Bargaining Disputes – the Forgotten Path to Resolution?

Sometimes bargaining gets bogged down and the way out gets harder to see. What many bargaining parties overlook is to use the FWC as a sounding board for their respective positions and maybe a way forward. And the FWC stands ready to serve as a recent case clearly demonstrates.

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.

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.

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 […]