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Employment Legal Articles

Changes to Fixed Term Employment Contract Rules

changes fixed term contractsStarting from from 6 December 2023, new regulations for fixed term contracts in employment will be implemented. We break down the key points of these regulations.

Mandatory Vaccination in the Workplace

mandatory vaccination employmentRound up of legal articles about mandatory vaccination in the workplace. What does it mean for employers, employees and your employment?

Does the worker get paid for an internship in Australia? 

help with family and relationship issuesUnpaid internships are gaining popularity but are they legal? Check out this summary of recent articles on unpaid internships.

Wage Theft in Australia – How some employees are getting underpaid for the work they do

wage theft employee underpaymentEmployees have the right to be paid the correct pay rate for all time worked but some employers dodge their legal obligations and underpay their staff – this is referred as wage theft. Wage theft can take many forms – from not paying the right wage, not paying all the hours or not paying other entitlements like super. This article covers wage theft in all it’s forms and new legislation in Victoria that has made wage theft a crime.

Domestic Violence Leave Australia – a look at employee entitlements under the NES

minimum wage order 2021In late 2018, the Federal Government introduced the domestic and family violence leave entitlement to Australia’s national workplace relations system. We examine an employees entitlements under these rules.

Minimum Wage Order 2021 – increase of 2.5% from 1 July

minimum wage order 2021Fair Work Australia have made a decision to increase minimum and award wages by 2.5% and this increase is effective in three stages for workers under awards. See the article to view the effective date for each group.

The “Gig Economy” – New and emerging technology is changing the way businesses engage their workers

separated couple under one roofAn increase of platform work in the ‘gig economy’ signals a shift away from Australia’s standard employment model. The gig economy is a labour market comprising of independent contractors, online platform workers, contract firm workers, on-call workers and temporary workers. Most notable for its flexible nature, gig work offers individuals an alternative to a conventional 9-5 routine but employers should be aware of the risk of sham contracting to avoid the wrath of the Fair Work Ombudsman.

A new NES entitlement – casual conversion under the Fair Work Act

casual employee conversionIn March 2021, the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) was amended to add a new entitlement to the existing National Employment Standards (NES). The changes provide casual employees with the right to access permanent full time or part time employment if a specific set of criteria is met. This process is also known as ‘casual conversion.’

Changes to the Law regarding definition of Casual Employees 2021

change to casual employment lawsOn 26 March 2021, the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) was amended to change the workplace rights and obligations for casual employees. In order to ensure your employees are receiving the correct entitlements, it is important that you are up-to-date with these developments.

How to Onboard new employees more easily

new employee onboardingEmployers can make their workplace less strange by supplying a Welcome Pack or Onboarding documents. This information lessens the mystery of the new workplace and helps your new employee acclimatise more quickly. This means they can feel more relaxed and do their job more effectively sooner.

Small Business owners guide to managing employee performance efficiently

shared office spaceRunning a business is like being the captain of a ship setting sail for an exotic destination and a pot of gold. As captain, it’s your job to set the course and navigate, keep it from sinking when the unexpected strikes, and get the most of your crew. When it comes to getting the most out of your team, using a system for managing employee performance keeps everyone on track and allows you to spot small issues before they become a big problem.

Minimum Wage Order 2020 – Rise of 1.75%

2019 National Minimum Wage Order Fair Work Australia have made a decision to increase minimum and award wages by 1.75% and this increase is effective in three stages for workeds under awards. See the article to view the effective date for each group.

Video – Why you should use a Casual Employment Contract

Why use Casual Employment COntractIf you have just filled a casual position you might be wondering whether it is worthwhile putting an employment contract in place. Well, the short answer is yes and this video will explains why a written agreement will give you more control over the terms of the employment arrangement so that you don’t fall victim to the implied terms of a verbal contract.

Business Downturn? Take this essential first step when you have to re-structure your employees

 when is taking photos illegalWith COVID-19 dramatically changing the Australian business landscape, many small and medium-sized employers are finding themselves in unchartered waters. They are having to consider a number of scenarios with regards to their business, such as restructuring, scaling down or even closing down their operations. These are all difficult decisions – and they impact both the employer and the employees. If you are in this position there are essentail steps you should take when it comes to managing employees in these circumstances.

