Recent Blogs

When might an employer pay salaries rather than wages to workers covered by Modern Awards? What recent changes to the law help or hinder these arrangements? Employment law Partner Jacquie Seemann discussed these questions in an interview with law and accounting CPD course provider Television Education Network. Click here to listen to the full interview. […]

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Changes to NSW modern slavery laws

Legislation Update

The NSW parliament has passed significant changes to its new modern slavery legislation to harmonise it with the federal law. The Modern Slavery Act 2018 (NSW) will now begin on 1 January, 2022. Background The original NSW Act was passed by Parliament in 2018 but never took effect.  The commencement of the NSW Act was […]

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ASIC urges employers to review whistleblower policies

Employment Policies

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has recently published an open letter to the CEOs of public and large proprietary companies, urging them to review their whistleblower policies to ensure they comply with the law. Through 2020, ASIC reviewed a sample of 102 whistleblower policies to examine how employers are responding to the strengthened whistleblower […]

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The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) has dismissed challenges to the Queensland Police Commissioner’s direction requiring staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The QIRC found the Police Commissioner had the power to issue the direction and that the Queensland Police Service (QPS) did not fail to meet its consultation obligations before issuing the direction. This […]

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The legality of Public Health Orders (PHOs) and vaccination directives aimed at managing the COVID-19 pandemic is being challenged in courts across the Eastern seaboard. The cases are being closely watched, as they involve arguments about civil liberties and human rights. In a judgment published last Friday afternoon (and watched online by over 30,000 viewers), […]

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In a very timely new decision, the Fair Work Commission has given further guidance for employers about policies mandating vaccines and, in particular, when such policies are likely to be considered lawful and reasonable. In our April 2021 blog we reviewed the previous decision of the Commission considering the validity of a mandatory flu-vax policy in Goodstart […]

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The last week has seen some developments in the COVID-19 space that give employers guidance about their potential liability for: COVID-19 contracted by employees in the course of their employment; and side effects of COVID-19 vaccination if the employer has mandated or encouraged vaccination. One NSW Personal Injury Commission case has confirmed that employees will […]

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The High Court has clarified  the common law ‘test’ for determining whether an employee is a casual employee under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) and it is significant, because it departs from the established case law.  However, the decision’s impact is limited because the common law test has been supplanted by a […]

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The Fair Work Commission Full Bench has demonstrated a degree of pragmatic flexibility in applying the better off overall test (the BOOT) to a Commonwealth Bank of Australia Group (CBA Group) enterprise agreement – the Commonwealth Bank Group Enterprise Agreement 2020 (the Agreement). The Full Bench has indicated that it will accept a ‘reconciliation clause’ […]

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In a development that will be welcome to retail employers and might pave the way for changes in other industries, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has amended the General Retail Industry Award 2020 (Retail Award) to provide greater flexibility in rostering and managing part-time workers. Under the amendments, which came into effect on 1 July […]

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