Posts: FWC

E-updates, blog articles, events, press articles and success stories about

FWC

Key Takeaways from our Webinar

Managing Workplace Behaviour: "You Get What You Tolerate"

In our August webinar, our Managing Director and Principal, Athena Koelmeyer, discussed the challenges faced by modern employers when managing workplace behaviour. In that webinar, Athena examined a number of recent unfair dismissal decisions of the Fair Work Commission which provide some good guidance for employers.

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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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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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Server dismissed for inappropriate conduct towards co-workers

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.

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Employers’ consultation obligations when implementing major workplace change

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.

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Unfair dismissal and calculating the high income threshold

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.

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FWC finds evolving technology not a significant role change for IT employee

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.

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Penalties ordered against union that “charged” members who chose not to engage in industrial action

Fully charged

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.

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HR consultant and supervisor found accessorily liable for breach of FW Act

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.

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Regular and systematic casual employment

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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Employee dismissed for offensive remarks in the workplace

What did you say?

It goes without saying that employees should treat each other with respect and courtesy in the workplace. In a recent decision, the FWC was tasked with considering a claim from a dismissed employee who alleged that remarks he made in the workplace were not offensive and did not justify his dismissal.

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FWC rejects claim deed was made under duress

A good deed goes a long way

As we have discussed in previous blogs, it is not uncommon for an employer and employee to enter into a deed of release or settlement when ending the employment relationship.

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Commission orders parties to stop yelling in the workplace

Quiet, please

The Fair Work Commission recently issued interim orders in an application for orders to stop bullying, which required the parties to, amongst other things, treat each other with respect and dignity, and to not yell in an unreasonable manner.

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Sports agency sues former employees for poaching clients

Who's with me?

A recent dispute between one of Australia’s leading sports agencies and two of its ex-employees is a reminder to employers about the importance of implementing processes to protect confidential information, including that of their customers and clients.

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Lawyer dismissed for publicly criticising clients

Destructive criticism

When considering claims of adverse action under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the FW Act) a key focus of inquiry is the actual reasons of the decision-maker for engaging in the action.

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Employer’s refusal of flexible working arrangement was not a dismissal

Please, please, please, let me get what I want

One of the National Employment Standards (NES) under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) is the entitlement for employees in particular circumstances to request a flexible working arrangement with their employer. Such requests can only be refused by employers on reasonable business grounds.

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Drive through bottle shop attendant dismissed because of pregnancy

One for my baby, and one more for the road

A bottle shop attendant in Cairns was recently awarded compensation in excess of $39,000 after she was dismissed for being pregnant.

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Full Court decides meaning of “day” for personal/carer’s leave

Only time will tell

The Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia recently handed down a decision that is likely to have significant impacts on the accrual and taking of personal/carer’s leave, not to mention the management of the entitlement by employers.

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Casual swearing no excuse for conduct

A little less conversational swearing

There is no doubt that swearing in the workplace is unacceptable - the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has repeatedly held that swearing in an abusive manner that is directed towards others is a valid reason for dismissal.

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Workplace bullying and reasonable management action

Just Managing

Workplace bullying can be extremely serious and should not be tolerated by employers.

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FWO investigation finds Uber drivers not employees

Tripping Out

Since it arrived in Australia, Uber has been under fire for its disruption of the transport industry and its complicated relationship with its drivers.

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The FWC on employee disputes and workplace bullying

The Clash

When emotions are running high and differences are unable to be resolved, employees often turn to the anti-bullying jurisdiction of the Fair Work Commission (FWC).

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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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Enterprise bargaining on the decline

“It has become extremely difficult to get enterprise agreements through the FWC.”

“It has become extremely difficult to get enterprise agreements through the FWC, largely in light of the loaded rates decision that came out earlier this year,”

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