Shane Koelmeyer's Blog (247)

Deadline for Workplace Gender Equality Agency reporting fast approaching

The Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth) requires all private sector Australian companies with 100 or more staff to report each year to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). 

 A company’s report will include the latest information regarding a company’s workplace profile for employees who are based in Australia.  Employers have until 31 May 2016 to provide this information to WGEA.

The data collected from the reports will be aggregated and analysed by…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on April 20, 2016 at 15:21 — No Comments

Businesses to be held accountable for franchisee or subcontractor actions

In our recent e-update article small business contracts now protected by laws relating to unfair contract provisions we discussed the implications of the new unfair contracts law that will take effect from November 2016.  We also provided examples of unfair terms…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on April 12, 2016 at 16:30 — No Comments

Training Day: Why training matters now and in the future for your organisation

Every year, employers expend time and money planning, developing and implementing learning and development programs for the year ahead. Indeed, the development of a corporate training calendar is one of the most important human resource functions in any organisation.

Corporate Training Needs

Conducting a skills assessment for current employees will assist to identify gaps in knowledge…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on April 12, 2016 at 16:00 — No Comments

Passion Pop? - Massage parlour docks workers pay for lacking “passion”

In the recent Federal Circuit Court of Australia’s decision in Fair Work Ombudsman v Lu’s Healthcare Pty Ltd & Anor [2016] FCCA 506 (Massage Case) massage parlours were warned that failure to comply with the obligations under modern awards and applicable employment laws will not be tolerated. 

In the Massage Case, two massage therapists were…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on April 1, 2016 at 15:30 — No Comments

FWO First: Former Director still liable to pay penalties with his new wages

FWO First: Former Director to pay penalties through current wages

Fair Work Ombudsman v Sona Peaks Pty Ltd and DA MLG 933/2013

The Director of Sona Peaks Pty Ltd (in liquidation) (the Company) which traded as an Indian food restaurant in Victoria was recently ordered by the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (FCCA) to pay a…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 29, 2016 at 15:00 — No Comments

Going...going...gone – terminated employees and confidential information

BlueScope Steel Limited v S [2016] FCA 4 (BlueScope Case)

BlueScope Steel Limited was successful in its urgent Federal Court of Australia application to prohibit a former employee from using or destroying its confidential information, including intellectual property and software.

The Employee was employed by Blue Scope Limited…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 23, 2016 at 16:30 — No Comments

Video on demand – the danger to employers for employees caught behaving badly

The recent Australia Day off-field incident which involved an NRL Sydney Roosters (the Club) player serves a warning to both employers and employees about the dangers of alcohol and social media.

The player was filmed on camera simulating a lewd act with a dog at a private party.

The player and some other team mates attended the party after the Club’s sanctioned Sydney Harbour cruise which…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 16, 2016 at 16:30 — No Comments

Office online instant messaging services: the do’s and don’ts

The “digital water cooler”, where co-workers are able to have informal conversations instantaneously without the worry that their conversations will be saved, is an attractive proposition for many modern workplaces.

There are now plenty on online instant messaging providers who are now offering a mixture of additional features such as the ability to upload images, videos and even voice messages. 

Generally speaking,…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 16, 2016 at 16:30 — No Comments

Hammering home that sexual harassment not tolerated

Last week it was reported that a Bunnings Warehouse (Bunnings) in Melbourne took the unusual step of banning customers (certain tradesmen) from its store for harassing female employees.

The employee lodged a complaint to store management that some tradesmen who were customers at the store had acted in a sexist manner toward her. In response, store management acted by banning the tradesmen from shopping at the…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 11, 2016 at 7:30 — No Comments

“I’m late; I’m late, for a very important date!” – How to deal with latecomers in the workplace.

In a recent Fair Work Commission (FWC) decision, Mr R v Pickles Auctions Pty Ltd [2016] FWC 858 (Pickles Case), the FWC commended the Employer for its process in terminating the employment of a habitual latecomer.   In the Pickles Case, Mr R was habitually late for work and whilst his work performance was good, his lateness was unsatisfactory.  Mr R had been issued a number of verbal and written warnings since 2011 (with three being issued in the…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 11, 2016 at 7:30 — No Comments

Stop bullying orders not required after employer changes its ways

Ms LP [2016] FWC 763

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) provides that the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) may only make orders to stop bullying if it is found that the worker has been bullied at work and if there is a risk that the bullying will continue.

