All Blog Posts (3,695)

Supreme failure: Court finds HR manager accessorily liable for adverse action claim

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) contains provisions which make it possible for individuals to be found accessorily liable for their involvement in a contravention of a workplace law. In particular, section 550 of the FW Act provides that a person “involved in” a contravention will be taken to have contravened that provision themselves.

It is for this reason that individuals who are most often involved in managing employee relations, such as directors,…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 6, 2022 at 8:00 — No Comments

No vacancy: making offers of casual conversion

Division 4A of Part 2-2 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act), which came into operation on 27 March 2021, imposes an obligation on employers of casual employees to make offers of conversion to permanent employment in certain circumstances.

Specifically, employers are required to offer casual employees conversion to permanent employment if:

  • the employee has been employed by the employer for a period of twelve months; and
  • during at…
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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 6, 2022 at 8:00 — No Comments

No show cause: Employer’s lack of procedural fairness rendered the dismissal of his employee harsh

Under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act), whether an employee’s dismissal was procedurally fair is a key factor in determining whether the dismissal was unfair. Procedural fairness requires an employee be given an opportunity to respond to or explain an allegation put to them by their employer. The employer must consider that response or explanation before deciding the disciplinary penalty – eg: a warning, or termination of employment.

In Bostock v…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on July 6, 2022 at 8:00 — No Comments

Workplace Conflict That Is Not Bullying?

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Added by David Sorauer on July 5, 2022 at 17:44 — No Comments

Recruitment and selection: more important than breathing

The selection of John Barilaro to a trade job in New York has focused attention on recruitment and selection practices both specifically in relation to that appointment and more generally. Whilst the selection appears 'unusual ' this blog post more broadly canvasses best practice in this area. As a now retired head of HR I came to understand that staff selection and promotion is more important than breathing.

A quality selection exercise is a great return on the investment. A sloppy…

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Added by wayne faulkner on June 30, 2022 at 14:38 — No Comments

Hiring challenges in the dental industry – 4 solutions to consider

The dental industry is constantly battling against its public image, both in attracting patients, and attracting staff. This article looks at the special circumstances faced by the industry in attracting staff, and makes some suggestions for owners and managers of dental practices.

The Dental Industry

Over a long period…

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Added by Jonathan Mamaril on June 30, 2022 at 11:00 — No Comments

Bad publicity: PCBU ordered to publicise work health and safety conviction

When setting a penalty for breaches of work health and safety (WHS) obligations, the Courts will look at the need for specific deterrence against the offender and also the need for general deterrence for employers and the particular industry.  

In SafeWork NSW v Saunders Civilbuild Pty Ltd (No 2) [2022] NSWDC 163 the NSW District Court utilised its powers to impose an adverse publicity order against a business who was found guilty of failing to comply with…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on June 30, 2022 at 9:00 — No Comments

The deregistered accessory: Court confirms small claim proceedings extends to matters involving accessorial liability

Under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act), the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) (the Court) is able to determine certain underpayment disputes as “small claims proceedings”.

The informal nature of small claims proceedings means that orders made typically only require an employer to rectify underpayments up to the value of $20,000.

However, in a recent interlocutory decision within a small claims proceeding,…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on June 30, 2022 at 9:00 — No Comments

How to identify a toxic work culture

It is no secret that workplaces need an inclusive, people-centric culture to thrive. This begs the question; why do toxic work cultures still exist, and more importantly, what can we do to fix it?

 

Toxic workplace culture remains one of the key reasons that high performers leave their jobs and, in most cases, will have a negative flow through…

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Added by Nick Hedges on June 29, 2022 at 11:30 — No Comments

A bone to pick: Assessing the “reasonableness” of additional hours

Under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the FW Act), employers are prohibited from requesting or requiring full-time employees to work more than 38 hours per week, unless those additional hours are reasonable.

When considering the reasonableness of additional hours, section 62(3) of the FW Act provides a list of factors which are to be taken into account, such as whether there would be a risk to the employee’s health and safety, the employee’s personal…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on June 28, 2022 at 13:44 — No Comments

Under examination: Employee dismissed for refusing a medical assessment, not for complaining about it

Medical examinations are often used by employers to assess the fitness and capacity of employees, particularly when the employee is returning to work after a non-work-related injury. Issues may arise when employees refuse to attend medical examinations.

