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Category Archives: Policies and Employee Handbooks

EMPLOYMENT UPDATE: Are You Complying with the New Whistleblower Laws?

The revamped federal whistleblower laws commenced on 1 July 2019 and they have some teeth. A whistleblower is an insider or a person related to an organisation who reports misconduct or other inappropriate activity that has occurred within the organisation.  Certain legal protections are provided to whistleblowers and the recent changes have significantly expanded and strengthened the…

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…

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…

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