Employment Policies

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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The beginning of the financial year on 1 July 2021 marks the date on which a number of employment-related rates will increase. In addition to wage increases arising from the Fair Work Commission’s recent Annual Wage Review that we dealt with in a recent post, we highlight other increases to the high income threshold, tax […]

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As foreshadowed in our April blog (here), on 24 June 2021 the Federal Government introduced the Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment Bill 2021 into Parliament. The Bill is a response to the Sex Discrimination Commissioner’s 2019 report Respect@Work. It seeks to amend both the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act) and […]

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On 8 April 2021, the Prime Minister and Attorney General publicly endorsed the recommendations of the Respect@Work Report commissioned from the Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Kate Jenkins. Of most interest to employers was the Federal Government’s commitment to ‘simplifying and strengthening the legal framework, existing rights and obligations for employees and employers’. What to expect Some […]

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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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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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