Recent Blogs

The Federal Circuit Court has rebuked the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) for ‘naming and shaming’ respondents long before the hearing or a decision, in imposing a significantly lesser penalty on a Melbourne restaurant chain than the FWO sought for underpayments to employees. FACTS The Meatball & Wine Bar operated three Italian restaurants in Melbourne.  When […]

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On 16 August 2018, a Full Federal Court of Australia confirmed the importance of properly characterising the nature of a casual employment relationship. The decision in WorkPac Pty Ltd v Skene [2018] FCAFC 131 (Workpac) also shone a searing light into the practice and common misunderstanding of the risks of using ‘permanent casuals’. Paul Skene […]

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In the lead up to the new financial year, many government agencies announce changes to take effect on 1 July.  The Fair Work Commission (FWC) is no exception. Recently, the FWC announced an increase to the minimum wage from 1 July 2018, with proportionate increases to follow through to all modern award minimum rates. The […]

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Individuals who incite or threaten violence based on race, religion, sexuality or various other grounds risk a three-year jail sentence under new NSW laws. The Crimes Amendment (Publicly Threatening and Inciting Violence) Act 2018 (NSW)1 (Amending Act) was passed on 20 June 2018.  It consists of two major parts. The first part of the Amending Act […]

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The Commonwealth Government has proposed an amnesty for employers who are not compliant with superannuation guarantee laws. The amnesty is outlined in the Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Superannuation Measures No. 1) Bill 2018, which was introduced into Commonwealth Parliament on 24 May 2018. If legislated, the amnesty will allow employers to correct certain failures to make […]

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The Fair Work Commission (FWC), in its annual wage review, has decided to increase all award minimum rates of pay by 3.5% from 1 July 2018.  The new national minimum weekly wage will be $719.20. Some takeaways from the FWC’s decision include: the labour market has improved significantly – full time employment, hours worked and […]

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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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