Tag: employment law

Valid Reason – But “Ambush” and “Predetermination” deemed Dismissal Unfair

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has recently ruled in an unfair dismissal matter that an employee’s lack of formal qualifications provided a valid reason for dismissal. However, the FWC ruled that the dismissal was unfair because she was called into a ‘disciplinary meeting’ at short notice and dismissed without being given a proper opportunity to respond. The FWC found that the way the employer expedited the dismissal process severely limited the employee’s ability to respond to allegations of misconduct and made the process procedurally unfair.

The employee was a disability care provider, and the parties disputed whether she had been given permission to tube-feed clients despite lacking the required formal qualification. There was confusion over whether the employee was allowed to perform the tube feeding procedure, and evidence that the employer had not provided the opportunity for her to gain the necessary qualification.  The employer already knew at the time of dismissal that she did not have the necessary formal qualifications.

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Employment Law

Annualised Salaries and Casual ‘Double Dipping’


Considerable Changes to Awards Regarding Annualised Salaries Provisions

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has made wholesale changes to many Awards related to the annualised salary provisions. On 23 December 2019 the FWC issued draft determinations of the clause for 21 modern awards.

The Awards have differing provisions which come from the 3 differing “model” clauses that were developed by the FWC. These provisions will take effect from 1 March 2020.

The commonalities between all of the model clauses are:           

  • Advise employees in writing of the terms of their arrangement and what award entitlements it will cover.
  • Specify an outer limit for the ordinary and overtime hours that the annualised wage is designed to pay for and guarantee that for any additional hours worked beyond those limits within each pay cycle additional payments will be made to meet award minimum remuneration.
  • Employers must keep records of the start and finish times of each shift, the duration of all unpaid breaks and have them signed by their employees each pay period or roster cycle.
  • On the anniversary of each such arrangement compare the salary earned in that year with the minimum award payment for working the same hours and backpay any shortfall within 14 days. 

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Your Workplace Christmas Party

Do you have your HR Policies in place to cover issues that may occur at a Christmas party (or other social event), such as harassment (including sexual harassment), work health and safety, discrimination, drugs and alcohol, and code of conduct.

In order to assist you as an employer in navigating your workplace Christmas party, we have created a checklist for your business to use before, during and after the party. Download your free copy of the checklist HERE….

By Greg Arnold

Director and Principal Consultant

Effective Workplace Solutions

drugs and alcohol in the workplace

Drugs and alcohol at work – a dismissible offence?

Dismissing an employee who turns up for work while drunk or on drugs might seem like the right thing to do at the time, however, hasty decisions could expose employers to substantial legal risk.

While in certain circumstances it may be reasonable to dismiss an employee who has tested positive for drugs or alcohol, it is critical for employers need to follow their own workplace policies.

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