Shane Koelmeyer's Blog – July 2016 Archive (8)

Make it appealing: Appeals in the Fair Work Commission

For the 2014-2015 year, 79% of unfair dismissal applications made to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) were settled at the conciliation phase.

For the 21% that did not settle, some Applicants proceeded to have their matter heard by way of hearing.  If an Applicant is not satisfied with the outcome at the hearing they are able to lodge an application to appeal.  However, in order for an application to appeal to be granted, the Applicant must satisfy the FWC that it has proper…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 27, 2016 at 15:51 — No Comments

Cold As Ice - Recruitment Company snowed under by social media reaction to misbehaving employees

On 10 July 2016, a Mount Buller Reindeer Ski Club employee posted to Facebook a scathing assessment of guests employed by recruitment company, Michael Page Recruitment (the Company). The Ski Club employee alleged that the 22 guests caused a nuisance, were heavily intoxicated and became abusive to her and the Ski Club’s Manager.

The post detailed that the guests had left rooms in a mess, leaving broken glass on surfaces, rubbish on floors and food and clothes on benches. The…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 27, 2016 at 15:00 — No Comments

School’s out: How workplace conflict can become bullying behaviour

Left unaddressed, workplace conflict can sometimes evolve into allegations of bullying behaviour.  A recent decision by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) highlights how the working relationship between a school teacher and Principal deteriorated to the point that an application for an order to stop bullying was made.

The Applicant was employed as a teacher at a secondary school in Victoria (the School) in 1998.  The new Principal of the School was appointed in 2013. The…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 22, 2016 at 17:05 — No Comments

We need to talk... - Reasonable Management Action and Employee Meetings

The ability to counselling employees about their effectiveness in the workplace is important for employers. Unfortunately, not all employees respond to counselling meetings as productively and openly as employers might hope.

A meeting can be severely derailed if an employee responds badly to feedback about their work performance or workplace behaviour and, depending on how such circumstances are handled, the employer may face claims that the meeting, or the employer’s conduct in the…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 22, 2016 at 17:04 — No Comments

Now we've got bad blood – Difficult enterprise agreement negotiations

As has been widely reported, for the last three years there have been ongoing tensions between the United Fire Fighters Union (UFU) and the Country Fire Authority (CFA).  The main reason for the tension is that the parties have not been able to agree on a new enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA). 

The UFU have been negotiating with the Victorian state government and the CFA over working conditions, safety practices and wages for “career fire…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 13, 2016 at 15:30 — No Comments

Private eyes (are watching you): Employee access and use of personal information

For some positions, client information is at our fingertips and often just a keystroke or mouse click away.

This was the position that a NSW Police Constable was in when he used the NSW Police database system to look up the police record of a woman he was flirting with earlier this year.

The Police Constable had met the woman on eHarmony and exchanged text messages with her, one of which jokingly stated that he would “check and make sure” that she was the “cleanskin” she had…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 13, 2016 at 15:00 — No Comments

If the chemistry is right: Safe Work Method Statements

Under work health and safety legislation, persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) have a “primary duty of care” to ensure (so far as is reasonably practicable) the health and safety of workers and others in the workplace.

What is “reasonably practicable” will involve a risk management approach where hazards or risks are identified, assessed and then controlled. A control measure for risks that cannot be eliminated may include implementing a safe work method…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 6, 2016 at 16:00 — No Comments

When the going gets tough – Reducing staffing costs and being open with employees

When a company is confronted with a downturn in business it can be a very difficult time for both employers and employees.  As part of ensuring the financial viability of the business employers are often forced to consider reducing workforce size by way of forced or voluntary redundancies.

But, it’s not always the case that an employer needs to resort to redundancies to reduce its wages costs. In a recent decision of the Fair Work Commission (FWC), an employer was praised for…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 6, 2016 at 15:39 — No Comments

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