contracts Archives - MDC Legal

MDC Legal Workplace Update – Spring 2019

Posted by | Articles, complaince, confidentiality, Contracts, disciplinary action, HR Advice & Support, polices and procedures, Policies and Procedures, sexual harassment | No Comments

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.

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What are your New Year’s Resolutions? New Year resolutions for employers in 2019

Posted by | casual staff, Contracts, HR Advice & Support, modern award, pay rates, polices and procedures, Policies and Procedures, training | No Comments

Now that the festive season is over, employers can focus on the year ahead. What New Year’s resolutions are you making for your business?

Below are some practical New Year’s resolutions that may minimise your employment law risks.

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Contractor arrangements subject to continued scrutiny as Foodora rider found to be an employee

Posted by | Contracts, contractual entitlements, Doing Business in Australia, independent contractor, sub contractor, unfair dismissal | No Comments

In the recent decision of Joshua Klooger v Foodora Australia Pty Ltd [2018] FWC 6836, the Fair Work Commission held that a Foodora rider who was engaged as an independent contractor was in fact an employee and, therefore, eligible to bring an unfair dismissal claim.

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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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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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What are your business’ New Year’s workplace relations resolutions?

Posted by | Articles, Contracts, Discrimination & Bullying, Dispute Resolution & Advocacy, HR Advice & Support, Industrial Relations, Terminations, Unfair Dismissals & Adverse Action | No Comments

HRD Australia recently reported that the success rate of Australian employers in unfair dismissal cases has dropped below 40% for the first time – while these remain the claim of choice for employees, with an unfair dismissal claim lodged every three and a half minutes in Australia.1

We expect hot topics for workplaces will include managing poor performance and bullying and stress claims, avoiding award or NES breach claims (and the risk of huge new penalties) or discrimination claims.

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External advisers and HR managers accessorily liable for breaches of the Fair Work Act as penalties for breaches intensify on small businesses

Posted by | HR Advice & Support, Industrial Relations, Performance Management & Misconduct Investigations | No Comments

In a recent decision of the Federal Circuit Court an external accountant who advised a business on its employee arrangements was held liable under the accessorial provisions of the Fair Work Act. This decision is a red flag to external advisors who are closely involved with HR, payroll and employee entitlements of employer businesses.

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