Shane Koelmeyer's Blog (128)

We Don’t Talk Anymore: The “Human” in HR – Part 3

Human resources management is experiencing a digital revolution as online platforms and data collection solutions flood the market.

If the make-up of a workforce can be understood and managed through data alone, will future HR departments be the domain of data analysts?

In…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 15, 2017 at 15:30 — No Comments

Resolutions up and applications down: Unfair Dismissals Quarterly Report released

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has released its Unfair Dismissals Quarterly Report for the period October 2016 to December 2016 (the Report).  The Report revealed that there has been a decrease in the number of applications lodged with the FWC compared to the same period in previous years. 

Resolutions have also occurred more quickly,…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 15, 2017 at 14:50 — No Comments

In the heat of the meeting: Can a resignation given in a heated moment be accepted?

We know people can say or do things that we do not mean when we are under pressure, feeling stress or are angry.

In rare incidences (often in the context of disciplinary meetings), an employee may indicate that they wish to resign only to later try to withdraw their resignation or claim that they did not really resign. Can a resignation given “in…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 15, 2017 at 14:30 — No Comments

Have you got “the right stuff” when it comes to super?

Superannuation payments and calculations can be a tricky thing for employers, of all sizes, to get right. These challenges came to light last month when the Financial Sector Union of Australia (FSU) claimed that 7,000 part time staff did not receive their full super entitlements from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), with claims dating as far back as 2009.  The full extent of the potential underpayment is…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 8, 2017 at 12:55 — No Comments

FOMODA: Fear of Missing Out on Disciplinary Action

The Fair Work Commission (the Commission) has often held that a dismissal will be found to be harsh, unjust or unreasonable when one of the reasons for the termination of employment included an event which occurred earlier and which was not addressed at the time. This is encapsulated in the concept of “use it or lose it”.

Where employee…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 8, 2017 at 12:37 — No Comments

I, Robot: The “Human” in HR – Part 2

Today it seems like every HR magazine or e-newsletter contains an advertisement or article on “HR tech” that promises to provide all manner & quantity of data on a workforce. There is also a running conversation about how HR will become more automated in the future with computers supervising robots!

Until such time as the robots and computers do…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 8, 2017 at 12:30 — No Comments

Cash me outside: Employer fined nearly $533,000 in addition to back payment for cash back scheme

The Federal Circuit Court of Australia’s decision in Fair Work Ombudsman v Rubee Enterprises Pty Ltd & Anor [2016] FCCA 3456 (Rubee’s Case) has penalised a cafe in Albury NSW $532,900 for exploiting five foreign employees.  This is the largest fine ever ordered as a result of legal action by the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO).  The cafe was involved in a number of breaches of the Fair Work Act…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 1, 2017 at 14:37 — No Comments

Human Nature: The “Human” in HR – Part 1

In recent years we have observed the increased use of technology and big data in Human Resources. The question is whether this shift is taking the “human” out of Human Resources by devaluing genuine personal interactions and conversations when it comes to matters such as employee wellbeing and performance.

In a recent article about employee data…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 1, 2017 at 14:30 — No Comments

Restrainted Love: The Value of Restraint of Trade Clauses

Restraint of trade clauses are often used in employment contracts to prevent or limit an employee from engaging in conduct that is adverse or inconsistent with the employer’s interests once employment has ended. Typically, employees are restrained from soliciting clients or establishing competing businesses.

In a previous…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 1, 2017 at 14:30 — No Comments

Give me time – Employees reinstated following hasty redundancy consultation

Restructuring and redundancies can be difficult under the best of circumstances. Employers have obligations to their employees during these times and sometimes the fast paced demands of the business are at odds with those obligations. In a recent decision, Williams and Ors v Staples Australia Pty Ltd [2017] FWC 607, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) examined the obligations of a particular employer and found that its…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on February 28, 2017 at 10:07 — No Comments

It is all in the flexicution: Flexible working arrangements

What does an employer do in circumstances where it has granted flexible working arrangements and it is no longer able to accommodate the employee? 

