The Fair Work Commission has described the process undertaken by an employer to dismiss a long serving employee with an unblemished employment record as “fair, thorough and balanced”.
The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) recently found that Suncorp discriminated against a job applicant on the basis of his criminal record. In that case, Suncorp withdrew a conditional offer of employment after routine background checks revealed the job applicant had convictions for child pornography offences. Suncorp said it withdrew the offer because it had “serious concerns” about whether the applicant was able to perform the inherent requirements of the position and because an internal candidate had been appointed to the role.
Discriminating against employees and job applicants on the basis of an irrelevant criminal record and/or spent convictions is unlawful in some Australian states, although the laws vary from state to state. At the federal level, discrimination in employment on the basis of criminal record and/or spent convictions is not unlawful, however the AHRC has the power to investigate complaints and may conduct a conciliation to resolve a complaint. If the AHRC makes a finding of discrimination and the matter cannot be resolved through conciliation, it may prepare a report for the federal Attorney-General, which must be tabled in Parliament. This is what occurred in the Suncorp matter.
Taking advantage of the gig economy and sharing apps, like Uber, Airtasker, and Freelancer, can give you more flexibility to grow or scale your business, but it can also increase legal risk given many businesses aren’t aware of, or don’t consider, who will be considered an employee at law and the consequential legal implications.
The highly anticipated National Minimum Wage decision was handed down by the Fair Work Commission today, which means the National Minimum Wage and the rates of pay in all modern awards will increase from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2018. There are also a range of other workplace related changes which will come into effect from 1 July 2018, which are outlined below.
On 26 March 2018, the Full Bench of the FWC took a provisional view as to the terms of a clause to be inserted into modern awards to supplement s65 of the Fair Work Act, which provides certain employees with a right to request flexible working conditions.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is introducing new compliance requirements called Single Touch Payroll (STP) which aligns the reporting obligations of your business to your payroll processes.
There have been stories in the media recently about employers charging students and graduates for the privilege of participating in an unpaid internship. Setting aside whether an internship is a necessary step to build a career or exploitation of a vulnerable group, employers engaging interns should take note. The law around offering work experience and internships is clear and the penalties for getting it wrong can be significant.
Two massage parlour companies and their sole director have been fined $43,200 for failing to keep employee records. Demonstrating a refreshingly honest approach, the director said that he “did not do the records and other things properly, because I am too busy and lazy” and “I do not want to provide fake infor (sic). If I am not honest, I will have more trouble”. The Tribunal member hearing the matter said that the failure to keep records and issue pay slips was a serious matter and noted that the failure hindered the ability of the Fair Work Ombudsman to identify employee underpayments.
On 12 October 2017, the Federal Court delivered a judgment in a case brought by a freight handler, Mr Tomvald seeking to enforce a right to convert his casual employment to permanent full-time employment with his employer Toll Transport* (Toll). He relied on a casual conversion clause in Toll’s enterprise agreement (EA). The EA also incorporated the casual conversion clause in the relevant Modern Award, the Road Transport and Distribution Award 2010 (Award), but the EA applied in the event of any inconsistency.
Following the recent claims made against Harvey Weinstein, thousands of women have spoken up about their experience of workplace sexual harassment using the hashtag #metoo. We might like to imagine that sexual harassment is not happening in workplaces across Australia, but women are clearly telling us otherwise. Below are our top tips to prevent sexual harassment in your business.