Employment

Employment, Workplace Relations & Safety

Employment, Workplace Relations & Safety » Employment

Proposed changes to executive remuneration legislation and the introduction of claw back provisions have led to a number of businesses working proactively to incorporate changes into existing systems. Corrs provides advice on strategic remuneration structures payments including bonus, incentive and accelerated termination payments, taking into account the requirements in relation to termination payments under the Corporations Act 2001.

Recent cases have seen the courts uphold post employment restraint provisions making it all the more important to have a clear understanding and forethought about the limitations embedded in individual employment contracts. Corrs regularly assists employers drafting employment contracts and enforceable post-employment restraints.

Our Experts

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Georgina Alexandrou

Special Counsel Location Brisbane Profile
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Heidi Roberts

Partner Location Melbourne Profile
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Jack de Flamingh

Partner Location Sydney Profile
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Janine Young

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John Tuck

Partner Location Melbourne Profile
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Leanne Dorricott

Special Counsel Location Brisbane Profile
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Nicholas Ellery

Partner Location Perth Profile
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Nick Le Mare

Partner Location Brisbane Profile
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Rosemary Roach

Consultant Location Perth Profile
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Ruth Nocka

Special Counsel Location Sydney Profile
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Stephen Price

Partner Location Sydney Profile

Our Experience

NBN Co Limited

The national broadband network is the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken in Australia, and the establishment of the government-owned NBN Co Limited has involved a broad range of legal issues. As a provider of workplace law services to NBN, Corrs has been advising on innovations including a best practice framework for internal regulation of employment of thousands of people, and a strategic industrial relations framework involving unions.

Specific legislation, government guidelines and NBN’s drive for high standards of performance and safety have added layers of complexity to employment law issues including contracting, compliance and privacy, and occupational health and safety matters.

More

Qantas labour dispute

Qantas made history by grounding its entire global fleet in response to a dispute between the airline and three of its unions. With Corrs’ assistance, the Victorian and New South Wales governments intervened in the standoff, which centred on enterprise agreement negotiations.

The Full Bench of Fair Work Australia WA granted the Federal Government’s application to terminate protected action. The Victorian and NSW Governments supported the application. The Bench found that the company’s actions were likely to cause significant damage to tourism and air transport, but felt this was not the case in relation to action taken by the TWU, ALAEA and AIPA unions.

With Corrs’ assistance, the Victorian and New South Wales governments intervened in the standoff, which centred on enterprise agreement negotiations.
The Full Bench of Fair Work Australia WA granted the Federal Government’s application to terminate protected action.  The Victorian and NSW Governments supported the application.  The Bench found that the company’s actions were likely to cause significant damage to tourism and air transport, but felt this was not the case in relation to action taken by the TWU, ALAEA and AIPA unions
More

Our Thinking

A Regional Guide to Retirement Plans & Schemes: Asia

A Regional Guide to Retirement Plans & Schemes: Asia provides an overview of the laws relating to the regulation of retirement plans and schemes in 16 key countries across Asia, including Australia.

More Download

‘One-Sided Flexibility’ in the Workplace: Australian and UK Responses

Both the recent FWC decision to insert casual conversion clauses in modern awards in Australia and the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices in the UK are responses to the same world-wide phenomena – ‘One-Sided Flexibility’.

More

Irreconcilable differences: FWC Full Bench refuses approval of bakery agreement

In SDAEA v Beechworth Bakery Employee Co Pty Ltd t/a Beechworth Bakery [2017] FWCFB 1664, a Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission upheld the union’s appeal against approval of an enterprise agreement.

More

Government responds to Trade Unions Royal Commission with the Corrupting Benefits Bill 2017

On 22 March 2017, the Coalition Government introduced the Fair Work Amendment (Corrupting Benefits) Bill 2017 into Parliament, which seeks to implement a number of key recommendations from the 2015 Trade Unions Royal Commission.