The NSW Industrial Relations Commission (NSW IRC) in Construction Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (New South Wales Branch) v South Western Sydney Local…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on February 22, 2017 at 15:18 — No Comments

That’s my pejorative – Ethnic slurs in the workplace

All employers should be aware that discrimination in the workplace on the basis of a “protected attribute” is unlawful. For example, Australia’s anti-discrimination legislation provides that it is unlawful to discriminate on the basis of “race.”

Significantly, however, the legislation extends beyond “race”: the Racial Discrimination Act 1975…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on February 22, 2017 at 15:14 — No Comments

Appeal dismissed – Investigation letters issued to ill employee not a breach of duty of care

In Govier v UnitingCare Community [2017] QCA 12, an employee’s appeal was dismissed, confirming an earlier decision that her employer did not breach any duty of care when it issued letters to the employee in the course of an investigation, resulting in aggravation of her psychiatric conditions.

The employee in this case was a disability worker…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on February 22, 2017 at 15:00 — No Comments

Employer Alert: New Deadline for Building Code Compliance

Employers seeking to undertake Commonwealth funded building and construction work will be required to ensure that their enterprise agreements comply with the 2016 Building Code by 31 August 2017 under a new Bill introduced in Federal Parliament.

The Code for Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 (the 2016 Code) requires all…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on February 17, 2017 at 8:22 — No Comments

The Intern: Study finds over 500,000 people are participating in illegal unpaid work experience

When it comes to unpaid work experience, the question to be asked is, “Is it legal?”

In a recent study commissioned by the Commonwealth Department of Employment, it was found that in the last five years there were over half a million Australians engaged in (or who were engaged in) unlawful work experience. …

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on February 17, 2017 at 8:16 — No Comments

The punishment did not fit the crime: FWC awards maximum compensation to dismissed employee who stole company property

A Qantas flight attendant (the Applicant) who was sacked for stealing alcohol from a flight and lying about it was awarded $33,731 in compensation by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) after it found that the decision to terminate the Applicant’s employment was harsh.

The FWC concluded that the Applicant was dismissed because he stole…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on December 12, 2016 at 12:00 — No Comments

Home Improvements: Dreamworld issued with 10 improvement and prohibition notices by WHS Queensland

Since the tragic events of October this year, Queensland theme park Dreamworld has come under intense scrutiny from the public, the media and a range of investigative bodies. The park gates have remained closed to guests over recent weeks while investigations and audits of the park’s facilities and processes have been conducted.

One such agency…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on December 7, 2016 at 15:40 — No Comments

Copy and paste: Employee admits to copying and accessing former employer’s confidential information

SAI Global Property Division Pty Ltd v Johnstone [2016] FCA 1333

Employees have ready access to their employer’s confidential information during the course of their employment. For an employee, this information is important in order to carry out their duties but for an exiting employee, they may be tempted to improperly retain confidential…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on December 7, 2016 at 15:34 — No Comments

Licence to labour hire: Victorian Government explores licensing system for labour hire companies

Underpayment and sham contracting in the labour supply chain has been the focus of much of the Fair Work Ombudsman’s (FWO) and the media’s attention this year.

The FWO has conducted a number of campaigns and inquiries into industries where the use of labour hire and independent contractors is prevalent.  In some circumstances, it has taken…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on December 5, 2016 at 12:43 — No Comments

“Inadequate” WHS penalty increased seven-fold on appeal

In June this year, a Victorian textiles company was fined $7,000 for breaching work health and safety laws when a subcontractor truck driver was floored by a 185kg bale of wool. In an appeal of that decision earlier this month, the County Court of Victoria increased the penalty to $50,000 when the Office of Public Prosecutions successfully argued that the $7,000 fine was inadequate.…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on December 5, 2016 at 12:30 — No Comments

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