News Articles

Instant Dismissal – care required

What is instant dismissal? Instant dismissal (also known as summary dismissal) permits an employer to terminate an employee’s employment immediately. That said, this is only permitted where an employee engages in serious misconduct. The Fair Work Regulations 2009 (Cth) define ‘serious misconduct’ as follows: (a) wilful or deliberate behaviour by an employee that is inconsistent with the continuation of the contract of employment; and (b) conduct that causes serious and imminent risk to: (i)  the health or safety of a person; or (ii) the reputation, viability or profitability of...

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FWC Rejects Application to Merge with Hospitality Award and Reduce Penalty Rates for Clubs

In April, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) announced its decision in the application by Clubs Australia Industrial (CAI) to merge the Registered and Licensed Clubs Award with the Hospitality Award which would have effectively resulted in a reduction in Penalty Rates. The FWC has dismissed the application. In dismissing the application, the salient comments from the FWC decision are as follows: “……… there was virtually no evidence adduced before us of any particular benefit that would be derived from a reduction in penalty rates for the clubs sector through the sector being placed under the...

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6 Reasons why performance reviews may not be adding value in your business

Performance management and annual reviews are often met with a fair amount of resistance. They are often not viewed as a process that adds value to the business. However, with the right attitude and approach to this process, performance reviews can be a tool that adds value and potentially increases productivity, workplace harmony and helps you achieve a return on your investment. There are a number of reasons why your current review process may not be serving your business and achieving the outcomes you want. 1: Lack of Management support It is imperative that the Management team support...

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The Increasing Pressure on HR to Get it Right

When HR gets it wrong, the stakes are high. From unfair dismissal findings against a business to vicarious liability, the Courts and Tribunals in recent years have been critical in their decisions about the way that HR Managers and line managers have dealt with certain issues. Here we look at four key areas where practitioners and managers are most vulnerable and how to avoid these HR mistakes. Workplace Investigations In the past couple of years, workplace investigations have become more common, and HR or line managers are usually tasked with carrying them out. However, acting as...

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Sexually Harassed by Colleague and Flawed Investigation Results in $150K damages

A woman has been awarded $150,000 in damages for a psychiatric injury after she was sexually harassed by a colleague. The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) also heavily criticised her employer in the decision for failing to conduct an impartial investigation. The accused male employee and the victim’s employer, Parker Manufactured Products, were ordered to jointly pay $130,000. In addition, the company was ordered to pay an extra $20,000 in damages. The alleged sexual harassment by the male included addressing the employee using sexualised nicknames, staring at and making...

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The Rise of Accessorial and Individual Liability – A Growing Concern for Managers and Directors

Directors, CEOs, General Managers, and even HR Managers beware; the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) appears to be increasing its activities and is taking legal action against individuals under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (“the Act”), and there can be serious consequences. Last year saw an increase in the Fair Work Ombudsman’s (FWO) efforts to pursue directors and managers, including HR and payroll managers, for their involvement in contraventions of the Act. Section 550 of the Act makes it possible for legal action to be taken against individuals who are personally involved in breaching the...

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