More

New liabilities and higher penalties on the way for franchisors and others under the Vulnerable Workers Bill

Recently introduced into Parliament by the Coalition Government, the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017 will introduce a number of amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)

More Download

The cream rises to the top: Federal Court clarifies interaction of leave entitlements and public holidays

In Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union v Glendell Mining Pty Limited, the Federal Court of Australia has clarified the interaction of leave entitlements and public holidays under the National Employment Standards.

More

Swearing in the workplace: Where should you draw the line?

Is swearing ever appropriate in the workplace? Six recent cases suggest that the line between what is and is not appropriate is becoming increasingly blurred.

More

Leadership Series: The 21st Century Workplace - Part 4

The Leadership Video Series profiles Australian IR, HR and Safety leaders discussing key issues facing 21st century workplaces. Each video aims to connect our clients to the latest thinking on issues surrounding the future of work.

More

Mental Illness and Workplace Disciplinary Law: The 6 Golden Rules

How does a business ensure it is legally compliant when dealing with a worker who suffers (or may suffer) from mental illness? And most importantly, how can it ensure that it does not cause harm to anyone when applying disciplinary processes?

More

FWC: Enterprise bargaining requires employers to “enter into the theatre of the absurd”

The Fair Work Commission’s recent Full Bench majority decision in Uniline Australia Limited [2016] has yet again made it clear that they will adopt a strict approach to technical deficiencies when employers issue an NEER.

More

Competitive Workplaces in a Changing World

Seeking more competitive workplaces in our rapidly changing world is a part of a broader national challenge, one that has been a key driver of Australian public policy for decades: we have to be competitive in a global market.

More

High Court Invalidates Federal Law Exempting Offshore Resource Activities from Visa Requirements

Following the High Court’s decision in Maritime Union of Australia v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2016], employers in the offshore oil and gas sector will now have to ensure foreign workers have valid visas.

More

Risky Business: Six steps for preventing and managing sexual harassment in the workplace

Liability for sexual harassment is an increasing risk for employers and managers. Taking these six practical steps will help your business prevent and manage sexual harassment effectively.

More

Even Matildas need childcare: An analysis of Garriock v Football Federation Australia

As the Matildas compete at the Rio Olympics, we revisit a recent decision rejecting an indirect discrimination claim by former midfielder, Heather Garriock.

More

PAY BACK – employer undertakes to reimburse employees more than $2 million in underpayments

A recent enforceable undertaking affirms the importance of correctly calculating employee entitlements under modern awards.

More

The Coles Agreement decision and what it means for enterprise bargaining

A Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission refused to approve an enterprise agreement covering Coles Supermarkets. We examine the decision, its fallout and the lessons for employers to ensure that agreements pass the ‘better off overall test’.

More

Teaching old dogs new tricks: The Fair Work Commission’s New Approaches program

Under the Fair Work Commission (FWC) New Approaches program, employers can now seek assistance from the FWC to develop a ‘new approach’ to bargaining, implementing change and resolving workplace conflict.

More

First conviction for failing to 'co-operate, consult and co-ordinate' under Model WHS Laws

The decision in Boland v Trainee and Apprentice Placement Service Inc [2016] SAIRC 14 is the first conviction for breach of the concurrent duty holder consultation duty under model WHS laws.

More

La Trobe University Academic’s Suspension again Highlights Social Media Perils for Employees

La Trobe University’s suspension of Roz Ward for a controversial Facebook post again raises the question: to what extent can employers exercise control over the social media activity of their employees?

More

Right of casuals to make enterprise agreements clarified

In this In Brief we examine the decision in McDermott Australia Pty Ltd v AWU & AMWU [2016] FWCFC 2222. The decision clarifies that casual employees can be included in the vote on an enterprise agreement.

More

The long arm of adverse action: independent investigations and performance reviews

We examine the recent decision in Perez v Northern Territory Department of Correctional Services [2016] FCA 476, which highlights the importance for employers of handling workplace investigations and performance reviews carefully.

