What is on your agenda for the coming year? Employers should get ready for what looks to be another fast-paced year filled with employment law developments. In the lead up to an election year next year, employment matters are squarely in forefront of political debate. In our first article for the year we review a number of updates and/or pending legislative amendments as part of the next wave of employment and industrial law regulations about which you should be aware.
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12 Feb 2018
Five things you need to know about Australia’s Royal Commission into the Financial Services Industry
1. What is a Royal Commission? Australia’s state and federal governments establish royal commissions from time to time to investigate current controversies or real or perceived wrongs in the community. Royal Commissioners have a broad discretion as to the procedures which they will adopt. It is, however, assumed that evidence will be heard in public unless the Commission orders otherwise.
29 Jan 2018
With the Christmas and New Year period upon us, many employers will be celebrating the end of 2017 with their employees. Whilst the 2016 comedy film “Office Christmas Party” is an extravagant portrayal of a Christmas function gone bad and which seems, in many ways an over-exaggeration of what really happens, in our experience these Christmas events are notorious for being a potential breeding ground for inappropriate workplace behavior.
24 Nov 2017
Employers are required to ensure the work health and safety of workers while at work. Not only is work health and safety within the workplace a legal requirement for employers, but workplace injuries can have a significant impact on a business and severe consequences for all workplace participants. Significant workplace injuries can have a lasting negative effect on the business through reduced productivity, lost clients, low staff morale, traumatised staff and the associated reputational costs.
10 Nov 2017
Unpaid internships are increasingly becoming the default way of beginning a professional career in Australia. Last May, we wrote about the increased use of volunteer and unpaid workers by employers and the potential legal issues surrounding the use of unpaid work arrangements.
27 Oct 2017
There have been a number of interesting legal matters heard by our judicial system within the employment law area in the last quarter. In this legal briefing, we provide an overview of two informative and instructive cases for employers, each dealing with their own unique and distinct employment law issue. In addition, we provide a timely update as to the outcome of the union movement’s appeal to the Federal Court of Australia of the penalty rates decision that was handed down earlier this year by the Fair Work Commission.
13 Oct 2017
Next week a Full Court of the High Court sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns will hear argument over three days on whether the foreign citizenship provisions of s.44(i) of the Constitution rendered invalid the elections of seven individuals - Matt Canavan, Scott Ludlam, Larissa Waters, Malcolm Roberts, Nick Xenophon and Fiona Nash - who were declared elected to the Senate - and Barnaby Joyce who was declared elected to the House of Representatives.
5 Oct 2017
For larger organisations, or employers who engage a multifaceted workforce, an enterprise agreement (“EA”) can be a very sensible and practical instrument to simplify the terms and conditions of employment for its workforce. It is not uncommon for employers to have a number of Modern Awards applying to their employees and thus creating complexity and administrative difficulties.
29 Sep 2017
The Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017 (“The Bill”) has passed the Parliament, after the House of Representatives yesterday accepted amendments made in the Senate. The new law will apply from the day after the Bill receives royal assent, except for the new franchisor and holding company liability provisions (discussed below) which will start six weeks later.
15 Sep 2017
Hiring a new employee is a crucial decision in any business. However, deciding on the most appropriate employment relationship for a growing business can be a daunting prospect. With so many types of employment arrangements now available such as full-time and part-time permanent employment, casual employment, temporary employment, internships and fixed term employment to name a few, each with their own respective advantages and disadvantages, it can be difficult to know which is the most appropriate arrangement to use for your business.
1 Sep 2017