Archive by Author

Procedural Fairness is Paramount! Fair Work Commission Commends Employer’s Handling of Unsafe Employee

In a recent unfair dismissal application the Fair Work Commission has commended the employer for its “scrupulously fair” treatment of a labourer who repeatedly failed to follow the most basic safety precautions and procedures. The case demonstrates the importance of maintaining procedural fairness in any investigation, performance improvement, record keeping and termination process to ensure […]

Employer or Independent Contractor? Court Provides Insight Into Classification in Multiparty Arrangements

A full bench of the Victorian Supreme Court reversed an earlier decision of a single Judge who held that a worker was an employee and not an independent contractor. The Court considered and applied the common law test for an employee in the context of a multi-party arrangement. The Facts George Barca (Mr Barca) worked […]

Company fined $3 million in Australia’s first industrial manslaughter conviction

Brisbane Auto Recycling (the Company) has become Australia’s first company to be convicted of industrial manslaughter under Queensland’s new Work Health and Safety (WHS) industrial manslaughter laws. The Company purchased used motor vehicles for resale, recycling and parts. Its two directors, Mr Asadulla Hussaini and Mr Mohammad Ali Jan Karimi (the Directors), who both supervised […]

Legal Update – Key changes to NSW health and safety laws

On 10 June 2020, the Work Health and Safety Amendment (Review) Act 2020 (NSW) (the Act) came into effect, introducing a number of significant reforms to the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 No 10 (NSW) (WHS Act). The changes include an expansion of gross negligence, prohibition of insurance contract indemnities, and increases in fines for WHS breaches. The new […]

Important Update – Annualised Salaries – New Obligations for Employers

As part of the four yearly review of modern awards which we briefly summarised In our November edition of Vision in the Workplace, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has handed down a decision which affects employers paying annualised salaries to employees covered by modern awards. Employers who currently pay annualised salaries to certain award-covered employees […]

Christmas Breakfast Seminar Roundup

Thank you to everyone who attended our Christmas Breakfast Seminar on Friday, 6 December 2019. We trust everyone enjoyed the breakfast and opportunity to mingle and network with other clients. Angharad Owens-Strauss’ presentation offered a simplified refresher on the termination process. Angharad covered the key issues of: redundancy, underperformance and what constitutes serious misconduct. Her […]

Missing in action? When has an employee abandoned their employment?

The lack of an immediate reason for an employee failing to turn up to work cannot be construed as ‘abandonment’ without being properly investigated. This message was recently enforced by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) who ordered Atlas Steel, a supplier of steel products, to pay $7,000 to an employee after mistakenly assuming they had […]

Election Outcome: What will the Industrial Relations landscape look like under the re-elected Liberal Government?

Brief Summary Changes to the Enterprise Agreement approval process; Increased flexibility for paid parental leave; Increased regulation of core labour hire industries; Changes to Union right of entry on work sites; Early superannuation access for victims fleeing domestic and family violence; Increased funding for the Australian Building and Construction Commission; Potential introduction of freedom of […]