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.
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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
The termination of the employment relationship is one of the most challenging and frequently litigated areas in employment law. Unsurprisingly, the first half of 2017 has been no exception. There have been numerous cases go before our judicial system which have raised nuanced, and in some respects untested questions of law to be determined. In this legal briefing, we provide a recap on three exceptionally informative and instructive cases for employers, each dealing in their own way with a unique and distinct issue in relation to termination of employment.
18 Aug 2017
With the arduous task of conducting performance appraisals out of the way, many employers understandably think the hard yards have been done. Although carrying out performance reviews may necessitate both positive and negative conversations with employees, depending on the kind of feedback being provided, many employers often disregard a fundamental and imperative step in the process to consolidate such discussions.
4 Aug 2017
The South Australian Government has announced its intention to legislate to impose a levy on the major banks, only weeks after the Commonwealth Government did the same. This may raise questions in the minds of some as to whether it is within the power of the South Australian Parliament to enact a law imposing a levy on banks, given that banking is largely regulated by Commonwealth law today.
4 Aug 2017
The courts continue to interpret and amend the provisions of the still relatively new Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (PPSA). Even the legislature has weighed in with small but significant amendments following the law’s commencement in early 2012. This is occurring in the context of mistakes and misfortunes borne by commercial parties grappling with the PPSA’s novelty and intricacies.
1 Aug 2017