May 2022 Blog Posts (16)

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…


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,…


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

Step back: Employer fails to disprove adverse action claim

A recent decision of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (the Court) has reaffirmed the standard of proof that is required to disprove allegations of unlawful adverse action under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act).

Section 361 of the FW Act states, where an allegation of unlawful adverse action is made, it will be presumed that the action was, or is being, taken for the unlawful reason, unless the person proves…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on May 18, 2022 at 15:30 — No Comments

Sham slam: Commission applies test confirmed by High Court in distinguishing between employee and contractor

In a recent decision, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has applied the test recently confirmed by the High Court of Australia in CFMMEU v Personnel Contracting Pty Ltd [2022] HCA 1 and ZG Operations Australia Pty Ltd v Jamsek [2022] HCA 2 (the High Court Decisions), in distinguishing between employees and contractors.

The High Court Decisions confirmed that the distinction must be made by reference to the rights and obligations of the…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on May 18, 2022 at 15:30 — No Comments

Down but not out: Full Bench looks at meaning of dismissed for the purposes of the unfair dismissal jurisdiction

The question of whether a demotion will constitute a dismissal under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) was considered by the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission (Full Bench) NSW Trains v James [2022] FWCFB 55.

The matter was referred to a Full Bench on appeal from the first instance decision of Deputy President Saunders in James v NSW Trains [2021] FWC 4733 (First Instance Decision) who found that the…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on May 18, 2022 at 15:30 — No Comments

5 tips to hire quality candidates during a talent shortage

As companies struggle to fill open positions, they are turning to social media to find new talent. But performing DIY background checks may not be very helpful when screening for quality candidates. Read further to know the top five tips to hire top talent faster and more efficiently.…


Added by Dan Holman on May 17, 2022 at 15:00 — No Comments

How to help employees sharpen their cognitive skills for an increasingly fast-paced workforce

Developing your cognitive skills is now considered as vital as the early morning workout if you want to get ahead in the future world of work.


Many people are dedicated to training their bodies daily to get them match fit, but it is just as important to train your brain, especially when operating in today’s workforce which is becoming increasingly fast-paced.


Whether it’s suggesting to staff a morning crossword, a daily brain teaser, or an attempt at the…


Added by Marc Havercroft on May 17, 2022 at 13:00 — No Comments

Hybrid working: The big considerations for SMB’s

For the food & beverage and manufacturing industries, the COVID-19 pandemic created widespread challenges —everything from a surge in demand for food and beverage products, the manufacture and supply of packaging, raw materials and ingredients to staffing, distribution and logistics.

Rampant illness…


Added by Debbie Morrison on May 12, 2022 at 15:00 — No Comments

Canteen Crasher: FWC warns against employer’s “concerning” performance management in stop-bullying application

The stop-bullying provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) provide a mechanism for the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to impose orders upon employers (as well as individual employees) which are aimed at stopping bullying behaviour in the workplace.

In applications for orders to stop bullying, the conduct of an employer will not constitute bullying under section 789D of the FW Act if it can be shown that the particular conduct was…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on May 11, 2022 at 8:30 — No Comments

Employer ordered to pay $150,000 in damages for sexual harassment by an employee

In a recent decision of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), an employer has been ordered to pay $150,000 in general damages to a former employee for failing to take reasonable precautions to prevent her from being sexually harassed in the workplace.

In Oliver v Bassari (Human Rights) [2022] VCAT 329, an employee was found to have contravened section 93 of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic) (EO Act) by sexually…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on May 11, 2022 at 8:30 — No Comments

Hiring for diversity & inclusion

For many consumer goods companies, the impact of the pandemic forced them into simply surviving - priorities shifted to navigating supply chain issues, managing remote working and depleted workforces, panic-buying and safeguarding employees and customers. Understandably, long term goals issues such as diversity and inclusion…


Added by Debbie Morrison on May 9, 2022 at 14:30 — No Comments

Returning to the office and workplace complaints

As a workplace investigator I am seeing a upsurge in complaints of bullying and sexual harassment that could be attributed to  employees forgetting the rules and expectations of the workplace and not being used to a higher level of interpersonal contact.

“For the last two years the kids have been stuck inside, now they’re going back to the playground they seem to have forgotten how to play nice.”

It is also important to remember that employees who were hired during the…


Added by Phil O'Brien on May 6, 2022 at 8:00 — No Comments

Executive succession series: Failing to plan is planning to fail - Part 2

In the first part of this Succession Planning series, we explored the pitfalls associated with a lack of succession planning. In part two, we look at what executives and boards can do to implement a succession plan, nurture internal talent and discover future leaders. 

How Organisations Can Discover…


Added by Debbie Morrison on May 5, 2022 at 14:00 — No Comments

Can an employee insist on work from home arrangements? The Queensland case which solves the work from home conundrum

The lockdown situations all over Australia created a number of scenarios where employees were able to remain at home and undertake work.  Some of these arrangements led to an increase in productivity and for other organisations and industries there has been an eventual decline in productivity.

With the question around WFH coming up for…


Added by Jonathan Mamaril on May 4, 2022 at 8:00 — No Comments

Executive succession series: Failing to plan is planning to fail - Part 1

There has been much fanfare about the impending ‘great resignation’ expected this year. How much this impacts Australian organisations, especially the c-suite remains to be seen. It’s not unrealistic, however, to think many executives, burnt out from the unprecedented difficulties faced as a result of the pandemic may…


Added by Debbie Morrison on May 3, 2022 at 14:00 — No Comments

Simplify your inclusion and diversity strategy to increase effectiveness

Most organisations are fatigued with their approach to an inclusion and diversity strategy which doesn’t seem to get impactful results. Leaders are supportive of D&I but it’s hard for it to be a real priority when there are so many expectations on leaders and what they are responsible for.  

The reality is that a role that works…


Added by Maureen Frank on May 3, 2022 at 12:00 — No Comments

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