Posts: Fair Work Commission

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Fair Work Commission

Commission orders employer to pay compensation as a result of its procedurally unfair disciplinary process

Procedurally disastrous

When investigating allegations of misconduct against an employee in the workplace, employers must ensure that any ensuing disciplinary process is kept distinct from and separate to from the investigation.

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Casual Terms Award Review 2021

NEWS UPDATE

In March 2021, the casual employment amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) introduced a new statutory definition of “casual employee” and an entitlement to casual conversion as one of the National Employment Standards (NES).

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Fair Work Commission finds out-of-hours drink driving offence was not a valid reason for dismissal

Off the clock

Generally, the way in which an employee conducts themselves out-of-hours does not fall within the realm of what the employer can supervise or control. However, there are times where an employee’s conduct after business hours and away from work can impact the employment relationship.

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Employee dismissed for failing BAC tests

Cigarettes and cough lollies

In a recent unfair dismissal decision, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has supported an employer’s decision to dismiss an employee for breaching its drug and alcohol policy despite the employer failing to strictly enforce the policy.

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Fair Work Commission finds dismissal was disproportionate to the gravity of an employee’s heat of the moment remark

You’re bacon me crazy

In the unfair dismissal jurisdiction, the primary remedy is reinstatement. This means the employer is ordered to return the employee to their employment in the position they held immediately prior to their dismissal or another position on no less favourable terms.

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Fair Work Commission orders the reinstatement of an employee who was unfairly dismissed following a second investigation into the same incident

Pedal to the metal

In unfair dismissal matters, reinstatement is the primary remedy and the Fair Work Commission (FWC) may not make an order for compensation unless it is satisfied that reinstatement is inappropriate.

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Fair Work Commission upholds dismissal of an employee who misused a company coffee account

Caffeine Hit

Financial misconduct committed by an employee can fundamentally damage the trust and confidence in an employment relationship. Unfortunately, financial misconduct is a common issue for Australian businesses and if it is not dealt with promptly and effectively, there is an opportunity for further misadventure.

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Employer ordered to pay maximum compensation following “entirely unjust” disciplinary process

Knives Out

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) requires that employers comply with a number of procedural elements in a disciplinary process prior to making a decision about whether an employee’s conduct or behaviour warrants disciplinary action.

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Court finds rescinded job offer was not age discrimination

The rooster and the sunrise

Discrimination in the workplace is unlawful under a number of Australian laws, including state and federal anti-discrimination legislation (such as the Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Cth)) as well as the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act).

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FWC upholds dismissal of an employee who repeatedly and deliberately accessed customer’s confidential information without authorisation

Celebrity search

During the course of their employment, employees may have access to confidential information which belongs to their employer. This information may be in the form of personal information provided by customers and is therefore sensitive in nature.

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FWC upholds objection to constructive dismissal claim

Construction zone

In order to access the unfair dismissal jurisdiction, an employee must be “dismissed” from their employment by the employer. One of the instances in which an employee may be “dismissed” from their employment is if they were forced to resign because of the employer’s conduct or course of conduct.

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Managing employee conduct and behaviour in the workplace

Draw the line

Managing employee conduct and behaviour can be a challenge. The question of what is appropriate and what is not appropriate in the workplace will depend on a variety of factors, including the industry in which the employees work, the overall culture of the workplace and community standards at any given time.

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Salary reduction brought employee under high income threshold

Below not above

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has significantly impacted the financial stability of many businesses. Employers have had to make difficult decisions and implement different measures to ensure the ongoing viability of their businesses. Some of these measures have included asking employees to agree to temporary reductions in their hours of work or to a reduction in their remuneration.

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FWC upholds safety-related dismissal of employee given multiple chances

Patience, you must have

The Fair Work Commission’s recent decision in Hafsteins v Correct Installs Pty Ltd [2020] FWC 2729 has showcased a “patient” employer’s handling of an employee’s numerous workplace health and safety breaches.

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FWC upholds dismissal of employee who borrowed money from bus passenger

Bus money

Out of hours conduct and its impact on the employment relationship is always a hotly debated topic – particularly between employers and their employees.

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FWC upholds dismissal of employee who stored marijuana equipment in the workplace

Taking the high ground

In deciding whether to take disciplinary action against an employee, it is important for employers to ensure that the employee is given a reasonable opportunity to provide a response or explanation before a final decision is made, particularly when it concerns matters that could result in summary dismissal.

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The FWC, COVID-19 and variations to redundancy pay

Vexed variation

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has a vital role to play in the management of the current COVID-19 pandemic as it continues to impact employment relationships across the country.

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COVID-19 and modern award variations

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.

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Employer’s disciplinary process didn’t force resignation

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.

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Consequences of providing false and misleading evidence

The truth will set you free

When dealing with litigated matters, we cannot stress enough the importance of having evidence and witnesses that are credible and reliable to support a party’s position in the proceedings.

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Employee loses redundancy pay after refusing other acceptable employment

Who's the boss?

The FWC has reduced an employee’s entitlement to redundancy pay to nil after an employer successfully argued that it obtained ‘other acceptable employment’ for the employee, which the employee had refused.

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