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Category Archives: Policies and Employee Handbooks

ALERT: Changes to modern awards – commenced 1 November 2018

As part of its 4-yearly review, the Fair Work Commission has made changes to a number of modern awards.  The changes are in relation to payment of wages on termination of employment as well as plain language re-drafting of several standard clauses. The changes take effect from the start of the first full pay period…

UPDATE: ARE YOUR ‘CASUALS’ REALLY CASUALS?

This month we look at a recent Full Federal Court decision which found that an employee engaged as a casual and paid a casual loading was in fact a permanent employee and entitled to paid annual leave.  The employee was placed at a mine-site through a labour hire company – the employer (WorkPac). The employer…

Out of hours Facebook Messenger post valid reason for dismissal

The FWC have upheld a company’s decision to dismiss an employee after the employee sent a pornographic video to a number of his colleagues through the Facebook Messenger app. One evening, on the employee’s rostered day off, he received a pornographic video message on Messenger from an old friend he had recently reacquainted with.  Later…

Termination disproportionate to theft

Not only has the Fair Work Commission (‘FWC’) found that an employee was unfairly dismissed following findings of theft being made against him, but the FWC also awarded the employee significant compensation. In an eye-opening decision for employers, the FWC heard that the flight attendant was dismissed after a small amount of alcohol was found…

Employee refuses drug test and wins unfair dismissal claim

The FWC awarded an employee $28,000 in compensation after the employee was dismissed for refusing to take a drug test. The Employee was a pathology collector who, among other things took samples for drug testing purposes.  In March 2016, the Employer received a phone call from a person who said the Employee had been using…

Mentor sexually harassed co-worker but employer not liable

The Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Commission has recently handed down a decision that has a number of lessons for employers.  In this case, some of the conduct undertaken by the respondent employee was found to be sexual harassment of the complainant; some of the conduct was found to have no connection with the complainant’s employment; and…

Flagrant abuse of Employer’s travel policy justifies summary dismissal

An employee who claimed a blender, Australia Day t-shirt, boxer shorts and bathmats on his company credit card has had his unfair dismissal claim dismissed after he was summarily dismissed for breach the employer’s policy. The employer had a travel policy that provided that ‘reasonable, necessary and duly documented expenses’ incurred during a business trip…

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