More

Workplace Bullying – A Guide for SMEs and Start-Ups

SMEs and start-ups face particular challenges in managing people. One of the key employment law issues is workplace bullying. We explain the legal risks in this area and how to avoid bullying claims.

More

Representation Notices: Get Them Right, Or Start Bargaining All Over Again

We examine several cases where employers have tripped up on the requirements for issuing representation notices at the start of bargaining – and provide some key tips for ‘getting it right’

More

Are your contractors paying award wages? It might be your problem if they’re not!

7-Eleven and other recent examples of worker exploitation highlight the need for businesses to ask: what is going on in our own supply chain?

More

Knock Knock, Who’s There? – What not to do when union officials seek entry to your worksite

We review the recent decision in Bragdon v Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate [2016] FCAFC 64. The case demonstrates the risks of letting union officials on site, without a statutory right.

More

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory – lessons from recent unfair dismissal decisions

Three recent FWC decisions remind employers that although there may a valid reason to dismiss of an employee, other factors can lead to a finding of unfairness.

More

Leadership Series: The 21st Century Workplace - Part 3

The Leadership Video Series profiles Australian IR, HR and Safety leaders discussing key issues in the world of work. The aim is to connect our clients to the latest thinking on issues such as innovation, digital disruption, how work is changing, and

More

Bargaining and Industrial Action: “Do we really have to sit down with them? And when can we all cool off?”

Two recent decisions highlight that negotiating parties can hold meetings by teleconference or video; and strong evidence will be required for an employer’s application to end protected industrial action to allow a “cooling off” period.

More

Employers Beware: Sexual Harassment Damages Exceed $330,000 in Recent VCAT Ruling

The decision in Collins v Smith (Human Rights) [2015] VCAT 1992, in which a complainant received over $330,000 in damages for sexual harassment, reminds employers of the need to take proactive steps to ensure a bullying/harassment-free workplace.

More

Reports of the Productivity Commission and Trade Unions Royal Commission will set the Workplace Reform Agenda in 2016

The pre-election debate over workplace reform will be dominated by the Government’s response to reports from the Productivity Commission and the TURC. We take a look at the major issues in the year ahead.

More

Across the Ditch – Resignations from Director/Officer Roles in Response to New WHS Laws

The business response to New Zealand’s new WHS legislation provides us with some important reminders about key aspects of the Australian model WHS laws.

More

Redundancy payments and ‘ordinary and customary’ turnover of labour

Two recent decisions by Fair Work Commission Full Benches provide valuable guidance on when an employer can avoid making redundancy payment to employees terminated because of the ‘ordinary and customary’ turnover of labour.

More

Unions now need an MSD to kick-start bargaining

Following a recent amendment to the Fair Work Act, unions must obtain a majority support determination to compel an employer to bargain – rather than immediately resorting to protected action.

More

High Court rules courts can consider agreements on penalty in civil penalty proceedings

Penalty agreements between prosecutors and defendants in civil penalty proceedings are not prohibited. This was confirmed today by the High Court.

More

Leadership Series: The 21st Century Workplace - Part 2

The Leadership Video Series profiles Australian IR, HR and Safety leaders discussing key issues in the world of work. The aim is to connect our clients to the latest thinking on issues such as innovation, digital disruption, how work is changing, and

More

McIntyre v SBS social media dismissal: FWC gives green light for unlawful termination claim

The interaction between general protections and state anti-discrimination laws formed a key aspect of a recent FWC decision in Scott McIntyre’s case against former employer SBS.

More

Amendments agreed to ensure passage of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement

The Government and Labor have reached a deal to ensure passage of the vital China-Australia Free Trade Agreement. We examine the proposed changes to Migration Regulations which will see ChAFTA implemented by the end of this year.

More

Leadership Series: The 21st Century Workplace - Part 1

Corrs Chambers Westgarth Employment, Workplace and Safety Team has launched our Leadership Video Series, in which we profile Australian IR, HR and Safety leaders discussing key issues in the world of work.

More

Following procedures for disciplining employees: Short-term pain for long-term gain

Following disciplinary procedures can be a long and sometimes painful process, but it is ultimately worth it.

