Recent Cases

Tassone v Kirkham [2014] SADC 134

The District Court of South Australia has awarded damages of $75,000 plus an award for economic loss (yet to be determined) to an employee who was defamed after a co-worker sent an email to 2,300 colleagues stating that he was homosexual and looking for someone to engage in a sexual relationship.

Continue Reading

PrintEmail

Unlawful Discrimination: Pay out awarded to 75 year old bus driver

The NSW Administrative Appeals tribunal full bench has recently awarded a 75 year old bus driver $25,323 in compensation after he was dismissed because of his age. The dismissal occurred after a low speed accident involving the bus driver. Prior to this, in 2007, the bus driver had had his hours reduced because he was “getting old” and he was told “that it was time for him to retire”.

Continue Reading

PrintEmail

Paid Parental Leave Bill 2010

In May 2010 that Federal Government released its draft of the Paid Parental Leave Bill.

Under the draft Bill, from 1 January 2011, an eligible parent will be able to apply for up to 18 weeks paid parental leave at the national minimum wage, currently $543.78 per week.

Employers will be required to pay parental leave to employees who have been employed for at least 12 months prior to the expected date of birth or placement of adoption.

Continue Reading

PrintEmail

Unlawful Discrimination: Stern v Depilation & Skincare Pty Ltd [2009] VCAT 2725

Employers should take into account anti-discrimination legislation when deciding which employees to retrench, as the recent decision of Stern v Depilation & Skincare Pty Ltd [2009] VCAT 2725 illustrates. In this decision, an employee was working part time during pregnancy due on medical grounds. The employer was found to have treated an employee less favourably due to pregnancy when she was selected for redundancy due largely to her part time status.

Continue Reading

PrintEmail

Workplace Relations: Endeavour Coal v APESMA

The Federal Court has recently handed down its decision in the long running dispute between Endeavour Coal Pty Ltd (a BHP subsidiary) and the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers, Australia. The application concerns APESMA’s application to Fair Work Australia for good faith bargaining orders in relation to its Appin Mine in New South Wales. The Federal Court’s decision is the second appeal in this dispute.

Continue Reading

PrintEmail

Workplace Relations: CFMEU v Pilbara Iron Company

The Federal Court of Australia recently handed down a significant decision in relatio to the protections afforded to employees against adverse action by employers. The case is significant because it demonstrates the heavy burden that employers can have managing difficult and cantankerous employees. The principal difficulty is that the burden of demonstrating compliance with the general protections provisions lies on the employer.

Continue Reading

PrintEmail

Workplace Relations: Mifsud v Veolia Transport Sydney Pty Ltd [2012] FMCA 167

Mr Misfud was denied redundancy payments owed to him under a collective agreement by his employer, Veolia Transport Sydney, and the issue arose whether they were thus liable to pay a penalty. Mr Misfud also petitioned for indemnity costs, claiming that Veolia's failure to respond to a settlement offer unreasonably furthered his legal costs.

Continue Reading

PrintEmail

Executive Remuneration in Australia – Productivity Commission’s Report

On 16 April 2010 the Government released its response to the Productivity Commission’s report, “Executive Remuneration in Australia”.

The Government intends to introduce legislation in 2010 to implement these reforms, with the reforms to take effect on 1 July 2011. Further public consultation will be taken during 2010.

Continue Reading

PrintEmail

Workplace Relations: Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) – WesternAustralian Branch v Airflite Pty Ltd [2010] FWA 1723

Fair Work Australia has made its first scope order under the new industrial regime.The order required an employer to bargain with the AMWU for separate deals to cover its employees in Victoria and Western Australia. Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) – WesternAustralian Branch v Airflite Pty Ltd [2010]  FWA 1723

Continue Reading

PrintEmail

Workplace Relations: FWA refuses to make bargaining orders

The bargaining landscape confronting employers remains uncertain. In rejecting the CFMEU's application to have bargaining orders made against Tahmoor Coal, however, Commissioner Roberts of Fair Work Australia found that an employer is not in breach of its good faith bargaining obligations simply because, after extensive negotiations, the employer concludes negotiations are at an impasse. Commissioner Roberts stated that in this case, having reached this conclusion, the employer was entitled to refuse to meet further with the union.

Continue Reading

PrintEmail

Work Health and Safety: Workers Compensation for injury at private party

Is an employer responsible for an employee’s injury which occurs at a private party held on work premises? The NSW Workers Compensation Commission (‘the Commission’) has recently answered “yes” to this question, in circumstances where the injured employee’s attendance at the party was motivated by work.

Continue Reading

PrintEmail

Model Workplace Health and Safety Laws

Different occupational health and safety (OHS) laws are currently in place in each State and Territory in Australia. As part of developing a seamless national economy and reforming OHS, the federal government has, with the cooperation of each of the States and Territories, initiated the process of “harmonising” OHS laws. Once the harmonisation process is complete, there will be uniform OHS laws throughout Australia.

Continue Reading

PrintEmail

More Articles ...