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Keynotes

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In this week’s article we consider the proper legal definition of casual employment and also consider a recent landmark decision of the Full Bench of the Federal Court of Australia which considered whether a casual truck driver whose employment was terminated was entitled to accrued annual leave.
Posted on:
14 Sep 2018
Change management and, in particular, downsizing has the potential to present a melting pot of legal issues for employers, and there are many practical traps for organisations to consider in planning and executing redundancies especially in an economic downturn.
Posted on:
31 Aug 2018
When you think about it, it is inconceivable to imagine certain Australian industries such as construction, agriculture and the resources sector (to name a few), continuing to function, much less survive, without the supply of labour via labour hire. Given that many Australian companies utilise labour hire services of some kind either directly or via third party contractors, and the spotlight which is continuing to be shone by unions and regulators on the protection of vulnerable classes of workers in Australia, various State governments have recently enacted legislation to reform how labour hire activities are provided. 
Posted on:
17 Aug 2018
All issues of securities (and some transfers) in Australia require a disclosure document, such as a prospectus, unless an exception applies. Following from the banking Royal Commission, the Federal Government has recently announced significantly higher penalties for non-compliance with these disclosure rules. It is therefore vital for companies, their officers and advisers to understand and comply with these rules.
Posted on:
9 Aug 2018
Those engaged in the business of debt collecting need to be extra careful when making threats to debtors about commencing legal proceedings or the possible effect on their credit ratings. A recent decision of the Federal Court of Australia highlights some extraordinary conduct by a large debt collecting company that contravened the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). Once again, it stands as a salutary lesson to those in business who make empty threats to consumers in order to recover their debts.  
Posted on:
6 Aug 2018
Under Part 6-4B of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (“Act”), the Fair Work Commission (“Commission”) has the power to make a ‘stop bullying order’ when a worker has been bullied at work, unless the alleged bullying conduct amounts to “reasonable management action”carried out in a “reasonable manner”. This jurisdiction, which commenced on 1 January 2014 with widespread community support and in particular from the Commonwealth government, has been in operation for over 4 years, and in this time, it has had much lower rates of utilisation than expected. Evidently, much the same can be said for the success rates of those who have pursued a bullying application through the Commission.
Posted on:
3 Aug 2018
NCAT, QCAT, VCAT, and equivalents in other States are acronyms for the respective State-based Civil & Administrative Tribunals. Their basic purpose is to enable individuals and small businesses to pursue resolution of lesser legal disputes away from the formalities and costs of the law courts.
Posted on:
3 Aug 2018
Significant changes impacting credit cards have been proposed, with ASIC recommending a three year ‘prescribed period’ for assessing whether a credit contract or credit limit increase would be unsuitable. ASIC’s Report called Credit card lending in Australia (July 2018) (Report) builds on the previous Senate Inquiry into credit card interest rates1 (Senate Inquiry) and recent legislative reforms.
Posted on:
27 Jul 2018
“If I pay above minimum wage, does the modern award still apply”?
Posted on:
20 Jul 2018
With the start of the new financial year and the annual increase in minimum wages, many businesses have most likely reviewed their pay rates and modern awards to ensure their company’s compliance in this regard. However, many businesses are failing to get some of the other basics right when it comes to record-keeping for their employees.
Posted on:
6 Jul 2018

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