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Pre-employment misleading and deceptive conduct: be careful what you promise - Jul 2016

In Rakic v Johns Lyng Insurance Building Solutions (Victoria) Pty Ltd (Trustee) [2016] FCA 430, the Federal Court awarded an employee compensation of over $300,000 for loss suffered after she was misled by representations made to her by Johns Lyng prior to taking up her role as General Manager. The case should serve as a cautionary tale to other organisations that many kinds of statements made to prospective employees, such as those about future remuneration or the profitability or financial position of the company, must only be made where there is reasonable basis to do so.

Fair Work Commission hands down first formal bullying ruling - Mar 2016

The early days of the anti-bullying jurisdiction saw little activity and few substantive decisions.  However, there have recently been a number of decisions made by the Fair Work Commission providing guidance on the operation of the anti-bullying jurisdiction, and the types of behaviours the Commission will consider as bullying.

Amongst these decisions is the Commission’s first formal ruling that bullying had occurred. In this article, Tim Lange, Partner, and Katherine Lee, Law Graduate, discuss a number of these recent cases in order to help employers, human resource managers and employees alike to better understand exactly what constitutes “bullying” in the eyes of the Commission and could therefore potentially give rise to an order to stop bullying.

Employer’s failure to make “reasonable adjustments” to accommodate employee with disability leaves it liable to pay over $13,000 in damages - Feb 2016

In the recent Victorian case of Butterworth v Independence Australia Services (Human Rights) [2015] VCAT 2056, a not-for-profit disability service provider was ordered to pay more than $13,000 to a former employee who suffered a workplace injury, for failing to provide reasonable adjustments. This case highlights the risks associated with managing injured employees and the importance of employers being across all relevant legislative duties and responsibilities. Ben Motro, Senior Associate, and Shauna Roeger, Law Clerk explain the case and, most importantly, the lessons employers can learn from it.

The Fair Work Commission confirms its anti-bullying jurisdiction does not extend to workers who are not employees - Feb 2016

Stephen Hughes, Partner, analyses this case in further detail.

Don’t tell me the party’s over: the Fair Work Commission considers the physical and temporal limitations to managerial intervention into the office Christmas party - Nov 2015

In the lead up to end-of-year festivities, Emily Haar, Associate, reviews the decision in Keenan v Leighton Boral Amey NSW Pty Ltd [2015] FWC 3156 where it was found to be unfair to rely upon multiple instances of misconduct occurring after the official end of an office Christmas party in dismissing an employee.

Recent Agency Resources released to complement the Australian Privacy Principles - Nov 2015

Consistent with its advices on commencement of the major amendments to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has published two important agency resources in recent times worthy of note. These relate to protection of privacy of Tax File Number information and the sending of private information overseas. Partner, Stephen Hughes, discusses.

Top 12 Enterprise Bargaining Tips - Nov 2015

In 1975, the United States Postal Service issued a new stamp evoking the sense of purpose which then underlay enterprise bargaining. Two overlapping circles, one red, one blue, identified a purple aspect of overlap as if that sweet spot is available in every collective bargaining negotiation. At the time, the then-US President Gerald Ford commented “Our people cannot live on islands of self-interest. We must build bridges … One of the longest and sturdiest bridges in this land is collective bargaining ...”.

Partner, Tim Lange, discusses his top enterprise bargaining tips.

Waterfront “Code of Silence” Warrants Anti-Bullying Orders - Nov 2015

Can the new Commission anti-bullying jurisdiction be used to wrest back responsibility for workplace conduct from rogue elements intent on influencing workplace behaviour without reference to the employer? The Fair Work Commission has now given strong support to the view that it can.

The Commission has now handed down one of the most anticipated decisions in its anti-bullying jurisdiction this week: Bowker & Ors v DP World & MUA [2015] FWC 7312.

Associate, Hannah Linossier and Law Graduate, Katherine Lee discuss the recent decision and the key issues employers should be aware of when taking steps to prevent and deal with bullying in the workplace.

Workplace Relations: The Productivity Commission Blueprint for Renovation - Aug 2015

Professor Andrew Stewart summarises the Productivity Commission’s draft report on the workplace relations framework, which resists calls for radical change but proposes a limited number of reforms to address deficiencies in the Fair Work regime.

Implementing an Enforceable Drug and Alcohol Policy - Aug 2015

Partner, Tim Capelin and Lawyer, Amrita Kumar look at some of the practical issues to consider when considering the implementation of an enforceable workplace drug and alcohol policy.

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