Recent Blogs

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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Now that the Federal Government has secured cross-bench support to make some critical changes to the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 (Code), building contractors need to make sure all enterprise agreements (EAs) are Code compliant before they tender for any new federally-funded construction work.  Prudent building contractors will act now. […]

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Criminal charges against a teacher will not automatically result in the termination of the teacher’s employment without the employer taking proactive steps, says a recent Federal Court of Australia decision. The decision resolves a discrepancy between two Fair Work Commission Full Bench (FWCFB) decisions dealing with teachers, White v Mahony [2015] FWCFB 4952 (Mahony’s case) […]

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Some employers manage excessive absences from work reactively. They may receive a series of vague and short medical certificates that refer to the worker having, for example, a ‘medical condition’. Precious little detail is provided about the worker’s condition and likely date for a return to work. To get some clarity around the worker’s condition […]

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As the holiday season approaches, many employers are starting to organise their end of year parties to celebrate the year, build morale and encourage team bonding. An often-overlooked aspect of planning these parties is the employer’s legal risks and responsibilities. Whether it is held during or after office hours the end of year party, like […]

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Employees often make more than one claim against their employer – or in racing terms, try for a quinella or trifecta of claims. Whether more than one claim can succeed depends on the nature of the claims; sometimes the law will not allow it.

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