More

How does the China-Australia free trade agreement really impact Australia’s labour market?

We examine the impact of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement on local labour, comparing ChAFTA with the current 457 visa regime for temporary skilled workers and other FTAs entered into by Australia in recent years.

More

New complications for foreign workers and company officers in Indonesia

New employment regulations in Indonesia may discourage the appointment of foreign company officers.

More

Fair Work Commission’s new approach to interpreting agreements makes good drafting more important

New approach makes enterprise agreements trickier.

More

Does Australia have the right IR system for the workplace of the future?

Four leaders speak out on Australia's industrial relations system and the Productivity Commission's review of workplace relations.

More Download

Disruptors like Uber and AirBnB are changing the employment model - Are Australia’s workplace laws keeping up?

Australia’s IR system has fallen out of step with modern employment business practices.

More Download

Employment, workplace & safety law: Mid-year review

Your guide to the most important employment, workplace and safety developments that are likely to impact your business.

More Download

Preventing work-related death and injury

Hundreds of people are still losing their lives each year in Australian workplaces. Why?

More

Can an employee be sacked for tweeting “political opinions”?

Will dismissed SBS reporter Scott McIntyre’s sacking be found to be unlawful?

More

“Maybe I shouldn’t have tweeted that!” Social media misuse in the workplace

What can employers learn from recent cases involving employee social media indiscretions?

More

The bargaining challenges facing employers - What can the Productivity Commission do to help?

How far will employers get with their preference for a more voluntarist bargaining framework coming out of the Productivity Commission Review?

More

Employment in Indonesia: Employees take priority

Indonesian law seeks to protect employees with some surprising outcomes.

More

Australia’s contribution to G20 growth requires urgent progress on IR reform

Global competitiveness rankings highlight the need to improve Australia’s labour market performance.

More

Where next for IR reform?

We take a look at the challenges facing the Federal Government’s workplace reform agenda over the next 18 months.

More

Get ready: These are the workplace relations issues to watch in 2014-15

Stay ahead of the key changes to workplace relations laws with our guide to the big issues for the coming year.

More

Asia Employment Law: Quarterly Review: Q1 2014

In the chapter on Australian workplace relations, we highlight the major legislative, consultative, policy and case law changes expected in 2014.

More Download

A regional guide to 'restrictive convenants'

This guide contains discussions on non-compete covenants, non-solicitation covenants and non-solicitation of employees’ clauses, issues relating to employee benefits, pension, stock plans and more.

More Download

Social media in the workplace - Risks for employees and lessons for employers

Recent cases have highlighted the perils of social media for employees, and the importance for employers of managing these issues correctly.

More

Employment and industrial relations implications arising out of Queensland’s contestability reforms

The scene is set in Queensland for greater competition in public health services.

More

Social media: Private life and work life collides again

The latest high profile case about freedom of speech on social media has lessons for all employees and their employers.

More

Four ways the Fair Work Act is making business riskier for employers

Making decisions that affect employees is more risky than ever and the penalty of poor planning is conflict with unions and litigation in court.

More

Should abusive conduct by union officials be tolerated in our workplaces?

What can employers do when confronted with obnoxious or offensive behaviour by union officials?

More

New Fair Work Act amendments ignore greenfields agreements strife

Deadlocks between unions and employers over greenfields agreements will persist and investment will suffer.

More

The Fair Work Act Review and key developments in enterprise bargaining

In this paper, we provide an update on the progress of the Fair Work Act Review and a round-up of some significant recent decisions dealing with enterprise bargaining and protected industrial action.

More Download

A Fairer Work Act?

The government has announced the much anticipated review of the Fair Work Act. Whilst noting the act is working well at the moment this presents an opportunity to see if it can be improved.

More

The Fair Work Act's impact on industrial relations

We have recently seen a large number of industrial disputes taking place in Australia, a lot of people are pointing to the Fair Work Act as being the culprit. But what's the real story?