Can you legally dismiss an employee by SMS/text?

dismiss employee by text or smsThere’s no doubt that text messaging or SMS is a mode of communication that’s gaining popularity in the business sector. But there’s one business transaction that should never be made via text, and that is the dismissal a staff member or termination of employment. Recent court cases have highlighted the risk that employers who give into the temptation of dismissing a staff member by text rather than providing a face-to-face meeting could be vulnerable to an unfair dismissal claim.

Minimum Wage Order – Rise of 3%

Minimum Wage Order 2019Fair Work Australia have made a decision to increase minimum and award wages by 3% and this increase is effective from the first full pay period after 1 July 2019.

What is a permanent part-time employment position?

What is a permanent part-time employment position?The start of a New Year is a time when businesses may be looking at taking on new staff for the year ahead. As such, we thought it was appropriate to discuss various types of employees.

How much should managers drink at Christmas functions?

How much should managers drink at Christmas functions?The sensible response is not as much as this guy!! If you’re an employer or running the HR department you need to manage the risk of people getting in too much of the festive spirit. This article from HC Online outlines what to do before, during and after the function so that everyone has a good time without causing major headaches.

Do you know your Workplace Basics? Take the test!

Do you know your Workplace Basics? Take the test!Workplace Basics is a new online, interactive quiz that helps employers and employees check their knowledge of workplace rights and their compliance with workplace obligations. It makes learning about Workplace compliance alot more fun – if you like quizzes, that is!

Was unfriending an employee on Facebook really considered bullying?

Do you know your Workplace Basics? Take the test!You could be forgiven for thinking that employment laws have gone mad following the Fair Work Commission’s decision that facebook unfriending constituted bullying in the workplace. Is it really true? Or did the facts get lost in all the confusion and hype?

Why every Consultant needs to be part Bloodhound

Do you know your Workplace Basics? Take the test!Anyone who exchanges time for money needs to get the most out of every working hour. Few things sap your time (and energy) like dealing with conflict or misunderstandings. The best way to reduce confusion in your working relationships is to get clear about the scope of the project from the beginning. You need to approach initial discussions with your client as a forensic investigation and scrutinise what they really want, not just what they say they want.

6 Free templates to help you manage employees on probation

Probation periods of weeks or months are used by employers to assess the suitability of a new staff member. Fair Work provides these 6 free templates to help you manage the probation more effectively. It includes letters for successful and unsuccessful probation, checklists and performance plans.

The Crimes we Commit against our Privacy

Public Wi-Fi is an extremely risky way to access the internet – you know it’s true but the lure of free internet is tempting. The wi-fi provided by your local cafe owner might be just fine but do you know what or who is lurking nearby ready to hijack your data?

Changes to annual leave provisions – Fair Work Commission four yearly review

The Fair Work Commission has released a series of changes following its four-yearly review of modern awards. The changes deal predominately with the issue of excessive annual leave accrued by employees. The changes cover directing employees to take leave, cashing out leave and taking leave in advance.

From July 1st – Minimum Wage Rates Increase by 2.5%

It’s that time of year when Fair Work makes a decision on the minimum wage rates. This year the minimum wage will increase by 2.5% and all employers should adjust their pays for the first pay period starting on or after 1st July 2015.

Was SBS’s Sacking of Scott McIntyre lawful?

SBS has been the subject of a great deal of media attention for the sacking of Scott McIntyre. SBS’s managing director, Michael Ebeid made the decision to sack Scott McIntyre immediately and without notice. This raises questions about whether the dismissal was fair and lawful.

Stating the Parties to a Contract correctly

It might seem very basic, but it is vital to get the names of the entities or “parties” correct when drafting a legal document. Stating the parties formally and accurately gives you certainty that there can be NO question about the parties’ intentions later, especially if the particulars are changed or forgotten. We look at the different types of “parties” and the correct way to record the information.

What types of employees do you have? Are you meeting your obligations?

Thanks to an increasingly flexible workplace, it seems like when it comes to employee contracts, almost anything goes. But It’s important to classify your employees correctly so that they receive all their entitlements under the law and you comply with the legislation.

How to sign or execute a contract

By signing, or in other words, executing a contract, you are indicating your agreement to the terms and conditions contained within the document and demonstrating your intention to be legally bound.

Is a verbal agreement legally binding?

