Travel extends the mind but not limitation periods: Wragg v Queensland Scaffolding Pty Ltd [2018] FWC 4986

Posted by | Articles, Terminations, Unfair Dismissals & Adverse Action, unfair dismissal | No Comments

The Fair Work Commission has refused an application for an extension of time to file an unfair dismissal application, following a detailed examination of a travelling employee’s social media activities and text messages which demonstrated that he was not incapacitated by depression and grief following his dismissal.

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Keeping it casual: Casual employee entitled to annual leave

Posted by | complaince, Contracts, contractual entitlements, HR Advice & Support, leave entitlements, modern award | No Comments

WorkPac Pty Ltd v Skene [2018] FCAFC 131

The Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia has rejected WorkPac’s argument that the “industrial meaning” of the term “casual employee” has been incorporated into the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the Act) for the purpose of the National Employment Standards (NES).

Instead, the Court held the essence of the casual employment relationship is the “absence of a firm advance commitment as to the duration of the employee’s employment or the days (or hours) the employee will work”.

Whether an employee is a “casual employee” should be determined by looking at indicia of casual employment, the conduct of the parties and the real substance, practical reality and true nature of the relationship.

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Are you being underpaid? Are you underpaying your staff?

Posted by | Articles, complaince, Contracts, contractual entitlements, HR Advice & Support, modern award | No Comments

Fair Work Ombudsman audit

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) recently conducted an audit of businesses throughout the eastern states of Australia which found that found that 72% of the businesses had breached workplace laws.[1] The audit resulted in the recovery of $471,904 for 616 workers across the 234 businesses audited. The most common breach was an underpayment of hourly rates, followed by non-existent or inadequate employment records.

“72% of businesses had breached workplace laws”

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Directing an employee to attend an independent medical assessment

Posted by | contractual entitlements, Dispute Resolution & Advocacy, HR Advice & Support, leave entitlements | No Comments

The winter months often bring an increase in employees’ use of personal leave, primarily due to illness. An employee’s brief and temporary absence, whether due to illness or even injury, supported by adequate medical evidence, can usually be managed by the employer without issue.

However, difficulty and uncertainty arise where an employee takes extended personal leave with medical evidence that has little or no detail on the illness or injury suffered, or which offers no foreseeable return to work date. An employee’s extended absence can pose significant issues for the management and operation of a business. Navigating this situation can become increasingly complex if an employee has taken personal leave in response to a disciplinary or performance management process.

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Domestic violence leave in Australia

Posted by | Articles, Dispute Resolution & Advocacy, HR Advice & Support | No Comments

In the employment law space, there has been growing debate on whether all Australian employees should have a minimum entitlement to take either paid or unpaid domestic violence leave. The debate was reinvigorated in March, when, as part of the four-yearly review of modern awards, the Fair Work Commission introduced 5 days’ unpaid domestic violence leave for all award-covered employees.

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What’s in a name: The effect of a position title on Modern Award coverage

Posted by | Articles, complaince, Contracts, HR Advice & Support, modern award, Terminations, Unfair Dismissals & Adverse Action, Training & Compliance | No Comments

It is a common misconception amongst employers that a senior position title and high income can exclude an employee from being covered by a modern award. Not so. Instead, employers must look to the principle purpose of the position the employee was performing to assess whether it is covered by the classifications of roles covered by the award.

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Maximum term employees may be entitled to make unfair dismissal claims and be paid redundancy

Posted by | Terminations, Unfair Dismissals & Adverse Action | No Comments

A maximum term contract is a contract which automatically ends at the expiry of a specified period while giving either party the right to terminate prior to the specified expiry by giving notice. This can be contrasted with a fixed term contract, which is also for a specified period but which does not make provision for early termination.

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