Shane Koelmeyer's Blog – May 2018 Archive (9)

Hush Hush, Hush! Why the term ‘hush money’ is misleading

Settlement agreements, terms of settlement, deeds of release or release and undertakings are all terms which are used interchangeably to refer to the binding and confidential agreements reached between parties in good faith to resolve claims or disputes. 

Employees can make any number of claims against their employer, including but not limited to:

  • Unfair dismissal claims;
  • General protections claims;
  • Underpayment claims; and
  • Discrimination…
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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on May 21, 2018 at 15:53 — No Comments

A New World Language: Managing emojis in the workplace

It started out as the humble smiley emoticon “:-)” in 1982 created by a computer scientist who wanted a “joke marker” to help people decipher his jokes in emails.

Some 36 years later, we now have an entire lexicon of emoticons (known as emojis) that can help decipher more than just jokes in an email. This lexicon includes a wider range of faces with emotions, hand and body gestures as well as other objects such as buildings, foods, animals and almost any other symbol you can think…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on May 21, 2018 at 15:48 — No Comments

Jailhouse Rock – Court orders jail term for owner-operator who failed to comply with orders resulting from Fair Work action

In June 2015, Judge Jarrett of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia found that a Northern Queensland-based tour company and its owner had underpaid five employees and contravened the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) (Fair Work Ombudsman v Trek North Tours & Anor (No.2) [2015] FCCA 1801).

Prior to commencing the Federal Circuit Court proceedings, the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) conducted an investigation into several complaints…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on May 21, 2018 at 15:38 — No Comments

Vendetta, vendetta! FWC finds attempted character assassination and confidentiality breach valid reasons for dismissal

Managing conflicting personalities can be one of the most challenging aspects of being a manager. Particularly when low level disagreements escalate to formal complaints, investigations, attempts at character assassination and breaches of confidentiality.

These issues were recently traversed in the Fair Work Commission’s (FWC’s) decision in Lecaude v Westpac Banking Corporation T/A Westpac [2018] FWC 1969.

The employee in this case was dismissed after…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on May 14, 2018 at 10:35 — No Comments

Meet me halfway? FWC criticises employer’s inflexible refusal of Pilates

In commentary that is particularly fitting for the story behind it, the FWC has found an employer was unreasonably inflexible when it dismissed an employee who had requested to finish work 15 minutes early to attend prepaid Pilates classes.

In Khutson v Chesson Pty Ltd T/A Pay Per Click [2018] FWC 2080, the employee argued that her dismissal was unfair because she refused to sign a revised employment contract that, amongst other things, had sought to change her working hours…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on May 14, 2018 at 10:32 — No Comments

Not on the shop floor: Inappropriate workplace behaviour justified summary dismissal

In a clear sign that employers should act on inappropriate behaviour, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has held, in Talevski v Chalmers Industries Pty. Ltd. [2018] FWC 1807, that an employee’s dismissal for serious misconduct arising from his unacceptable behaviour was not unfair.

The employee had been employed since 1986, most recently in the position of Handyman, with the employer who operated a truck transportation and logistics company.

In November…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on May 14, 2018 at 10:25 — No Comments

Show and Tell: Employer ordered to advise employees about FWC’s stop-bullying orders

The purpose of the Fair Work Commission’s (FWC’s) anti-bullying jurisdiction as provided by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) is not to punish bullies or to compensate an individual who has been bullied but to prevent future bullying in the workplace. It is for this reason that the jurisdiction does not allow the FWC to make a monetary order. The FWC does however have a broad jurisdiction to make any other orders it sees appropriate to prevent…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on May 7, 2018 at 16:19 — No Comments

Director delusion: FWC finds title of “Director” not sufficient to defeat award coverage

To be protected from unfair dismissal the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) requires an employee to:

  • Have completed the minimum period of employment; and
  • Earn less than the high income threshold; or
  • Be covered by a modern award or enterprise agreement.

It has often been the case that “managers” and senior officers of an enterprise will not be covered by a modern award or enterprise agreement, given the executive…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on May 7, 2018 at 16:13 — No Comments

Induction Construction: How to level-up your induction process to increase buy-in

Conducting a comprehensive induction for new employees is critical for compliance reasons but should also be viewed as an opportunity to connect new employees to the values and culture of the organisation they are joining.

An induction usually includes some kind of welcome, a walk around the workspace, a copy of the employer’s policies and procedures and a review of the emergency exits and muster points in case of an emergency.

Some inductions also include a workplace health…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on May 7, 2018 at 16:05 — No Comments

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