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Employers and franchisors need to be aware of the significant changes they will need to make in the short term after the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017 passed this week. These amendments are scheduled to commence in the next couple of weeks. What are the changes? Once these changes to the Fair […]

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The new financial year has brought important changes to the national minimum wage, minimum wage rates in modern awards, penalty rates in select modern awards, the high income threshold for unfair dismissal access, high income guarantees and maximum civil penalties that employers should be aware of. Set out below is a summary of these changes […]

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Guidance from the High Court on vicarious liability means your employment contracts, position descriptions and delegations need to clearly define an employee’s approved areas of responsibility. Because of the concept of ‘vicarious liability’, an employer who or which has done nothing wrong can be responsible for the wrongful actions of an employee. The critical question […]

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The Federal Government has introduced extensive changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act) to massively increase penalties for businesses that underpay workers; engage in ‘serious contraventions’ regarding employee entitlements; and/or fail to keep records, such as pay-slips.  Penalties for ‘serious contraventions’ are increased tenfold, meaning that the maximum fine for a company will […]

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