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Senate approves inquiry Into wage and superannuation ‘theft’

The Senate has approved an inquiry into the causes, extent and effects of unlawful non-payment or underpayment of employees’ remuneration by employers and measures to address this issue. The successful Senate vote on 13 November 2019, referred the inquiry to the Economics References Committee. This came as a result of successful push by Labor Senators […]

$30,000 penalty for failing to independently investigate a sexual harassment complaint

In a warning for employers to ensure sexual harassment complaints are taken seriously and investigated appropriately, the South Australian Employment Tribunal has awarded $30,000 in general damages against Adelaide supermarket, Pasadena Foodland for failing to properly and externally investigate a sexual harassment complaint against its head chef. The Facts – Allegations thought to be “nothing […]

“How To” series – WHS Prosecutions are on the rise. How can you avoid a WHS Prosecution?

Welcome to our new “How To” series of ‘Safety in the Workplace – WHS Quarterly’. This 4 part series will offer employers a practical and easy to follow guide on how to ensure best practice and protect your business from a Work Health and Safety perspective. In recent years, there has been a slow but […]

NSW Rejects Industrial Manslaughter Laws

The NSW Liberal Government has recently rejected the introduction of new industrial manslaughter laws, with the NSW Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson claiming the new laws “sound tough but are little more than a catchy title”. The rejection came as somewhat of a surprise given Queensland and the ACT have already adopted industrial manslaughter […]

$200k Adverse Action Payout

A former Rotary International (Rotary) employee has been awarded $205,000 by the Federal Circuit Court for his premature dismissal. This decision provides an expensive reminder that employers must be cautious not to “manufacture” or speed up a dismissal, especially when there is a complaint involved or if the employee is close to retirement age. The […]

Fair Work Ombudsman “warns employers to ensure they are paying their staff correctly”

In recent Vision in the Workplace articles we reported that the Fair Work Ombudsman (the FWO) has pledged to crack down on businesses and employers that underpay their staff. Since making that commitment to hold businesses accountable, we have seen a substantial increase in the number of businesses that have been monitored, investigated and ultimately […]

Fair Work Commission rejects termination by text message

The Fair Work Commission (the FWC) has reminded employers that terminating employees by text is not appropriate and will often constitute unfair dismissal or attract compensation for the employee. Two recent cases which were heard before the FWC on consecutive days both considered the issue of termination by text message. Both Deputy President Sams and […]

Failing to hire a lawyer proves costly for Canadian Company

The Canadian-based company GuestTek (the Company) have been ordered to pay an employee’s legal costs incurred in his unfair dismissal proceedings because of the Company’s “unreasonable behaviour” in defending the application. Commissioner Riordan expressed “sympathy with the Applicant” because of the “frustration [he] experienced” in dealing with the Company’s “attitude and inactivity” throughout the process […]