The environment in which work is conducted is no longer constrained by traditional notions of a workplace where certain tasks and activities are completed, between the hours of 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. The modern workplace is constantly changing, and employers are having to adapt in order to keep pace. More frequently than not, work is now performed in a more dispersed and flexible manner, with emphasis being placed on the delivery of outcomes rather than satisfying attendance requirements or endless performance milestones.
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23 Mar 2018
There have been a number of interesting and noteworthy cases determined by our judiciary in the employment law space in the last quarter. In this legal briefing we provide an overview of two significant cases. The first of the two highlights the challenge faced by employers in relying upon the opinions of medical professionals in determining whether (or not) an employee can perform the inherent requirements of the role for which they are employed and how employers ought to go about reconciling conflicting medical opinions about an employee’s fitness for work.
9 Mar 2018
In light of the recent exhaustive and intrusive media coverage about The Honourable Barnaby Joyce MP’s affair with his staffer, the question that should be asked is whether the personal life of an employee is something with which the employer should be concerned or have any say. In this regard, the Prime Minister clearly is of the view that the answer to this question is in the affirmative.
23 Feb 2018
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.
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