News, Updates & Events

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 […]

Truck Driver Misclassification Proves Costly for Employer

In a case that demonstrates the pitfalls of misclassifying employees as independent contractors, the Full Federal Court has upheld an appeal by two truck drivers pursuing unpaid leave and superannuation entitlements after working exclusively for a company for almost 40 years. Originally, the trial judge held in 2018 that the two men were contractors and […]

JobKeeper Update

On Tuesday 21 July Scott Morrison announced that the JobKeeper fortnightly payments of $1500 (gross) to eligible employees will remain unchanged until 27 September 2020. After this date, the JobKeeper subsidy will also vary per employee depending on whether they fall under the scheme’s new full-time (working over 20 hours per week) or part-time (working […]

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 […]

Stand Down Decision Keeps Cruise Company Afloat

A recent Fair Work Commission (FWC) decision has provided employers with more clarity regarding the circumstances in which they can lawfully “stand down” employees. The decision has provided guidance for employers on the application of the stand down provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the Act) in light of the COVID19 pandemic. Stand […]

Update: WorkPac seek leave to take Rossato to High Court

Labour hire firm WorkPac has launched a High Court challenge seeking to overturn the Full Federal Court ruling of WorkPac Pty Ltd v Rossato (The WorkPac Decision) made last month. As reported in our May edition of Vision, the landmark ruling on casual employment sent shockwaves amongst employers after opening the way for casual employees who work […]