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Workplace Conduct Archives - MDC Legal

Long Christmas lunches and excessive online shopping: Tips for employers

Posted by | disciplinary action, disciplinary policies, HR Advice & Support, Performance Management & Misconduct Investigations | No Comments

By Nikita Barsby, Special Counsel and Renae Harg, Senior Associate

Some employees may see the Christmas period as an opportunity to focus more on festive season activities and less on work. Employees may spend excessive time away from the office, having lunch or Christmas shopping. Other employees may spend excessive time online, shopping for Christmas presents or planning Christmas activities, or excessive time decorating the office. These types of behaviours can be difficult for employers to manage, without appearing Grinch-like and while still ensuring staff morale remains positive over the busy Christmas period.

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Managing the workplace Christmas party aftermath

Posted by | Christmas party, complaince, disciplinary action, HR Advice & Support, leave entitlements, out of hours behaviour, Performance Management & Misconduct Investigations, workplace investigations | No Comments

By Nikita Barsby, Special Counsel and Madeleine Brown, Associate 

Even the most well managed work Christmas parties sometimes don’t go to plan. We highlight below how to deal with the aftermath if things go wrong.

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Say what? Navigating Unlawful Interview Questions

Posted by | Articles, Discrimination & Bullying, HR Advice & Support | No Comments

By Nikita Barsby, Special Counsel and Lauren Wright, Lawyer

An interview provides an employer with an opportunity to get to know prospective employees and assess their suitability for employment. Often, there are many questions an employer wants to ask a prospective employee – however care should be taken to avoid questions which can later be relied on by the interviewee to mount legal claims.

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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

By Nikita Barsby, Special Counsel 

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

By MDC Legal

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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Performance and Conduct Issues for Employees Raising Mental Illness

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

By Nikita Barsby, Special Counsel 

Around 45% of Australians aged between 16 and 85 will experience a mental illness in their lifetime, and 1 in 5 Australian adults will experience a mental illness in any given year.[1]  Therefore, it is very likely that from time to time an employer will need to performance manage an employee who is experiencing a mental illness.

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Disciplining Employee Out of Hours Behaviour: A Blurred Line

Posted by | Articles, HR Advice & Support, Performance Management & Misconduct Investigations, Training & Compliance | No Comments

By MDC Legal

Not so long ago, there was a clear line between work and play – between conduct at work and employees’ private lives, with the latter being none of the employer’s business. Now, due to advances in technology (particularly information technology), the expansive reach of social media, and because employees are increasingly working from anywhere, the boundary between work life and private life has blurred.

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