Featured Blog Posts – March 2021 Archive (15)

When you get it wrong, 3 mistakes an employer made leading to a general protections order of $85K

There are a number of well documented workplace problems continuing to persist as we…


Added by Jonathan Mamaril on March 31, 2021 at 8:00 — No Comments

Reasonable management action or workplace bullying?

Following on from my last article - 'Why do managers get complaints?', do you know the difference between workplace bullying and reasonable management action.

This article goes into more detail about what the Fair Work Act says in s789FD(2) - ‘Behaviour will not be considered bullying if it is reasonable management action carried out in a reasonable manner.’ and how I as an investigator address this question when conducting investigations against…


Added by Phil O'Brien on March 24, 2021 at 13:30 — No Comments

Why do managers get complaints?

Workplace complaints against managers – why do managers get complaints?

The easy answers are:

1. What they do!

2. What they don’t do!

What managers do

As a workplace investigator I have conducted a large number investigations into complaints about managers and what I have found is that many complaints come as a result of the manager:

* Managing and directing an employee

* Placing an employee on some form of performance improvement…


Added by Phil O'Brien on March 22, 2021 at 19:28 — No Comments

Measuring the skills and behaviours of potential maintenance technicians

Successful maintenance technicians have a sought-after combination of knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) including a wide range of trade-related skills and knowledge, and a depth of experience to troubleshoot problems and complete regular maintenance and repairs. They also need a clear focus on safety, and the ability to work effectively across the organization, interacting with the rest of the workforce. 

However, there is critical shortage of qualified…


Added by Stefan Hinrichsen on March 18, 2021 at 15:30 — No Comments

Celebrity searches and confidential information – 2 tips to deal with misuse of client information

Access to confidential information is part and parcel of work for many employees especially those working in finance, professional services and technology based businesses.  The ANZ Bank recently dealt with a case where an employee filed an unfair dismissal claim after she was dismissed for:

  • Undertaking an unauthorised celebrity search on…

Added by Jonathan Mamaril on March 18, 2021 at 8:00 — No Comments

Doctor Who? FWC issues cautionary warning about medical certificates

Medical certificates and reports from medical practitioners play an important role in the employment relationship.

Employers rely on the opinions of medical practitioners for assurance that employees are medically fit for their role and they are not being required to perform tasks that might put their health and safety at risk.

Such documents are also used to provide legitimate evidence that an employee who takes personal (sick) leave is, in fact, not fit for work because of an…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 17, 2021 at 8:34 — No Comments

Pick up the phone: Fair Work Commission finds employer’s failure to comply with its consultation obligations rendered an employee’s dismissal to be unfair

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented effect on Australian businesses.Employers have had to, with little notice, adapt to these changing circumstances to try and minimise the adverse impact of lockdowns on the business and its employees.

During the pandemic, many employers have been forced to implement redundancies as a means of trying to survive. Reduced employment opportunities have also resulted in greater scrutiny being placed on employers to ensure that the…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 17, 2021 at 8:33 — No Comments

Garbage in, garbage out: Employee fails in bid to have safety-related dismissal found to be unfair

A dismissed employee can lodge an unfair dismissal claim alleging that their dismissal was “harsh, unjust or unreasonable”. Employees will often claim that the dismissal was all three: harsh, unjust and unreasonable. However,these concepts are distinct and will be considered separately when determining whether a dismissal was unfair.

A recent decision Hamlin v City of Sydney Council[2021] NSWIRComm 1010, the NSW Industrial Relations Commission…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 17, 2021 at 8:32 — No Comments

How HR professionals can optimise office design

A competent approach to the design of the office and its space can significantly help in working with staff. The interior of the office is rarely approached meaningfully, often referring to it as a room for work. And without using design as a means of attracting, motivating,…


Added by Emma Williams on March 11, 2021 at 21:00 — No Comments

Team building activities your team will actually love

To keep your organisation operating on a high level, you need to retain those talents. However, if you don’t pay attention to your employees, fluctuation will take its toll. Don’t lose your performers! Indulge them in the team building activities that will help strengthen the bond…


Added by Daniel Brown on March 9, 2021 at 20:30 — No Comments

Workplace investigations - recent learnings

Workplace investigations are almost always a difficult undertaking for Companies.


One aspect on which all managers, senior business leaders and HR usually agree, is the importance of getting the procedural aspects of the investigation right.   Getting it wrong will not only potentially increase the risk in terms of the Employer’s ability to defend any resulting disciplinary action that the Company believed was ‘fair, reasonable and just’, it also has the…


Added by Nick Hedges on March 2, 2021 at 14:00 — No Comments

The rooster and the sunrise: Court finds rescinded job offer was not age discrimination

Discrimination in the workplace is unlawful under a number of Australian laws, including state and federal anti-discrimination legislation (such as the Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Cth)) as well as the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act).

One of the attributes that is protected by such legislation is a person’s age – meaning that it is unlawful for a person, including an employer or prospective employer, to engage  in any action that would disadvantage…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 2, 2021 at 12:01 — No Comments

Does remote work promote diversity in the workplace?

Employment vacancies, contract and project work, freelancing gigs - when…


Added by Maria Nordenswan on March 2, 2021 at 12:00 — No Comments

Host with the most: Full Bench quashes order to reinstate labour hire employee to host employer

In the unfair dismissal jurisdiction, where it is found by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) that an employee has been unfairly dismissed, the primary remedy under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) is for the employee to be reinstated to the position they held immediately prior to their dismissal or another position on no less favourable terms. Reinstatement can be with or without an order to maintain continuity of employment and to restore lost…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 2, 2021 at 11:57 — No Comments

Celebrity Search: FWC upholds dismissal of an employee who repeatedly and deliberately accessed customer’s confidential information without authorisation

During the course of their employment, employees may have access to confidential information which belongs to their employer. This information may be in the form of personal information provided by customers and is therefore sensitive in nature.

While access to customer information may be required by an employee in order to carry out their duties, it is critical that employers have policies in place to protect customer information and ensure that it is not misused or improperly…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on March 2, 2021 at 11:30 — No Comments

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