More

Navigating the Fair Work Laws

As more and more companies invest overseas, the need for readily available, accurate, and detailed knowledge of labour and employment laws in multiple jurisdictions becomes an essential resource for employers and their counsel.

More

Legal Compliance in Australia

As more and more companies invest overseas, the need for readily available, accurate, and detailed knowledge of labour and employment laws in multiple jurisdictions becomes an essential resource for employers and their counsel.

More

Transition to Forward with Fairness: Labor’s Reform Agenda

This is a practical guide to these significant transitional arrangements, the full implementation of which was not complete until early 2010. This book, has ongoing relevance as a useful guide to a turbulent phase of workplace relations change.

More

Workplace Relations in the Building and Construction Industry

This book explains the significant changes that have occurred in the regulation of the workplace relations in the building and construction industry in Australia over several years.

More

Our Experience

NBN Co Limited

The national broadband network is the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken in Australia, and the establishment of the government-owned NBN Co Limited has involved a broad range of legal issues. As a provider of workplace law services to NBN, Corrs has been advising on innovations including a best practice framework for internal regulation of employment of thousands of people, and a strategic industrial relations framework involving unions.

Specific legislation, government guidelines and NBN’s drive for high standards of performance and safety have added layers of complexity to employment law issues including contracting, compliance and privacy, and occupational health and safety matters.

Qantas labour dispute

Qantas made history by grounding its entire global fleet in response to a dispute between the airline and three of its unions. With Corrs’ assistance, the Victorian and New South Wales governments intervened in the standoff, which centred on enterprise agreement negotiations.

The Full Bench of Fair Work Australia WA granted the Federal Government’s application to terminate protected action. The Victorian and NSW Governments supported the application. The Bench found that the company’s actions were likely to cause significant damage to tourism and air transport, but felt this was not the case in relation to action taken by the TWU, ALAEA and AIPA unions.

With Corrs’ assistance, the Victorian and New South Wales governments intervened in the standoff, which centred on enterprise agreement negotiations.
The Full Bench of Fair Work Australia WA granted the Federal Government’s application to terminate protected action.  The Victorian and NSW Governments supported the application.  The Bench found that the company’s actions were likely to cause significant damage to tourism and air transport, but felt this was not the case in relation to action taken by the TWU, ALAEA and AIPA unions

Our Thinking

A Regional Guide to Retirement Plans & Schemes: Asia

A Regional Guide to Retirement Plans & Schemes: Asia provides an overview of the laws relating to the regulation of retirement plans and schemes in 16 key countries across Asia, including Australia.

‘One-Sided Flexibility’ in the Workplace: Australian and UK Responses

Both the recent FWC decision to insert casual conversion clauses in modern awards in Australia and the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices in the UK are responses to the same world-wide phenomena – ‘One-Sided Flexibility’.

Irreconcilable differences: FWC Full Bench refuses approval of bakery agreement

In SDAEA v Beechworth Bakery Employee Co Pty Ltd t/a Beechworth Bakery [2017] FWCFB 1664, a Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission upheld the union’s appeal against approval of an enterprise agreement.

Government responds to Trade Unions Royal Commission with the Corrupting Benefits Bill 2017

On 22 March 2017, the Coalition Government introduced the Fair Work Amendment (Corrupting Benefits) Bill 2017 into Parliament, which seeks to implement a number of key recommendations from the 2015 Trade Unions Royal Commission.

New liabilities and higher penalties on the way for franchisors and others under the Vulnerable Workers Bill

Recently introduced into Parliament by the Coalition Government, the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017 will introduce a number of amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)

The cream rises to the top: Federal Court clarifies interaction of leave entitlements and public holidays

In Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union v Glendell Mining Pty Limited, the Federal Court of Australia has clarified the interaction of leave entitlements and public holidays under the National Employment Standards.

Swearing in the workplace: Where should you draw the line?

Is swearing ever appropriate in the workplace? Six recent cases suggest that the line between what is and is not appropriate is becoming increasingly blurred.

