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Compulsory FWO interviews: coming to an employer near you - Nov 2017

On 5 September 2017, the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017 (Cth), was passed. The Act was introduced earlier this year in response to the 7/Eleven crisis.  Emily Haar, Associate and Irene Nikoloudakis, Law Clerk review the recent reform.

Update on licensing and registration in the labour hire industry – Overview of new Queensland legislation - Nov 2017

Queensland has now become the first Australian State to pass legislation establishing a licensing scheme for labour hire operators. The Queensland legislation will commence on 16 April 2018. The legislation requires all labour hire providers to be licensed and makes it unlawful for a person to enter into an arrangement for the provision of labour hire services with unlicensed providers. This change in legislation will have a significant impact on the labour hire industry in Queensland.

Tim Capelin, partner and Amrita Howell, associate, discuss the implications for labour hire companies and host companies. 

Supreme Court allows Jewish law to govern employment contract - Nov 2017

A recent decision of the New South Wales Supreme Court has stopped the administrators of a synagogue from wrongfully terminating a Rabbi and has affirmed that aspects of other systems of law can validly govern employment relationships.

Tim Capelin, partner, and Emily Setter, law clerk, review the decision and its implications for employers.

BUPA didn’t have to consult about 23 redundancies - Nov 2017

Ben Motro, Special Counsel, and Emily Setter, Law Clerk, reflect on the recent decision of Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation v Bupa Aged Care Australia Pty Ltd [2017] FCA 1246, in which Justice O’Callaghan of the Federal Court held that the consultation clause in an employer’s enterprise agreement did not require consultation over matters found not to result in “major workplace change”. 

Changes to Victoria’s long service laws are coming - Nov 2017

The Victorian Government has recently announced that it will introduce reforms to Victoria’s long service leave legislation. The changes are aimed at allowing increased flexibility for employees to take their accrued long service leave and introducing increased protections to ensure continuity of service is not disrupted. Chris Hartigan, Principal and John Evans, Lawyer, discuss the proposed changes and the effects they will have on employers in Victoria. 

27 October commencement for franchisor liability under “vulnerable worker” workplace laws – What can we learn from franchisor “joint employer” liability in the United States - Sep 2017

As is often the case in franchising, Australia is following the lead of the United States and introducing laws to make franchisors responsible where franchisees have contravened the employment laws.  The new test commencing on 27 October 2017 introduces liability for contravention of employment laws where the franchisor knew or reasonably should have known about the franchisee’s conduct, but did not take reasonable steps to prevent it.

Franchisors in the US have had similar responsibilities for over 30 years, albeit in 2015 a more onerous standard has applied.

Due to events in recent years in the US, this issue of joint responsibility was the topic of much debate at the International Franchise Association conference earlier this year. 

Pathways to permanency: latest word from the FWC on casual and part-time employment - Aug 2017

On 5 July 2017, as part of the four-yearly review of modern awards, a Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission handed down its decision on casual and part-time employment. In this decision, the Full Bench pronounced some noteworthy changes – particularly regarding employees’ conversion from casual to permanent employment.

David Ey, Partner and Shauna Roeger, Lawyer, explain the key implications of the decision for employers.

Ignorance is not always bliss: Employer liable for employees’ breach of fiduciary duties to former employer - Aug 2017

A recent decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia has found Ancient Order of Foresters in Victoria Friendly Society Limited (Foresters) liable for knowingly participating in, and profiting from, a breach by two of its employees of their fiduciary duties to their former employer, Lifeplan Australia Friendly Society Ltd (Lifeplan).

David Ey, Partner and Irene Nikoloudakis, Law Clerk, review this decision, and consider its implications for employers.

You’ll have to say it at the SAET: Expansion of the role of the South Australian Employment Tribunal - Jul 2017

The jurisdiction of the South Australian Employment Tribunal (SAET) has recently been expanded, meaning that a broader range of matters can be heard by the SAET, with consequential changes to the procedural rules for the handling of non-workers’ compensation matters.

Emily Haar, Associate, and Irene Nikoloudakis, Law Clerk, delve into the changes.

Federal Court says “bullied” employee can’t have her cake and eat it too - Jul 2017

A Full Bench of the Federal Court has refused to award a former seafarer substantive damages for loss of income and associated losses after she had received a settlement sum in a separate proceeding in which she agreed she was unfit to continue working in the maritime industry.

John Evans, Lawyer, discusses the decision and the timely reminder for employers to ensure their workplace policies are updated.

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