News Articles

Full Bench Decision Raises Concerns Over Finger Scanners – and Other Privacy Matters

A recent decision by the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) may seriously impact the way employers collect personal information from employees and use fingers scanners as a means of recording attendance at work. In the decision of Lee v Superior Wood [2019] FWCFB 2946, the Full Bench of the FWC found that a direction to require an employee to provide his biometric data scanning for the purposes of fingerprint scanning was not a lawful direction as it impinged upon the employee’s rights under the Privacy Act and therefore the employee’s dismissal for refusing to follow...

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Deputy President Slams the Abuse of Anti-Bullying Provisions

Deputy President Sams of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has dismissed a casino worker’s bullying application, warning it is not acceptable to use such claims as “a shield or stalking horse, to prevent, delay or deflect justifiable disciplinary outcomes”. Background and Outcome An employee at Star City Casino claimed he was bullied by management after he breached the Casino’s mobile phone policy. He filed a stop bullying application with the FWC, claiming that he had been physically abused. He further claimed that the written warning he received was unjustified and also...

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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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