All Blog Posts (3,707)

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

Violence in the workplace – Best practice responses

Violence in the workplace – Best practice response.

At times violence in the workplace occurs and employers must respond in a professional and considered way that protects their employees and the best interest of the employees and the organisation and it’s culture.

An example that I have encountered as a workplace investigator involved two employees who had engaged in a fight in the workplace, a production facility.  The Police attended on the night and took statements, neither…


Added by Phil O'Brien on April 21, 2022 at 10:00 — No Comments

Can out-of-hours conduct at social gathering be a valid reason for dismissal?

An interesting case that raises some questions about the employers responsibilities when organising and running out of hours events,…

Added by Phil O'Brien on April 19, 2022 at 14:30 — No Comments

Where is your organisational strength?

Most organisations believe strength = success = profit and the higher the profits the stronger the organisation is.

So these organisations put a sole focus on increasing profit - and they attempt to do just that.

From the outside, on paper, that company is looking strong. But take a look under the…


Added by Catherine Gillespie on April 18, 2022 at 7:00 — No Comments

What are workplace interpersonal disputes

What is workplace interpersonal disputes – It is common for employees and managers to be faced with interpersonal disputes between employees that effect the workplace.

Interpersonal disputes can manifest as:

* Argumentative employees

* Misunderstandings

* General disagreements

* Bullying complaints where there is no witnesses or corroborating evidence making a finding difficult…


Added by Phil O'Brien on April 14, 2022 at 10:03 — No Comments

Up, up and away: Commission finds employee’s conduct of upward bullying towards manager warranted disciplinary action

Workplace bullying occurs when a person (or a group of people) repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards another worker (or group of workers) and that behaviour creates a risk to the worker’s (or group of workers’) health and safety.

Bullying is commonly seen to occur either between peers or in a “downward” sense, where a person is bullied by another worker who holds a higher position. However, bullying can also occur “upwards”, where a manager or other person in a senior position is…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on April 13, 2022 at 14:00 — No Comments

Company car comes at a cost: Company supplied vehicle pushed employee over the high-income threshold

Employees are often provided with benefits by their employer in addition to their normal salaries or wages. It is often when an unfair dismissal application is made that a dispute arises as to the value to be attributed to a benefit for the purposes of calculating whether an employee’s earnings are above the high-income threshold.  

In Johnson v Benex Civil Pty Ltd [2022] FWC 338 the Fair Work Commission (FWC) dismissed an employee’s unfair dismissal…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on April 13, 2022 at 14:00 — No Comments

Communication with High Conflict Personalities

Many years ago I attended a workshop conducted by Bill Eddy, co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer at the High Conflict Institute in California. Bill pioneered the High Conflict Personality Theory (HCP) and is considered an expert in managing disputes involving people with high conflict personalities.

I know that some readers will be thinking they have a few HCP employees at their current…


Added by Catherine Gillespie on April 13, 2022 at 8:00 — No Comments

Drunk and intoxicated employee – How far does vicarious liability go to hold an employer accountable (5 reasons to be concerned)

Vicarious liability (responsibility of an employer for an employee’s actions) has been a concept many employers grapple with on a far too regular basis. A situation involving a drunken employee urinating on a colleague’s face begged the question of employer responsibility.

The ever-changing principles of this concept have employers concerned…


Added by Jonathan Mamaril on April 11, 2022 at 10:00 — No Comments

“That’s just Mike” - Why this phrase could spell trouble in your workplace

In over a decade as a workplace investigator, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard the phrase, “That’s just John” or “That’s just Jane. That’s just how she is.” from the co-workers of bullies and harassers. 

It’s a phrase that sounds, at worst, dismissive and, at best, accepting of a co-worker’s frankly…


Added by Natalie Thomasen on April 7, 2022 at 10:30 — No Comments

5 tips for effective investigation interviewing

A properly conducted interview is a primary method of obtaining evidence in a workplace investigation. A flawed interview can derail the entire investigation. Here are a few tips (there's a lot more, it's a complex task) that might help

(1) Always conduct a complete, careful & thorough analysis of the complaint/s to fully understand;

* What the complaint is about,

* Who are the parties

* What happened…


Added by Phil O'Brien on April 7, 2022 at 10:00 — No Comments

Nothing good comes after Sundowner: Commission finds employee’s out-of-hours conduct at social gathering to be a valid reason for dismissal

The physical return-to-work happening at many workplaces will also see the return of work-related events in an effort to reacquaint employees after a string of lockdowns and stay at home orders.

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) recently set out the standard of appropriate workplace conduct at  work-related events, especially when the employer has allowed for the provision of alcohol or where the event rolls into an unofficial gathering .

In Keron v Westpac…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on April 6, 2022 at 16:38 — No Comments

An unwanted footprint: FWC highlights the importance of a social media policy to safeguard employers’ reputations

Employees have a duty to ensure that their out of hours conduct (including social media posts) is not contrary to the obligations they owe to their employer. Further employees should also ensure that out of hours conduct is not in breach of workplace policies or damaging to the reputation of their employer.

In Corry v Australian Council of Trade Unions T/A ACTU [2022] FWC 288, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) dismissed an employee’s…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on April 6, 2022 at 16:37 — No Comments

Off the record: Criminal records and employment

While the internet has made the world seem smaller and more connected, the ability to have unlimited information at our fingertips carries a risk for employers that what is found on the internet will be used to unlawfully discriminate against people in their employment.

Under Federal and some State anti-discrimination legislation, employers must not discriminate against a person on the basis of an irrelevant criminal record. This legal obligation often makes navigating recruitment and…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on April 6, 2022 at 15:00 — No Comments

Trains N’ Roses: Full Bench clarifies test for out of work conduct

In our last Conversations, we discussed two recent decisions of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) which looked at an employee’s conduct outside of work and whether or not that conduct could be sufficiently connected to their employment so as to constitute a valid reason for dismissal.

We expect that these types of disputes will become more prevalent in a post-COVID-19 environment where employees no longer need to physically be in a workplace to be engaging in…


Added by Shane Koelmeyer on April 6, 2022 at 15:00 — No Comments

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