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Category Archives: Contracts & Enterprise Agreements

EMPLOYMENT UPDATE: Why Contracts and Policies are Essential

The importance of having well-written employment contracts and workplace policies cannot be underestimated as they can set a very clear framework in which the relationship between the parties will be regulated.  They also provide significant assistance when resolving workplace disputes. Why have employment contracts? Failure to enter into a written contract of employment with employees…

Obese worker fails to establish adverse action claim

The Federal Circuit Court has rejected that a security company took adverse action against an obese security guard (‘Applicant’), after the worker claimed he had been discriminated against because of his obesity. The Applicant was engaged to work in a control room at a university campus.  As a result of proven performance concerns, the University…

Court punishes employer for failing to apply casual conversion clause properly

The Federal Court of Australia has fined an employer who refused a employee the opportunity to convert his casual employment to equivalent full-time employment. The employee was a freight handler with a major transport company.  The employee had a right to elect to convert from casual employment to equivalent permanent employment under the both the…

Court enforces IT employee’s 4 year restraint of trade

The Supreme Court of Victoria has granted an injunction to an IT company (‘the Applicant’) that commenced an interlocutory application to have an employee (‘the Employee’) restrained from working for a competitor for four years. Prior to June 2016, the Employee had a company which owned 40% of the shares in the Applicant’s company.  The…

December Update – Director incurs significant fine following sham contracting practices

This month’s update sees sham contracting back in the spotlight, with Judge Cameron of the Federal Circuit Court delivering an interesting decision in relation to a fundraising company’s use of sham contracting arrangements. Background In this case the employer provided fundraising services to charitable organisations and other not-for-profits (‘Fundraising Company’).  The worker who was the…

Franchisor held partially responsible for underpayment of franchise employees

A frozen yoghurt franchisor (and some of its related entities) have been found liable for one of its franchisee’s underpayment of 4 overseas workers. The Fair Work Ombudsman media release detailed that “The four exploited workers were paid as little as $8 an hour while working at [the employer’s] outlet at the World Square Shopping…

HR Manager’s conduct results in summary dismissal

This is an interesting and instructive decision of the Fair Work Commission. In this matter the Commission has upheld the summary dismissal of a HR Manager, otherwise highly regarded by the Employer, following an interesting series of events in the workplace. Background The HR Manager (‘Applicant’), who also held additional roles in the business, had…

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