Employment Disputes

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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On 18 May 2020, the Federal Court ruled[1] that Qantas does not have to pay personal (sick)/carer’s leave or compassionate leave to any of its more than 20,000 workers who apply for that leave after being temporarily stood down without pay amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The judgment does not address directly the question of whether […]

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Uber – the global face of the Gig Economy – has survived another legal challenge, and fought off the claim that Uber Eats delivery drivers are ’employees’ for the purposes of Australian unfair dismissal laws. In 2017, and again last year, Uber won two important unfair dismissal cases in the Fair Work Commission (FWC). In […]

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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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