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Employment

  1. 14 Jun 17 Accessorial liability of accountancy firms and payroll services The Federal Circuit Court of Australia decision in Fair Work Ombudsman v Blue Impression Pty Ltd & Ors [2017] FCCA 810 has highlighted the importance of advisers complying with the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). The Court found a payroll and accountancy services firm accessorily liable for an employer’s underpayments of a Taiwanese employee.
  2. 6 Jun 17 Annual wage review decision - 3.3% increase The Fair Work Commission’s Expert Panel handed down its Annual Wage Review 2016–17 decision this morning. This decision granted a 3.3% pay increase to Australia’s minimum wage reliant and modern award covered employees, to commence from 1 July 2017.
  3. 5 Jun 17 Labour hire industry changes in Queensland The Queensland Government recently introduced the Labour Hire Licensing Bill 2017 into Parliament. When enacted, the Bill will see the Queensland Government introduce Australia’s first licensing system for the labour hire industry.
  4. 20 Apr 17 Reforms to employer sponsored visas - what you need to know Reforms have been implemented to both temporary and permanent working visas, with further changes to be rolled out. The 457 visa will be completely abolished by March 2018, to be replaced with the Temporary Skills Shortage visa. The TSS visa will comprise of the Short-Term Stream which will be granted for up to two years and the Medium-Term Stream which will be granted for up to four years.
  5. 14 Dec 16 Late amendments to Industrial Relations Bill expand public service appeal rights The Industrial Relations Bill 2016 was passed by the State Parliament early in the morning of 1 December 2016. As you would be aware, it will introduce a number of new concepts into Queensland public sector industrial relations law.
  6. 5 Aug 16 Cashing out of annual leave now a minimum entitlement for most Australians As part of the four year modern award review, the Fair Work Commission has now issued its decision in relation to model terms for cashing out of annual leave, taking leave in advance, annual leave payments, and excessive leave for most modern awards.
  7. 22 Feb 16 Out of office message is not industrial action The Fair Work Commission has considered whether an out of office message on employees’ email accounts, referring to a delay in responding to emails, is itself protected industrial action for the purposes of an application for a protected action ballot order.
  8. 16 Feb 16 When drinking at the pub is an incident of employment A FIFO worker has successfully made a workers’ compensation claim after being assaulted at the local pub even though he was not working at the time.
  9. 30 Nov 15 Unfair sacking over employer’s knee-jerk reaction to accessory to murder charge The Fair Work Commission has ordered an employer to pay its former apprentice six weeks' wages in compensation after it summarily dismissed him for being charged with being an accessory to a murder.
  10. 27 Nov 15 Amendments to Fair Work Act passed Parliament has finally passed the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2014 on 11 November 2015, after a long pause in the Senate. The Bill aims to implement elements of 'The Coalition’s Policy to Improve Fair Work Laws'.
  11. 27 Oct 15 Don't panic: what does 'defriending' really mean for employers? Employers need not be alarmed in the wake of reports that the Fair Work Commission ruled ‘defriending’ a colleague on Facebook amounted to bullying at work.
  12. 9 Oct 15 Penalty rates: a 'hallmark of the old economy'? Recent reviews of penalty rates have recommended reforms in the broader hospitality industry, which (if implemented) would allow more flexibility for business and employees.
  13. 5 Jun 15 Queensland's senior doctor contracts (and other high-income contracts) to go Winding back of Queensland public sector industrial relations laws and senior doctor contracts passes Parliament last night.
  14. 7 May 15 Significant industrial relations changes for the Queensland public sector The State Government today introduced into Parliament the first tranche of its reforms to industrial relations in the State public sector - the Industrial Relations (Restoring Fairness) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 (Bill).
  15. 8 Apr 15 The immunisation debate Doctors, community groups, governments and parents have recently been caught up in the debate about the need for greater immunisation. So, what role do employers and their workers have?
  16. 20 Feb 15 Adverse action claims - what is the real reason for the adverse action? In a significant decision which will give comfort to employers, the Full Court of the Federal Court has reversed an order for reinstatement of a lawyer who was dismissed while suffering from a mental illness.
  17. 28 Jan 15 Could your employment policies be contractually binding? In a recent decision with broad ramifications, the Full Court of the Federal Court has determined that an employer’s discrimination policy is contractually binding upon the company in favour of affected employees.
  18. 17 Nov 14 Fair Work Commission releases Annual Report for 2013/14 The Fair Work Commission has released its Annual Report for 2013/14, which includes statistics for the new anti-bullying jurisdiction, unfair dismissals and industrial action determinations.
