Director’s Update

Its Spring! Although it’s still brisk and blustery out there – in the weather and many of our clients’ businesses – with some ongoing workplace issues this year being ensuring the correct classification of workers as either employees or independent contractors, permanent or casual engagement, and new developments in domestic violence leave entitlements and casual conversion rights.

We have advised many employers on managing employees in performance or disciplinary issues or who have made vexatious claim. Our Associate, Gemma Little wrote in the Law Society’s Brief magazine of how employers may be able to take disciplinary action against an employee who makes a baseless or vexatious claim against them. There have also been recent cases of employers successfully making counter-claims to employee claims, which we covered in a recent article here.

Some major milestones for MDC Legal so far this year have included conducting major workplace investigations for significant WA institutions, achieving a significant win for an employer client in defending claims in the Federal Circuit Court, and settling some major claims on favourable terms to avoid the expense and stress to our clients of litigation.

At the end of the financial year, we fare-welled our Senior Associate, Joanna Knoth who has taken a new role in Sydney. We wish Jo every success and thank her for her outstanding contribution to MDC Legal and our clients over the last 4 years.

This year, we have continued our contribution to offering pro-bono services through the Fair Work Commission Advice Service, the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission Pro Bono Scheme and volunteering for the Employment Law Centre’s evening legal service. We have also acted on pro bono or special fee arrangements for vulnerable clients in the Federal Circuit Court and Supreme Court

Spring is a perfect time for employers to review and refresh their business’ policies and procedures and ensure employment contracts are up to date and compliant, particularly in light of changes in law with respect to casuals, fixed term/maximum term contracts and domestic violence leave.

MDC Legal offer three customised Employment Law Support Packages designed for your business.

For more information email our team at [email protected] or call us on (08) 9288 4000.You can also stay connected with regular workplace updates by joining us on social media.

LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter.

Parental Leave — Important Responsibilities As An Employer

By Mark Cox, Director and Gemma Little, Associate

Key parental leave employer obligations explained

An employee has requested to work on a part-time basis on return from parental leave. Or a workplace change has resulted in an employee’s position being removed while they are on parental leave. As an employer, what are your obligations? This article outlines the key obligations an employer has while an employee is on, and when they return from, parental leave.  Read More

Whistleblower Protection Changes – Update Your Policy Now

By Renae Harg, Senior Associate

Australia amends whistleblower protection laws

New laws providing greater protection for whistleblowers were passed through federal parliament and take effect on 1 July 2019. The Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Whistleblower Protections) Act 2019 (Cth) (Whistleblower Act) was introduced to provide for a single, strengthened whistleblower regime to cover the corporate, financial and credit sectors.Read More

Breach Of Confidentiality: What You Need To Know

By Renae Harg, Senior Associate and Lauren Wright, Law Graduate

Employment Law: Breach of Confidentiality – what you need to know ­

Increases in technology have made it easier for employees to transmit their employer’s confidential information. Confidential information such as client lists, supplier information, pricing and financial arrangements, employee arrangements and business strategies can be invaluable to a business. Read More

Sexual Harassment – Award Of Aggravated Damages

By Madeleine Brown, Associate

Employer to Pay $170,000 in Grave Case of Sexual Harassment

In a recent decision of the Federal Circuit Court, Hill v Hughes t/a Beesley and Hughes Lawyers, the Court awarded $170,000 in damages to Ms Hill, a paralegal, who suffered a relentless barrage of sexual harassment by her employer. Read More

Upcoming Events

6th Annual HR Law Masterclass Conference 2019 

Wednesday 9 October 2019

Mark Cox, Director of MDC Legal will be chairing the event on a extensive range of HR topics and trends. Register here.

Workplace Law Roundup

Thursday, 21 November 2019, 2:00 PM – 5:15 PM, Parmelia Hilton 

Mark Cox, Director of MDC Legal will be chairing the Legalwise event.

For more information visit here

Employment Law Masterclass

Thursday 28 November 2019, Hilton Perth

Gemma Little, Associate of MDC Legal will be presenting at the Employment Law Masterclass on dealing with spiteful and vexatious employee claims.

MDC Legal Updates

On the 14th May the team at MDC Legal participated in the 2019 Law Access Walk for Justice. Coinciding with National Pro Bono day, the walk is a great initiative to celebrate and promote the integral pro bono work within the legal profession.

MDC Legal contributed $625 towards the incredible matched total of $80,126.