In Sidhu v Aldi Stores (A Limited Partnership) [2022] FedCFamC2G 239, the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (the Court) found that adverse action was not taken against an employee because he…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on June 28, 2022 at 13:30 — No Comments

The HomeWork debate: Managing returns to the workplace in the post-COVID-19 environment

In the post COVID-19 environment, one of the most common issues faced by employers is facilitating the return of employees to the office or normal workplace. In particular, many employers have been required to deal with increased reluctance by employees to return to the workplace following lengthy periods of working from home.

One of the things that an employer can (and should) do to minimise disputes about work locations is to make it clear from the outset of the employment…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on June 28, 2022 at 13:30 — No Comments

Organic panic: Employer dismisses long standing employee for breaching drug policy

Although circumstances may be unique to each case, generally, workplace policies will provide employers with grounds for termination when a significant breach has occurred.

In Hancock v DP World Brisbane Pty Ltd [2022] FWC 1406, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) upheld the dismissal of a long serving employee who breached the Alcohol and Other Drug Policy (AOD Policy) by testing positive to THC during work hours.

The employee had…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on June 27, 2022 at 18:00 — No Comments

HR update: Minimum wage, award rate and superannuation increases

The Fair Work Commission has recently announced their decision regarding minimum wage and award rate increases which will come into effect on 1 July 2022. Here’s what you need to know:

National Minimum Wage 

The National Minimum…

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Added by Nick Hedges on June 27, 2022 at 13:30 — No Comments

The Top 8 Reasons Why Education Is Important: and Why You Should Embrace Lifelong Learning

The importance of education is something that is drilled into our heads from a young age. We are told that we need to go to school and get a good education if we want to be successful in life. And this is true – a good education is the key to success. But what many people don’t realise is that it’s not just about getting a degree and finding a job. The importance of…

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Added by Daniel Brown on June 16, 2022 at 19:44 — No Comments

Servant leadership

Respect is one of those words we use so often we rarely pause to consider its meaning. It describes an attitude, yet its latin root, specere, to look, indicates that this is really a form of attention.

To be respectful is to attentively incline oneself towards the other in recognition of their autonomy and integrity.

There is no one we can respect and simultaneously try to change. When we coerce or…

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Added by Catherine Gillespie on June 14, 2022 at 13:30 — No Comments

The workplace is calling

As the mobile coffee cart in the office building foyer splutters back to life again, the word is out – the workers are coming back.  Or are they?

Anxiety may be rising for some still in woolly onesies slumped in front of a warmed up computer dreading the new order.  It’s time.  Time to review the WFH policy.

Working from home has been a much, welcomed condition for approximately the last 2 years.  Spare bedrooms have been converted to office space, wardrobe doors have become…

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Added by Louise Bowers on June 9, 2022 at 17:30 — No Comments

Recruiting for the ideal team player

Effective recruitment practices are at the heart of every successful business and as we enter a new era of post-covid people practices, taking a fresh look at how we recruit; and specifically what qualities we are looking for, has become more important than ever. 

As part of our in-house professional development strategy, we…

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Added by Nick Hedges on June 1, 2022 at 13:30 — No Comments

Bullying tactics: bullying allegations used as a tactic to direct attention away from an employee’s misconduct

It is not uncommon for employees to raise allegations against Employers in order to divert attention away from, or attempt to excuse their own misconduct.

In Trika v Home@Scope Pty Ltd [2022] FWC 749, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has defended an Employer’s decision to dismiss an employee after he left his overnight shift early without authorisation.

The Employer managed and operated independent supported living facilities for disabled clients. The…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on May 25, 2022 at 10:30 — No Comments

The tough conversation: an employer’s reminder to employee fails to count as a performance warning

There are often misconceptions about how many times an employee must be warned regarding their poor performance before they are able to be dismissed. Although there is no legislative requirement stipulating the number of warnings required, the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) provides that an employee must be warned about their unsatisfactory performance before they are dismissed for that reason.   

In McCallum v Everstone Pty Ltd [2022] FWC 782,…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on May 25, 2022 at 10:30 — No Comments

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