  19. 26 Sep 14 Recent developments in discrimination: How does your workplace stack up? Failure to manage discrimination in the workplace is costly for employers and can result in damage to an employer’s reputation, poor morale and high staff turnover. Significant fines can also be imposed on companies and directors that breach their legal obligations.
  20. 19 Sep 14 High Court finds no mutual duty of trust and confidence in Australian employment relationships CBA v Barker. Last week, the High Court handed down its long-awaited ruling in relation to whether a mutual duty of trust and confidence is implied into all employment contracts.
  21. 10 Sep 14 Employers relieved as High Court rules on duty of trust and confidence The High Court has today found that employment contracts do not contain an implied term that the parties must not, without reasonable cause, engage in conduct likely to destroy or seriously damage the relationship of trust and confidence between them.
  22. 13 Feb 14 Bullying and Bosses: What the new laws really mean for employers No employer or employee wants bullying in their workplace, and the best legal advice we can give is that prevention is key to both stamping out bullying when it arises, to protect employee health, safety and well being, and being in a sound legal position if your company does end up before the Fair Work Commission.
  23. 26 Nov 13 New anti-bullying jurisdiction taking shape The Fair Work Commission has released two draft documents for public consultation in preparation for the commencement of new anti-bullying legislation on 1 January 2014.
  24. 26 Nov 13 Fair Work Commission releases its annual report for the 2012/13 financial year The Fair Work Commission has released its annual report for the 2012/13 financial year, with the findings on time taken to finalise various proceedings likely to be of interest to employers.
  25. 17 Oct 13 New industrial relations laws for Queensland The Queensland State Government has today introduced a Bill into Parliament that proposes the largest set of reforms to industrial relations regulation in the Queensland public sector since the introduction of the Industrial Relations Act 1999 (Qld).
  26. 9 Oct 12 Dismissal unfair despite offensive Facebook comments The Full Bench of Fair Work Australia last week upheld a decision which found that an employee was unfairly dismissed for posting ‘offensive, derogatory and discriminatory statements’ about two of his managers on his Facebook page. Michael Moy, Partner and Peta Shanahan, Lawyer outline the high profile decision in Linfox Australia Pty Ltd v Stutsel [2012] FWAFB 7097 (3 October 2012) and considerations for employers.
  27. 7 Sep 12 High Court finds for Bendigo TAFE in landmark adverse action case In a decision that will please employers around the country, the High Court today allowed an appeal by Bendigo Regional Institute of Technical and Further Education (BRIT) from a Full Federal Court decision relating to general protections (commonly referred to as adverse action) claims. McCullough Robertson Workplace Relations partner, Michael Moy, highlights the decision and its ramifications.
  28. 30 Mar 12 Workplace training avoids vicarious liability for employer in sexual harassment claim McCullough Robertson’s Tim Longwill a Workplace Relations and Safety Partner discusses a case which is a timely reminder to employers of the importance of providing frequent, consistent and documented training for employees, ensuring that they are aware of conduct which could constitute harassment.
  29. 13 Mar 12 Not quite a quota - but reporting requirements ramp up Earlier this month the Federal Government introduced the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Amendment Bill 2012 (the Bill) establishing rigorous reporting requirements for workplace gender equality. McCullough Robertson Partner, Jeremy Kennedy and Lawyer, Gillian Holmes take a look at the changes that occurred when the Bill was introduced after a comprehensive review of the current Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999.
  30. 8 Mar 12 Local businesses elated, school kids deflated - but the show must go on! Early last week the Minister for Financial Services, Mr Greg Pearce, made an order declaring Newcastle Show Day (Friday 16 March 2012) a 'local event day' for the Newcastle local government area. Jeremy Kennedy, Partner and Gillian Holmes, Lawyer from McCullough Robertson discuss how the changes may affect your business and staff planning for 2012.
  31. 1 Feb 12 Full bench splits on equal pay findings The Full Bench of Fair Work Australia today handed down its decision in the Equal Remuneration Case, which will result in pay increases for a large number of social and community services sector workers. McCullough Robertson Partner, Tim Longwill, outlines the decision and its impact in practical terms.
  32. 22 Jun 11 Retail Industry Award to allow short after-school shifts From 1 July 2011, the General Retail Industry Award 2010 will allow the minimum daily engagement for a casual employee to be one hour and thirty minutes, rather than the standard three hour minimum, as long as certain conditions are satisfied.

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