COVID-19 and modern award variations
In response to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses and employment across Australia, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has already introduced (and proposes to further introduce) a range of temporary variations to modern awards to provide increased flexibility for employers and employees during this challenging time.
Managing employees with disabilities
Managing underperformance is a difficult process and employers should always bear in mind that personal or other extenuating circumstances may be impacting a particular employee’s performance.
Everything else is just a bonus
Bonuses and incentive schemes can be extremely successful in driving individual employee performance and overall business performance. A significant amount of work can go into crafting such a scheme – from market predictions to setting appropriate targets, drafting motivational communications to employees, and, very importantly, careful drafting of scheme documents.
I’ll go first
The commencement of a disciplinary process against an employee is not an insignificant matter. It serves to notify an employee that their employer has serious concerns about their employment; whether that is the standard of the employee’s performance, their conduct or their behaviour.
Out of service
Dismissing an employee for inappropriate conduct can be a challenging process, particularly when the employee does not accept that their conduct was inappropriate.
You’re a liability
Federal and State anti-discrimination legislation makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against or harass a person in their employment. The legislation also places liability on employers for the discriminatory conduct of their employees.
Who holds the record?
No profession loves hard copies of records more than lawyers – but it is often human resources who have the most to do with record keeping, particularly in relation to retaining employee records.
How was I supposed to know?
When an employer is required to make changes to the workplace which are likely to have significant effects on employees, the employer must ensure that it meets any consultation obligations which might apply under various laws and industrial instruments prior to implementing any redundancies that might arise.
The high life
In the reporting year 2018/2019, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) received 13,928 unfair dismissal applications. Undoubtedly, unfair dismissal applications are amongst the most common received by the FWC.
Employers place a significant emphasis on workplace culture, and rightly so – a workplace that holds itself and its employees to a high standard – set against an identified set of values – is likely to garner support and respect from employees, clients and the public.
Head in the cloud
Organisational change is a constant for business – whether it involves wider cultural change within a company, the introduction of new technology or systems of work, or even a restructure or downsizing of the workforce.
The Federal Court of Australia has ordered the Australian Workers Union (AWU) to pay $18,000 in penalties following its pursuit of disciplinary action against its own members.
All together now
An external HR consultant and a supervisor have been found accessorily liable for contraventions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) after they were involved in the dismissal of an employee who raised a potential award non-compliance issue.
In recent times there has been widespread publicity about the outbreak of a respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus, which has spread from the Hubei province in China and has since been identified in other countries, including Australia.
Keeping you regular
Employers often supplement their workforce by utilising casual employees to perform work in addition to that performed by permanent employees. While such engagements might start out as irregular (or, truly casual), it is not uncommon for casual employment to become regular and systematic, and for a casual employee to develop an expectation of continued employment.
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