Leadership Series: The 21st Century Workplace - Part 4

The Leadership Video Series profiles Australian IR, HR and Safety leaders discussing key issues facing 21st century workplaces. Each video aims to connect our clients to the latest thinking on issues surrounding the future of work.

Mental Illness and Workplace Disciplinary Law: The 6 Golden Rules

How does a business ensure it is legally compliant when dealing with a worker who suffers (or may suffer) from mental illness? And most importantly, how can it ensure that it does not cause harm to anyone when applying disciplinary processes?

FWC: Enterprise bargaining requires employers to “enter into the theatre of the absurd”

The Fair Work Commission’s recent Full Bench majority decision in Uniline Australia Limited [2016] has yet again made it clear that they will adopt a strict approach to technical deficiencies when employers issue an NEER.

Competitive Workplaces in a Changing World

Seeking more competitive workplaces in our rapidly changing world is a part of a broader national challenge, one that has been a key driver of Australian public policy for decades: we have to be competitive in a global market.

High Court Invalidates Federal Law Exempting Offshore Resource Activities from Visa Requirements

Following the High Court’s decision in Maritime Union of Australia v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2016], employers in the offshore oil and gas sector will now have to ensure foreign workers have valid visas.

Risky Business: Six steps for preventing and managing sexual harassment in the workplace

Liability for sexual harassment is an increasing risk for employers and managers. Taking these six practical steps will help your business prevent and manage sexual harassment effectively.

Even Matildas need childcare: An analysis of Garriock v Football Federation Australia

As the Matildas compete at the Rio Olympics, we revisit a recent decision rejecting an indirect discrimination claim by former midfielder, Heather Garriock.

PAY BACK – employer undertakes to reimburse employees more than $2 million in underpayments

A recent enforceable undertaking affirms the importance of correctly calculating employee entitlements under modern awards.

The Coles Agreement decision and what it means for enterprise bargaining

A Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission refused to approve an enterprise agreement covering Coles Supermarkets. We examine the decision, its fallout and the lessons for employers to ensure that agreements pass the ‘better off overall test’.

Teaching old dogs new tricks: The Fair Work Commission’s New Approaches program

Under the Fair Work Commission (FWC) New Approaches program, employers can now seek assistance from the FWC to develop a ‘new approach’ to bargaining, implementing change and resolving workplace conflict.

First conviction for failing to 'co-operate, consult and co-ordinate' under Model WHS Laws

The decision in Boland v Trainee and Apprentice Placement Service Inc [2016] SAIRC 14 is the first conviction for breach of the concurrent duty holder consultation duty under model WHS laws.

La Trobe University Academic’s Suspension again Highlights Social Media Perils for Employees

La Trobe University’s suspension of Roz Ward for a controversial Facebook post again raises the question: to what extent can employers exercise control over the social media activity of their employees?

Right of casuals to make enterprise agreements clarified

In this In Brief we examine the decision in McDermott Australia Pty Ltd v AWU & AMWU [2016] FWCFC 2222. The decision clarifies that casual employees can be included in the vote on an enterprise agreement.

The long arm of adverse action: independent investigations and performance reviews

We examine the recent decision in Perez v Northern Territory Department of Correctional Services [2016] FCA 476, which highlights the importance for employers of handling workplace investigations and performance reviews carefully.

Workplace Bullying – A Guide for SMEs and Start-Ups

SMEs and start-ups face particular challenges in managing people. One of the key employment law issues is workplace bullying. We explain the legal risks in this area and how to avoid bullying claims.

Representation Notices: Get Them Right, Or Start Bargaining All Over Again

We examine several cases where employers have tripped up on the requirements for issuing representation notices at the start of bargaining – and provide some key tips for ‘getting it right’

Are your contractors paying award wages? It might be your problem if they’re not!

7-Eleven and other recent examples of worker exploitation highlight the need for businesses to ask: what is going on in our own supply chain?

