Coronavirus: why you need fast and flexible planning for your workforce

The workplace is in turmoil as it responds to the ramifications of Coronavirus. In this environment it is more important than ever to PLAN. When I say plan, I mean not to prepare for what you want to happen, but what is happening.

When is Work Work, and Not Work?

The tricky question of whether employees are working or not when they perform some work-related tasks during their breaks has had an airing in the Fair Work Commission. And it’s not always clear cut if the employer has a liability to pay.

No Backdating Agreement Cancellation

The employee had argued that since the agreement had expired two and half years previously, the cancellation should operate from the day after the agreement expired. This would have presented the employer with a serious problem, because the award had ‘caught up’ with the agreement in some areas, so there would be a great deal of effort needed to ensure the 109,000 employees had been paid properly.

Too Many Sickies Spoil the Action

The Fair Work Commission has refused to play nurse to a group of employees calling in sick, saying taking multiple sick leave absences constitutes covert industrial action. And since there was already protected industrial action taking place, the coordinated ‘sick leave’ was unprotected action, so had to cease. The company and the employees were involved […]

Not Just BOOT to be Explained to Employees

Many employers think their obligation to explain the effect of a proposed agreement is met when they set out the differences between a proposed agreement and the award(s) that would otherwise apply. But that’s not necessarily the whole story. Failing to explain the difference between an expired agreement and a new one as well, can […]

Had Not Genuinely Tried to Reach Agreement

A union has been told its protected action ballot application has been prematurely made, after it held one meeting with a HR officer of the employer. And to make matters worse, only two out of 11 claims on the union’s list were even discussed at that meeting, which came less than five hours after the […]

Ballot Box Bungle No Barrier to Approval

Just who gets to vote on an enterprise agreement has been the subject of a few disputes and it has again required a Fair Work Commission full bench appeal to clear up some misconceptions. In this case, there were two problems with the ‘electoral roll’; some casual employees who voted had not worked in the […]

Criminal Record Discrimination Change Now Law

Discriminating against a prospective employee on the basis of a criminal record is generally a no-no, but the regulations have been amended to re-cast the ground as “an irrelevant criminal record”. It is a significant distinction, and the change has a back story. About a year ago, the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) found an […]