A recent Western Australian Industrial Relations Court decision regarding annualised salaries paid to Modern Award covered employees serves as an important reminder of the importance of identifying, and carefully complying with applicable Modern Awards.
In this case, the Federal Court confirmed that the prohibition on discrimination (“FW Act”) applies to prospective employers as well as actual employers and that an Applicant need not establish a prima facie case in order to enliven the reverse onus of proof under the act.
In this case, the Federal Court provides a method for calculating wages payable to an employee previously found to be entitled to “overtime” rates and not “recall to duty” payments for work carried out from home while she was “on call”.
The Federal Court held that an employer must pay an employee who cashes out their personal leave the same amount they would have been paid if the employee had actually taken the leave, rather than a set daily rate of hours. The High Court refused leave to appeal.
The Federal Circuit Court held that an employer did not take unlawful adverse action against an employee, and did not unlawfully coerce an employee, by directing her to undertake a secondment.
From 1 January 2017, all backpackers will be required to pay 15 cents tax for every dollar they earn and new arrangements for superannuation take effect.
Legislation has been passed which expands the protections in the unfair contracts legislation for benefit of certain independent contractors. Under the legislation, unfair terms in defined contracts are void and the courts have powers to issue remedies, such as compensation, when a party to the contract attempts to enforce an unfair term.
Registered Organisations (such as trade unions) play a prominent role in Australia’s workplace relations system by advocating for members in employment disputes, by negotiating enterprise agreements and by other means. Legislation has been passed which establishes an independent Registered Organisations Commission to monitor and regulate registered organisations. The legislation also imposes disclosure and financial accounting obligations on Registered Organisations and their officers which are analogous to those set out in corporations legislation.
A court ruled that an employer’s decision not to renew an expired fixed term employment contract did not involve a “dismissal” for the purposes of Australian employment legislation.
A Court found that an international supermarket chain was required to enter into a greenfields enterprise agreement when expanding its operations and not an ordinary enterprise agreement. This case confirms that an employer establishing a new business cannot circumvent the statutory requirements attending the entry into greenfields agreements by entering into an ordinary enterprise agreement with staff employed elsewhere.