Verbal agreements can be legally binding and in fact many business and personal transactions are conducted purely on a handshake. But if things go wrong, it can be very difficult to sort the matter out or to even prove the agreement existed.

FWO targeting Building and Construction Industry in Workplace Audit

As of October 2014 the Fair Work Ombusdman will be targeting the Construction and Building Industry to discuss workplace issues like minimum wages, penalty rates and allowances, overtime and payslips and record keeping.

Using a Recruitment Agency Agreement

Many businesses prefer to use a recruitment agency to hire staff especially those in the Mining, IT, professional industries and Public sector. As with any contractor type arrangement it is always wise to set down the terms of the work clearly and unambiguously so each party understands their role.

When staff take excessive sick leave

It can be especially challenging for small businesses to keep their operation running smoothly when staff take extended or excessive sick leave. How do you manage extended sick leave and what are your rights in dealing with excessive leave.

Things to consider before asking an employee to work overtime extra hours

As an employer there are a number of issues to consider before asking an employee to work overtime.

Can you direct an employee to change shift arrangements without their Agreement?

Check with the staff members Award or employment agreement to determine what you can and cannot do in relation to shifts and changes to those shifts.

10 reasons for implementing flexible working arrangements

Being flexible as an employer helps to foster an atmosphere of “give and take” in the workplace. We look at 10 reasons why you should consider offering employees flexible working arrangements.

Can Employers use Social Media to assess candidates for a job position

A growing number of employers admit to accessing the Facebook profiles of job candidates to more intimately assess their application – is this a good idea?

Fair Work Minimum Wage Decision 2014

Fair Work Australia have made a decision to increase minimum and award wages by 3% and this increase is effective from the first full pay period after 1 July 2014.

Are you paying your Employees Correctly

Award rates increase on a regular basis, usually annually. You need to be aware of these increases so you can pay your employees correctly. This article covers info about rates increases and list useful tools to help you get employee payments right.

Sham Contractor – FWO issues $60000 fine

The FWO recent against an employer serves as a warning to all businesses to review their relationships with independent contractors. We look at the details of the case and explain the difference between employees and contractors.

Sick Leave 101

In Australia, sick leave is covered as a type of “personal leave” in the National Employment Standards. Personal leave also includes carer’s leave and compassionate leave. This quick guide covers the essential facts that all employers should know about sick leave.

FWC Decision – 20 year old retail employees entitled to 100% of Adult wage

The FWC has made a decision that 20 year old employees working under the Retail Industry Award are now entitled to 100% of the adult wage rather than 90%.

Why your business needs a Social Media Policy – Info graphic

A Social Media Policy is a document that outline’s your company’s guidelines for the use of Social Media. This Info graphic explains why all employers should implement a Social Media Policy to protect their business. Read more


Evolving trend for workplace bullying laws

Many business leaders and HR professionals are overwhelmed by what is required to comply with the new Workplace Bullying laws. Workplace managers are increasingly expected to take greater responsibility for the management, education and prevention of workplace bullying.

Guide for Terminating Employees

When terminating or dismissing an employee, you need to make sure you comply with legislation, namely the Fair Work Act, 2009 and the National Employment Standards.

Correct Procedure for Terminating Employees – Social Media

In a recent case before the Fair Work Commission (FWC), Credit Corp Group’s adherence to the correct protocol for employee terminations made it easier for the FWC to conclude that the dismissal of Cameron Little was lawful. They followed this procedure.

Social Media and Employment Court Cases

Two recent court cases Bradford Pedley v IPMS Pty Ltd T/A peckvonhartel and Naiman Clarke Pty Ltd v Marianna Tucciahighlight the pitfalls of employers allowing employees to use social media without having clear guidelines in place.

Employers warned – Courts take case of Sexual Harassment very seriously

Another recent case highlights the need for employers to tread very carefully when dealing with allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace – employee awarded $466,000 in compensation and damages.

Uniforms – can you require your employees to pay for, and wear uniforms?

Under the Fair Work Act, an employer cannot require an employee to spend their pay in relation to the performance of work, if the requirement is “unreasonable”.

Employer held responsible for the Sexual Harassment of an employee by another employee

A recent case in the Federal Circuit Court highlights the importance of employers acting on complaints of sexual harassment by their employees.

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