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Employment IR & OH&S

Are your casual employees really casual?

Are your casual employees really casual?

In a controversial decision with potentially wide-reaching consequences, the Full Court of the Federal Court has upheld an earlier ruling that a labour hire employee who worked as a “casual” truck driver at Queensland coal mines on a regular basis over several years was not actually a casual employee for the purposes of the National Employment Standards, and was entitled to paid annual leave when his employment ended.

Impending Changes to Long Service Leave in Victoria

Impending Changes to Long Service Leave in Victoria

On 15 May 2018 the Long Service Leave Act 2018 (Vic) (the Act) received Royal Assent with an effective date of 1 November 2018. The Act repeals and replaces the Long Service Leave Act 1992 (Vic), provides increased benefits for various classes of employees, including in particular parents and carers, and will apply to all employees in Victoria unless explicitly excluded.

Accounting firm found liable by Federal Court for client’s underpayment of employees

Accounting firm found liable by Federal Court for client’s underpayment of employees

The Full Federal Court handed down a significant decision on 20 August 2018, finding that accessorial liability extends to advisors involved in underpayments. The matter of Ezy Accounting 123 Pty Ltd v Fair Work Ombudsman [2018] FCAFC 134 involved an appeal by Ezy Accounting (Ezy) against penalties imposed by the Federal Circuit Court for failure to advise their client of contraventions of the Fair Work Act (Act).

UNPAID FAMILY AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LEAVE

UNPAID FAMILY AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LEAVE

In a decision handed down by the Fair Work Commission on 6 July 2018, the content of the model term providing an entitlement for unpaid family and domestic violence leave was finalised. According to the decision, the model term will be inserted into modern awards with industry and occupational coverage as part of the 4 yearly review of modern awards and will be effective from 1 August 2018.

Minimum wage increase from 1 July 2018

Minimum wage increase from 1 July 2018

The Fair Work Commission (Commission) have today determined that it is appropriate to increase modern award minimum wages by 3.5 per cent, raising the national minimum wage to $24.30 a week. The new changes come into effect from 1 July 2018.

Unpaid family and domestic violence leave is coming

Unpaid family and domestic violence leave is coming

The Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission handed down an important decision on 26 March 2018, confirming that it will grant award covered employees an entitlement to unpaid family and domestic violence leave.

Uber drivers and employment rights

Uber drivers and employment rights

In a Fair Work Commission hearing in December 2017, Deputy President Val Gostencnik found that under Australian law, Uber drivers are independent contractors, and therefore ineligible for unfair dismissal protection.

High price for assisting others to contravene the Fair Work Act

High price for assisting others to contravene the Fair Work Act

In May 2017, the Federal Circuit Court (FCC) found the accountant’s client, the operator of a Japanese restaurant chain in Melbourne, underpaid its workers and thereby contravened the Fair Work Act. Critically though, the judge found the accounting firm, which provided the restaurant with book-keeping services, knew its client underpaid its employees and had ‘deliberately shut its eye as to what was going on’.

Employers beware: the Fair Work Act is getting even tougher

Employers beware: the Fair Work Act is getting even tougher

All businesses and employers need to be aware of the recent amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (Act). The amendments were part of a number of changes made by Parliament in the wake of recent underpayment scandals, particularly those involving prominent franchise operations.

Penalty rate amendments to stay: union bid fails

Penalty rate amendments to stay: union bid fails

The Federal Court has rejected United Voice’s and SDA’s bid to have the decision of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to cut penalty rates in certain modern awards judicially reviewed.

Change to enterprise bargaining procedure

Change to enterprise bargaining procedure

We have previously reminded employers that when negotiating an enterprise bargaining agreement the correct procedure must be followed or the Fair Work Commission (FWC) will reject the proposed agreement (see previous article here). If rejected, the bargaining process must begin again, wasting employers valuable time and resources.