Knock Knock, Who’s There? – What not to do when union officials seek entry to your worksite

We review the recent decision in Bragdon v Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate [2016] FCAFC 64. The case demonstrates the risks of letting union officials on site, without a statutory right.

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory – lessons from recent unfair dismissal decisions

Three recent FWC decisions remind employers that although there may a valid reason to dismiss of an employee, other factors can lead to a finding of unfairness.

Leadership Series: The 21st Century Workplace - Part 3

The Leadership Video Series profiles Australian IR, HR and Safety leaders discussing key issues in the world of work. The aim is to connect our clients to the latest thinking on issues such as innovation, digital disruption, how work is changing, and

Bargaining and Industrial Action: “Do we really have to sit down with them? And when can we all cool off?”

Two recent decisions highlight that negotiating parties can hold meetings by teleconference or video; and strong evidence will be required for an employer’s application to end protected industrial action to allow a “cooling off” period.

Employers Beware: Sexual Harassment Damages Exceed $330,000 in Recent VCAT Ruling

The decision in Collins v Smith (Human Rights) [2015] VCAT 1992, in which a complainant received over $330,000 in damages for sexual harassment, reminds employers of the need to take proactive steps to ensure a bullying/harassment-free workplace.

Reports of the Productivity Commission and Trade Unions Royal Commission will set the Workplace Reform Agenda in 2016

The pre-election debate over workplace reform will be dominated by the Government’s response to reports from the Productivity Commission and the TURC. We take a look at the major issues in the year ahead.

Across the Ditch – Resignations from Director/Officer Roles in Response to New WHS Laws

The business response to New Zealand’s new WHS legislation provides us with some important reminders about key aspects of the Australian model WHS laws.

Redundancy payments and ‘ordinary and customary’ turnover of labour

Two recent decisions by Fair Work Commission Full Benches provide valuable guidance on when an employer can avoid making redundancy payment to employees terminated because of the ‘ordinary and customary’ turnover of labour.

Unions now need an MSD to kick-start bargaining

Following a recent amendment to the Fair Work Act, unions must obtain a majority support determination to compel an employer to bargain – rather than immediately resorting to protected action.

High Court rules courts can consider agreements on penalty in civil penalty proceedings

Penalty agreements between prosecutors and defendants in civil penalty proceedings are not prohibited. This was confirmed today by the High Court.

Leadership Series: The 21st Century Workplace - Part 2

The Leadership Video Series profiles Australian IR, HR and Safety leaders discussing key issues in the world of work. The aim is to connect our clients to the latest thinking on issues such as innovation, digital disruption, how work is changing, and

McIntyre v SBS social media dismissal: FWC gives green light for unlawful termination claim

The interaction between general protections and state anti-discrimination laws formed a key aspect of a recent FWC decision in Scott McIntyre’s case against former employer SBS.

Amendments agreed to ensure passage of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement

The Government and Labor have reached a deal to ensure passage of the vital China-Australia Free Trade Agreement. We examine the proposed changes to Migration Regulations which will see ChAFTA implemented by the end of this year.

Leadership Series: The 21st Century Workplace - Part 1

Corrs Chambers Westgarth Employment, Workplace and Safety Team has launched our Leadership Video Series, in which we profile Australian IR, HR and Safety leaders discussing key issues in the world of work.

Following procedures for disciplining employees: Short-term pain for long-term gain

Following disciplinary procedures can be a long and sometimes painful process, but it is ultimately worth it.

How does the China-Australia free trade agreement really impact Australia’s labour market?

We examine the impact of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement on local labour, comparing ChAFTA with the current 457 visa regime for temporary skilled workers and other FTAs entered into by Australia in recent years.

New complications for foreign workers and company officers in Indonesia

New employment regulations in Indonesia may discourage the appointment of foreign company officers.

Fair Work Commission’s new approach to interpreting agreements makes good drafting more important

New approach makes enterprise agreements trickier.

Does Australia have the right IR system for the workplace of the future?

Four leaders speak out on Australia's industrial relations system and the Productivity Commission's review of workplace relations.