The FW Act also sets…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 1, 2016 at 16:30 — No Comments

Caught red handed: relying on CCTV footage in disciplinary proceedings

Workplace monitoring and surveillance is now commonplace and typically involves computer surveillance, tracking surveillance and/or CCTV recording. 

Employers implement and use surveillance for many reasons including security as well as monitoring safety and productivity. 

From time to time employee misconduct or misbehaviour is captured by surveillance and in such cases, employers must exercise caution to use the…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on February 25, 2016 at 9:30 — No Comments

Modern award compliance failures also relevant in unfair dismissal proceedings

A recent decision by Deputy President Bartel of Fair Work Commission (FWC) in Jaymon Hocking v Tackle World Adelaide Metro [2015] FWC 6519 (Hocking’s Case) provides yet another valuable lesson for employers in relation to Modern Award compliance.

In Hocking’s Case, Mr Hocking had been employed since 2012 as a sales assistant who worked regular days and hours. Mr Hocking was divorced and had access to his three children every second weekend.

Mr Hocking was given a new eight week…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on February 17, 2016 at 13:30 — No Comments

Employers’ vicarious liability for employee’s discriminatory conduct

The decision of the Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Commission in Frances Newchurch v Centreprise Resource Group Pty Ltd, Mr Graham Ride and Ms Sarah Ride [2016] NTADComm 1 (Newchurch decision) highlights that employers may be found to be vicariously liable for their employee’s discriminatory conduct where it is not demonstrated that it took “all reasonable steps” to prevent the employee…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on February 16, 2016 at 8:00 — No Comments

When is a volunteer not a volunteer (for the purpose of the FWC's anti-bullying jurisdiction)?

Commissioner Peter Hampton of the, Fair Work Commission (FWC), has provided some clarity as to whether a volunteer can apply for a stop bullying order in his decision in the matter of Gaylene May McDonald [2016] FWC 300 (McDonald Case).

Section 789FC of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on February 16, 2016 at 7:30 — No Comments

If the boot doesn't fit

AJ Convenience Stores Pty Ltd T/A 7-Eleven Rozelle & 7-Eleven Bexley [2016] FWC 330

In order for an Enterprise Agreement to be approved by the Fair Work Commission under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act), the proposed agreement must pass the ‘better off over all test’ (the BOOT).

Section 193 of the FW Act provides that a proposed agreement will pass the BOOT if:

‘the FWC is satisfied, as at the test time, that each award covered employee, and each prospective…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on February 9, 2016 at 15:00 — No Comments

Are you ready for this? (2016)

2015 is swiftly coming to a close – we make New Year’s resolutions for ourselves personally – but what about at work? Everyone wants their business to grow and flourish and be better than the year before – to help, we now present a “best practice” checklist to ensure that your business is on track for 2016. …


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on December 17, 2015 at 14:23 — No Comments

Feelin' hot hot hot! (At work!)

As the weather heats up across Australia, employers may be thinking about the possible adverse effects of heat on employees.

While the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the Act) does not specifically address the question of working in heat, some Modern Awards and Enterprise Agreements do.

For example, the Building and Construction General On-Site Award 2010 provides in circumstances of “extreme high temperature” work may be called off for employees in the building and construction…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on December 4, 2015 at 9:00 — No Comments

Chain reaction: Labour supply chain and underpayments

Department store Myer has come under increased pressure from the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) after it declined to enter into a voluntary compliance deed with the regulator.

The voluntary compliance deed was offered after claims of underpayment and sham contracting arrangements from cleaners engaged by companies who are subcontracted to Spotless, the head contractor responsible for Myer’s cleaning…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on November 27, 2015 at 15:00 — No Comments

The Grinch who stole Christmas: The dangers of Secret Santa

In our E-Update “Champagne showers and what else to avoid at the office Christmas party” (to read please visit we provided tips as to how to minimise risks during the festive season.

Every year employers remind their employees about the risks of drugs, alcohol, harassment – but employers also need to be wary of an often forgotten source of angst in the workplace...Secret Santa.

Whilst Secret Santa is usually…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on November 19, 2015 at 16:04 — No Comments

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