Employment Disputes

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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A recent Fair Work Commission decision has put algorithms front and centre in the contractor/employee battle, by finding that Deliveroo’s ability to ‘control’ a worker using its algorithm weighed heavily in favour of an employment relationship.   Overview Last week the Fair Work Commission delivered its latest ruling on the question of whether a Gig […]

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The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has delivered a much-awaited decision, determining that an employee who refused to receive a flu vaccination was not unfairly dismissed.  The case provides guidance to employers about when policies mandating vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, may be lawful and reasonable. Background The employee, Ms Barber, had been employed by Goodstart Early […]

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2021 is likely to bring a comprehensive review of some critical workplace legal issues as the High Court deliberates on a range of employment-related appeals. In February, the High Court granted leave to appeal in three significant legal cases including a contractor/employee dispute (Jamszek v ZG Operations), a labour hire/employee dispute (CFMMEU v Personnel Contracting) […]

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After some years of uncertainty, in a landmark decision[1], the High Court has clarified that: paid personal/carer’s leave under the National Employment Standards (NES) is calculated based on an employee’s ordinary hours of work; and ’10 days’ of paid personal/carer’s leave is to be calculated as 1/26 of an employee’s ordinary hours of work in […]

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As the effects of COVID-19 continue to shape the workplace, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) was recently called upon to consider the clashes between an employer’s right to seek information related to an employee’s travel activities, work health and safety (WHS) obligations, and privacy protections. On 29 June 2020, the FWC dismissed an unfair dismissal […]

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A true ‘casual’ employee does not have a ‘firm advance commitment’ as to the duration of their employment, or the days or hours they will work. This is the ruling of the Full Court of the Federal Court in WorkPac v Rossato[1], reinforcing its recent decision in WorkPac v Skene[2] (see our previous blog here). […]

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