Disruptors like Uber and AirBnB are changing the employment model - Are Australia’s workplace laws keeping up?

Australia’s IR system has fallen out of step with modern employment business practices.

Employment, workplace & safety law: Mid-year review

Your guide to the most important employment, workplace and safety developments that are likely to impact your business.

Preventing work-related death and injury

Hundreds of people are still losing their lives each year in Australian workplaces. Why?

Can an employee be sacked for tweeting “political opinions”?

Will dismissed SBS reporter Scott McIntyre’s sacking be found to be unlawful?

“Maybe I shouldn’t have tweeted that!” Social media misuse in the workplace

What can employers learn from recent cases involving employee social media indiscretions?

The bargaining challenges facing employers - What can the Productivity Commission do to help?

How far will employers get with their preference for a more voluntarist bargaining framework coming out of the Productivity Commission Review?

Employment in Indonesia: Employees take priority

Indonesian law seeks to protect employees with some surprising outcomes.

Australia’s contribution to G20 growth requires urgent progress on IR reform

Global competitiveness rankings highlight the need to improve Australia’s labour market performance.

Where next for IR reform?

We take a look at the challenges facing the Federal Government’s workplace reform agenda over the next 18 months.

Get ready: These are the workplace relations issues to watch in 2014-15

Stay ahead of the key changes to workplace relations laws with our guide to the big issues for the coming year.

Asia Employment Law: Quarterly Review: Q1 2014

In the chapter on Australian workplace relations, we highlight the major legislative, consultative, policy and case law changes expected in 2014.

A regional guide to 'restrictive convenants'

This guide contains discussions on non-compete covenants, non-solicitation covenants and non-solicitation of employees’ clauses, issues relating to employee benefits, pension, stock plans and more.

Social media in the workplace - Risks for employees and lessons for employers

Recent cases have highlighted the perils of social media for employees, and the importance for employers of managing these issues correctly.

Employment and industrial relations implications arising out of Queensland’s contestability reforms

The scene is set in Queensland for greater competition in public health services.

Social media: Private life and work life collides again

The latest high profile case about freedom of speech on social media has lessons for all employees and their employers.

Four ways the Fair Work Act is making business riskier for employers

Making decisions that affect employees is more risky than ever and the penalty of poor planning is conflict with unions and litigation in court.

Should abusive conduct by union officials be tolerated in our workplaces?

What can employers do when confronted with obnoxious or offensive behaviour by union officials?

New Fair Work Act amendments ignore greenfields agreements strife

Deadlocks between unions and employers over greenfields agreements will persist and investment will suffer.

The Fair Work Act Review and key developments in enterprise bargaining

In this paper, we provide an update on the progress of the Fair Work Act Review and a round-up of some significant recent decisions dealing with enterprise bargaining and protected industrial action.

A Fairer Work Act?

The government has announced the much anticipated review of the Fair Work Act. Whilst noting the act is working well at the moment this presents an opportunity to see if it can be improved.

The Fair Work Act's impact on industrial relations

We have recently seen a large number of industrial disputes taking place in Australia, a lot of people are pointing to the Fair Work Act as being the culprit. But what's the real story?

Navigating the Fair Work Laws

As more and more companies invest overseas, the need for readily available, accurate, and detailed knowledge of labour and employment laws in multiple jurisdictions becomes an essential resource for employers and their counsel.

Legal Compliance in Australia

As more and more companies invest overseas, the need for readily available, accurate, and detailed knowledge of labour and employment laws in multiple jurisdictions becomes an essential resource for employers and their counsel.

Transition to Forward with Fairness: Labor’s Reform Agenda

This is a practical guide to these significant transitional arrangements, the full implementation of which was not complete until early 2010. This book, has ongoing relevance as a useful guide to a turbulent phase of workplace relations change.

Workplace Relations in the Building and Construction Industry

This book explains the significant changes that have occurred in the regulation of the workplace relations in the building and construction industry in Australia over several years.

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