The Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission has quashed a Commissioner’s ruling that an employer’s installation of CCTV devices failed to comply with the Workplace Surveillance Act 2005 (NSW) and that the CCTV footage it had obtained had been illegally or improperly obtained. The Full Bench held that the recording was authorised by the Act and the evidence so obtained should not have been automatically excluded
Corporations—particularly public companies and large proprietary companies—will need to be aware of recent amendments to the corporations (and taxation) legislation that give greater protection to “whistleblowers” (those that make disclosure of corporate wrongdoing and breaches of the taxation laws). These changes impose additional duties on corporations to have mechanisms in place to deal with such disclosures. The legislation (Treasury Laws (Enhancing Whistleblower Protections) Act 2018) received Royal Assent in March this year, but the provisions affecting the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) will take effect on 1 July 2019. Importantly, as noted below, there are obligations to have an appropriate policy dealing with whistleblowing in place before 1 January 2020. Because liability for breaches of the amendments can run before 2020, it is recommended that companies covered by the legislative amendments act as soon as possible to implement a policy and ensure compliance with the legislation
The Federal Court of Australia has ordered that an employer and its two managing directors pay a former employee, who had been working on a temporary visa, a total of $249,000 in compensation and pecuniary penalties, for contraventions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)
On April 29, 2019, the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 (“the Act”) came into effect. From this date onwards, labour-hire providers will have a six-month transition period to apply for a licence under the Act’s Labour Hire Licensing Scheme (“Scheme”). From October 30, 2019 onwards, substantial penalties will apply to labour hire providers who do not have a licence or a licence application pending and to businesses that use unlicensed providers
The Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission has ruled that a casual general factory hand employed by a sawmill operator had been unfairly dismissed, finding that the sawmill operator had unlawfully and unreasonably directed the factory hand to consent to submit to fingerprint scanning, which would have monitored and tracked his attendance at the worksite
The Federal Court of Australia has dismissed a lawyer’s claims for disability discrimination and victimisation against his employer, a small specialist family law legal practice, finding that the legal practice had afforded the lawyer “reasonable adjustments” when he returned to work after a period of absence following a major depressive episode
Even in the era of far-reaching international trade agreements and regional economic and political partnerships, the majority of laws and regulations governing the workplace are still determined by the individual countries where employees work.
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A fashion start-up company has been fined $274,278, with an additional penalty of $54,855 personally imposed on the company’s managing director for failing to pay three employees their proper Award rates and for failing to comply with an investigation of the Fair Work Ombudsman
The Federal Circuit Court of Australia recently ruled that two company directors were personally liable as accessories to the corporate respondents’ contraventions because they were “involved”, within the meaning of section 550 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act), in the underpayment of employees. The two directors were “involved” because, despite the fact that they relied on others to perform day to day human resources functions, they knew the employees were not being paid their wages or salaries as they should have been. The question of penalties payable by the two directors is yet to be determined. This decision serves as a timely reminder of the potential personal liability that managers can face with contraventions to Australia’s workplace relations laws
The Federal Court of Australia has ruled that an employer cannot require an employee to work a “split-shift” under the Airline Operations – Ground Staff Award 2010. In doing so, the Federal Court has also held that rostering an employee on for more than one period of paid work within a 24-hour period impermissibly constituted a split-shift under the Award