Shane Koelmeyer's Blog – July 2017 Archive (14)

“Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s a …redundancy”: Managing workplace restructures

An inevitable fact of a growing business is that at some point it will undergo an organizational restructure. These will undoubtedly affect employees across all levels of the company. Employers should be ready to appropriately manage and communicate these changes to employees.

Changes to duties…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 31, 2017 at 11:30 — No Comments

This is how we do it: Using workplace laws to support HR’s position on staffing decisions

HR professionals inhabit a unique environment with a unique set of challenges  they are expected to balance compliance, business interests and employee interests all at once. The most difficult position a HR professional can find themself in is being asked to carry out a business decision by a superior that conflicts with their obligations to ensure compliance with workplace laws, including the protections…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 31, 2017 at 11:30 — No Comments

No shoes, no shirt and I still get service – the changing nature of appearance and dress code policies

Most workplaces have an appearance and dress code policy which commonly requires employees to wear a particular uniform or have a certain standard of appearance.

Increasingly, workplaces have dropped or relaxed dress code policies which previously required that professional business attire would be worn at all times in the office.…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 31, 2017 at 11:00 — No Comments

An induction on deductions from employees’ pay

Student accommodation provider UniLodge faced reports this month that it deducted a total amount of $74,336.00 for “rent” over the period October 2011 to April 2016 from the combined salary of two of its onsite caretakers.

The husband and wife caretakers claimed that they were paid a total of $85,784.40 gross over the same period, despite being…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 20, 2017 at 16:08 — No Comments

“O Captain! My Captain!” – Not a vindication, but dismissal was harsh: FWC says captain who failed employer’s alcohol test was unfairly dismissed

Setting policies and procedures for the effective management of drugs and alcohol in the workplace is important, particularly for safety critical industries.

The overarching goal of such policies and procedures is to ensure employees do not show up for work in an impaired state and place themselves, other employees or their employer’s business at…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 20, 2017 at 15:50 — No Comments

“Because I said so …” The causal link between adverse action and workplace rights

The general protections provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) aim to protect employees from adverse action (including dismissal) because of a proscribed reason. Proscribed reasons include the existence of a workplace right and the exercise (or failure to exercise) a workplace right.

By way of example, an employee has a…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 20, 2017 at 15:30 — No Comments

“You shall not pass!” Jurisdictional objections in unfair dismissal claims

When an employer receives notice from the Fair Work Commission (FWC) of an unfair dismissal claim, the first question they should ask is – does the FWC have jurisdiction to hear the matter? 

There are numerous circumstances in which the FWC may not have jurisdiction and/or in which an applicant may not be eligible to make a claim to the FWC.…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 14, 2017 at 14:55 — No Comments

Called out in the Commission: Employee ordered to pay employer’s legal costs

In a rare decision by the Fair Work Commission (FWC), an employee has been ordered to pay her former employer’s legal costs after it held that the employee’s application had no prospects of success, was without basis and was an abuse of process.

Costs under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 14, 2017 at 12:51 — No Comments

“Let me make one thing perfectly clear …” FWC’s practical approach to notice of termination

Earlier this year, we discussed the importance of providing specific written notice of termination to an employee (see our blog: Two Weeks’ Notice: What are the requirements for notice of termination?) in accordance with section 117 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act).

Section 117(1) of the FW Act states that, an employer must not terminate an employee’s employment unless,…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 10, 2017 at 14:42 — No Comments

Claiming a pizza the action – FWC lacks jurisdiction to deal with dispute about Delivery Driver of the Year

Reward and recognition programs are a great way to incentivise employees to work that little bit harder. Often these programs take the form of friendly, employer-sponsored competitions between employees where the winner takes home a prize.

These in-house competitions are generally run at the employer’s discretion and it maintains control over the…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 10, 2017 at 14:26 — No Comments

It’s going viral: E-medical certificates

The colder weather marks the start of the cold and flu season where a cough or sneeze starting from one person quickly spreads throughout the whole office. The season also creates challenges for employers who may have to manage a dwindling workforce where employees (or their family members) may be struck down with an illness and need to take personal (sick) / carers leave.…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 5, 2017 at 15:56 — No Comments

And the award goes to... FWC finds high income earner covered by modern award

Identifying correct Modern Award coverage and classification can be challenging at the best of times and getting it wrong can have serious consequences. It is well understood that misclassifying employees can impact on rates of pay and result in underpayment claims, but employers sometimes forget that employees who are paid well above modern award base rates of pay can still be covered by a modern award for other purposes,…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 5, 2017 at 15:30 — No Comments

Under new management: Reasonable management action and psychological injuries

Workers compensation legislation in each jurisdiction provides a “reasonable management action” defence or exception to claims of alleged psychological injury. The defence states that where an employee suffers a psychological injury as the result of management action, the employer will not be liable for that injury if the management action was reasonable and carried out in a reasonable manner.…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 5, 2017 at 15:26 — No Comments

Can an employer be liable for employee misbehaviour on social media?

A recent civil law suit filed in the US is set to examine how an employer might be liable for an employee’s conduct on social media. The suit alleges the employer is liable for the actions and damage caused by a managing director who used his LinkedIn account for official recruiting purposes but eventually began sending unsolicited and inappropriate (e.g. sexual) messages to a prospective employee.…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 5, 2017 at 15:00 — No Comments

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