Employment Disputes

The Full Federal Court has provided employers with much-needed guidance on when they can lawfully dismiss employees suffering from a disability.  The decision in Western Union Business Solutions (Australia) Pty Ltd v Robinson [2019] FCAFC 181 shows that a dismissal due to an employee’s incapacity to return to work will not necessarily lead to a finding […]

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It is not controversial that employers can lawfully sack employees who breach workplace policies – including policies on social media use and expression of public views outside of work. However, the limitations of employer power in this context have been the subject of much public debate recently. In this context, on 7 August 2019, the […]

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Truckie wins unfair dismissal after flawed workplace investigation. A NSW truck driver who was fired after hitting a dead kangaroo and for allegedly speeding was recently awarded $17,416 after the Fair Work Commission (FWC) found he was denied procedural fairness during the investigation process: Rodney Wilkins v Green Gables Express Pty Ltd [2019] FWC 2892. […]

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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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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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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 Airtasker1. 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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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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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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