Entries by michele

Why monitoring modern awards makes sense

Some employers who have their own enterprise agreement (EA) make the mistake of pretty much ignoring what is going on in modern awards. They reason modern awards provide bare minimum standards whereas their EA provides superior conditions, often considerably so. This tends to encourage ambivalence about what’s going on in the modern award space.

Redundancy and Obtaining Alternative Employment

When an employer was making some employees redundant, it worked with another business to obtain offers of employment for those employees. As a result of those efforts, some of the redundant employees were offered employment with that other firm.

Job Duties Not Binding

During the life of their employment an employee can become attached to the job they are performing. This can lead to an employee believing the details of that job are one and the same as their employment contract. Consequently they form the view that any changes to those duties or details can only occur with mutual agreement.

But almost universally, the tasks or duties identified on recruitment or thereafter are not implied terms of the contracts of employment such that a change of duties required by the employer is a repudiation. This fundamental aspect of the employment relationship led an employee into error when she claimed constructive dismissal.

Don’t Take Zombie Agreements for Granted

Many employers eschew bargaining, content to follow their old agreements. The recent federal Attorney-General’s Dept report on the state of bargaining bears this out with a continued decline in the number of new agreements approved.

Harassment at Work Targeted by New Laws

Even though legislative and regulatory efforts to protect from sexual harassment have been around for decades, the mechanisms to deal with it have not always been the most efficacious. But that maybe about to change with the FWC gaining additional powers to deal with sexual harassment complaints specifically.

Service Industries Award Flexibilities Welcome

Responding to the IR Minister’s request of late last year, the FWC has introduced certain flexibilities into the Retail award and is about to do the same to the Restaurants award. While the request and the reaction to it arose because of the pandemic, the flexibilities themselves make sense regardless of current circumstances and have been a feature of enterprise agreements for the past 25 years.

Competitors Oblige Agreement Termination

What to do with an agreement with generous conditions when your competitors keep beating you on all your tenders? This problem faced a company that found earlier largesse was coming back to bite as more players entered their patch, leaving them behind.