Recent Blogs

Significant amendments to the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 (SCHADS Award) will take effect from the first pay period on or after 1 July 2022, putting into effect the Fair Work Commission’s determination of earlier this year following its four yearly review. Summary of changes Changes to the SCHADS Award […]

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Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers were not aware of section 524 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act), which enables an employer to stand down an employee, without pay, if the employee cannot be usefully employed. This includes when there has been a ‘stoppage of work’ for which the employer cannot be […]

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Consistent with its recent judgment on casual employment in Workpac v Rossato, the High Court of Australia has locked in the primacy of the contract in assessing whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. Businesses familiar with the multi-factorial approach, under which all factors relating to (or the ‘totality’ of) a working […]

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As the pandemic continues to plague us, there have been some developments in courts and tribunals over the summer that shed light on the question of the lawfulness and reasonableness of vaccination requirements introduced by employers. The cases deal with three distinct issues: whether an employer must consult, and has consulted, its employees before introducing […]

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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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