Tag: employment law

3 warnings, employment law

Busting the Myths About Warnings

“3 Strikes and You’re Not Always Out”

Issuing employees with official warnings is probably the most common form of employee discipline. Warnings are appropriate when an employee’s performance or conduct is significantly unsatisfactory, but the situation is either not serious enough to justify dismissal, or the employee’s actions are considered to be serious, but maybe out of character.

Issuing warnings to staff is regarded as good practice, both to defend claims of unfair dismissal and as a means of possibly avoiding the need for dismissal.

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Managing Long-Term Sickness Absence

We are often asked for advice by clients about how best to handle long-term absences when employees are on sick leave or absent due to a workers compensation claim. Some of the advices are related to if they are able to, and how best to possibly terminate an employee who has been absent due to illness or injury. Failure to properly and prudently manage a long-term absence or indeed the termination could result in the employer being exposed to an unfair dismissal claim, discrimination claim or a general protections claim.

In essence, there are a number of stages to managing an employee’s long-term sickness absence:

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Federal Government’s IR reforms – significant changes ahead

Late last year, the Federal Government introduced into Parliament the Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery) Bill 2020 (the Bill), which represents a significant shift and an overhaul of Australia’s workplace relations regime not seen since the Fair Work Act was introduced in 2009.

The Bill has been developed with input from a range of stakeholders, through a process of IR working groups formed with unions and employer representatives established in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government’s proposed amendments to the FW Act are said to provide more clarity and certainty to employers (and employees) about their rights and responsibilities, while promoting flexibility in employment relationships, and a more streamlined industrial relations system.

Here are some of the key changes proposed in the Bill:

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Covid19 Vaccination for employees

The COVID 19 Vaccination – can you force an employee to “take the jab”?

Roll out of the COVID-19 vaccination is expected to commence in March and employers may then need to decide whether to require mandatory vaccination of employees against the virus. This is a multi-dimensional issue requiring consideration whether the direction is both reasonable and lawful, health and safety obligations, and whether a mandatory vaccination policy could give rise to claims such as discrimination, adverse action or unfair dismissal etc.

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Case Shows the Need for Proper Investigations

An employee who was dismissed for allegedly stealing customer’s property has been successful in his unfair dismissal claim because the Fair Work Commission (FWC) found that the employer had botched the investigation into the matter. In Hatch v WesTrac Pty Ltd [2020] the FWC found that the employer had failed to properly interview two

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