Recent Blogs

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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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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There has been significant press around the government’s agenda to reform large parts of the Fair Work regime, most of which failed in the Senate. There has been less press around one significant set of changes that did survive the political process: an introduction, for the first time, of a substantive definition of ‘casual employment’ […]

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Yesterday, the Federal Parliament passed legislation extending the economic lifeline JobKeeper scheme for a further six months beyond its initial drop-dead date, until 28 March 2021 (Extended JK Scheme). Critically, the legislation: lays the foundation for the Federal Government to give effect to its intention, announced in late July/early August, to extend the scheme, though […]

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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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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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