Shane Koelmeyer's Blog (146)

Once upon a trolley – The cautionary tale of trolley collectors and supermarket supply chains

The plight of trolley collectors has been a focus of the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) for many years, and the Australian Industrial Relations Commission before that.

In 2011, the FWO shifted its focus to the end users of the trolley collecting supply chain – big supermarkets. The FWO raised its supply chain concerns with Coles noting that Coles’…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on May 25, 2017 at 15:47 — No Comments

Think before you click: Email and IT policies

The internet and email are essential tools for most businesses. Email makes correspondence and transactions simple and efficient, but it is also easy to send the wrong email to the wrong recipient!

Employer provided IT, internet and email services are prone to abuse and misuse by employees, sometimes deliberately and other times not. To guard against…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on May 25, 2017 at 15:45 — No Comments

Witness for the prosecution: Prosecutions under the WHS Act

In our last instalment of our three part blog series we will focus on the most extreme form of enforcement under the Model Work Health and Safety Act, prosecutions.  

Prosecutions can only be brought by certain parties as set out under section 230 of the Model Work Health and Safety Act (Model WHS Act).  If the Court finds that obligations…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on May 25, 2017 at 13:01 — No Comments

The Undertaker: Enforceable Undertakings under the WHS Act

In part one of our three part series we discussed improvement and prohibition notices under the Model Work Health and Safety Act.  In this second part we will focus on enforceable (or WHS) undertakings. 

An enforceable undertaking is an agreement between an organisation and…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on May 25, 2017 at 12:28 — No Comments

Stop right now: Employer prevented from proceeding with investigation and disciplinary process

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) gives  the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) the power to make orders to stop bullying where it is satisfied pursuant to section 789FF that:

  1. A worker has been bullied at work by an individual or group of individuals; and…
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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on May 12, 2017 at 17:12 — No Comments

Employment Law Essentials – It’s not over till it’s over: Ramifications of unfair dismissal proceedings

In part one and part two of our Employment Essentials Series we discussed procedural aspects of termination and the need for substantive fairness.  In this third instalment we will discuss the various outcomes and ramifications for employers if they fail to settle an unfair dismissal claim…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on May 12, 2017 at 16:54 — No Comments

Let’s talk a-boat gift giving in the workplace

Workplace gift giving can be a blessing and a curse for employers. On the one hand it brings out the generous, team-oriented qualities in employees but equally, it can cause animosity between employees not to mention embarrassment and even anger.

The dangers of workplace gift giving and money collection were demonstrated recently when employees of…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on May 12, 2017 at 16:48 — No Comments

Don’t defy, comply: Improvement and prohibition notices

A Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) could have in place measures to control risks in the workplace, including amongst other things, implementation of  safe work method statements (SWMS), regularly conducting risk assessments and holding regular training in order to prevent and manage risks to work health and safety . …

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on May 8, 2017 at 18:01 — No Comments

Employment Law Essentials – Substantive Fairness

When considering whether a dismissal is unfair, the Fair Work Commission (the FWC) will have regard to two types of fairness – procedural fairness and substantive fairness.

Procedural fairness is about natural justice and the procedure followed by an employer when terminating an employee’s employment. We discussed procedural fairness in our…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on May 8, 2017 at 17:57 — No Comments

System Alert: Why businesses should have compliant employment and payroll processes

Recenty, MAdE Establishment Group (the Group) and its celebrity chef director and founder went public with a mea culpa that it underpaid the wages of at least 162 employees across its Melbourne restaurants.

The Group issued the public apology to employees for the underpayments which relate to the calculation of overtime rates and the incorrect…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on May 8, 2017 at 17:48 — No Comments

Missed the train: Employer fined 250k for failing to provide training to work experience student

You have spent time, money and resources to hire the best candidate for the job and you cannot wait for them to get into their role.  Before they start, your new worker needs to be trained, especially in workplace health and safety (WHS).

Employers need to ensure that all workers are trained and understand the WHS policies and procedures. For…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on April 6, 2017 at 16:51 — No Comments

Quality assurance: Why employees must be qualified for the tasks they perform

Employers should not underestimate the importance of investing in workplace health and safety, including training for employees as well as ensuring that new hires or those promoted are qualified to perform the tasks of their new role.



Case Study 1…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on April 6, 2017 at 16:00 — No Comments

Employment Law Essentials – What is “Procedural Fairness”?

Whether the termination of an employee’s employment was procedurally fair or unfair forms the basis of the unfair dismissal jurisdiction under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act). Employers can often put themselves at risk of unfair dismissal claims when procedural fairness is not provided to employees during disciplinary action and / or the termination process.…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on April 6, 2017 at 15:30 — No Comments

Take it from the top: Charities under scrutiny in wake of class actions and FWO inquiry

It is quite common to be walking on a busy street or in a shopping centre and be approached by someone asking for a donation for a specific charity.  Have you ever wondered about how much these “fundraisers” are being paid?  Well, the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has.

Since October 2016, the FWO has conducted investigations as part of its Inquiry…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 31, 2017 at 9:16 — No Comments

Employee phone home: Truck driver not unfairly dismissed for failing to adhere to mobile phone policy

Mobile phone use during work hours can cause an unwanted distraction. Other times, the use of mobile phones may be restricted due to safety reasons.

Similar to our blog…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 30, 2017 at 17:00 — No Comments

Distraction reaction: Site operator shares liability with negligent heavy machinery operator distracted by mobile phone call

A site operator has been ordered to share the damages bill with a negligent worker and subcontractor employer after the ACT Supreme Court found that the site operator’s safety rules and practices were deficient.

In 2012, Huon Contractors Pty Ltd (Huon) conducted work on a subdivision development in the ACT.  Huon had engaged numerous…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 29, 2017 at 15:30 — No Comments

Working hard for the money: FWO sends out warnings about payment and pay methods

As harvest season is fast approaching, the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has reminded growers that they need to be familiar with their obligations under the Horticulture Award 2010 (Horticulture Award).  The reminder has been issued in response to claims that labour hire contractors are approaching growers and offering workers at very low rates of pay.…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 24, 2017 at 14:39 — No Comments

Two weeks’ notice: What are the requirements for notice of termination of employment?

The requirements around when notice of termination is required and how to provide that notice can be difficult for employers.  An employer’s obligations with respect to notice and notice periods are specified in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act)

Except in circumstances of serious misconduct, employers are required to provide notice…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 24, 2017 at 14:36 — No Comments

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

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