Tag Archives: workplace relations

Beyond the federal election: workplace relations update

The dust has now settled since the surprise re-election of the Morrison Government last month and the subsequent Cabinet reshuffle. Now is a good time to consider what the focus of Government is in respect of workplace relations, and what this may mean for Australian employers.

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Western Australia finally joins the work health and safety bandwagon

Western Australia was the last colony to join the Federation. It is also the only Australian state or territory where secession is still regularly discussed. Does that explain why WA has taken longer than any other jurisdiction to decide on its approach to the harmonised work health and safety (WHS) laws that have been adopted across the nation (other than in Victoria)? Probably not.

The Commonwealth, Queensland, NSW, ACT and NT adopted the harmonised WHS regime on 1 January 2012. South Australia and Tasmania followed suit a year later. Victoria opted out in mid-2012, but WA has been busily prevaricating these past five years.

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Hall & Wilcox adds employment practice to growing Perth office

Leading business law firm, Hall & Wilcox, has expanded its Perth office with the appointment of leading employment partner Kylie Groves and team.

Hall & Wilcox opened in Perth in December 2015 with an initial focus on insurance. The new employment and workplace relations team signals the firm’s intent to expand its service offering to other commercial areas in Perth, as part of its national growth strategy.

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The Trump effect: tips to make your workplace ‘Great Again’ in 2017

In late 2016, millions watched with mixed emotions as something which many may once have thought impossible (or at least very unlikely), took place. Donald Trump succeeded in his campaign for the White House and will shortly take office as the 45th President of the United States of America.

Whatever your feelings toward Trump, his campaign was one of the most significant talking points of 2016. Indeed, one of the (many) interesting things which have emerged from it is that many American voters who supported Trump did so, at least in part, because they believe he will run America like he runs his global business empire.

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A Whole New World of Religious Discrimination

By Amy Messigian

On September 8, 2012, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the Workplace Religious Freedom Act into law.  The law, which becomes effective on January 1, 2013, amends the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (the “Act”) to include a religious dress practice or a religious grooming practice as a belief or observance covered under the Act’s protections against religious discrimination.

The new law also specifies that it is not reasonable to segregate an employee from the public or other employees as an accommodation of the individual’s religious dress practice or religious grooming practice.  Inasmuch, retail employers may not limit such employees to the back of the store due to their religious attire or grooming practice.

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NLRB Says Employer Can’t Fire Employee for Vulgar and Threatening Statements

Seemingly ignoring the requirements for employers to keep a harassment free workplace and disregarding their right to keep a respectful and orderly environment, last week in Fresenius USA Manufacturing, Inc. the NLRB found that the company committed an unfair labor practice by terminating an employee who admitted to using vulgar and threatening language.

Overturning an administrative law judge’s decision, the NLRB ordered Fresenius to reinstate the pro-union employee who referred to the employees leading a union decertification effort as “Pussies” and threatened that those employees should “RIP”.

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ILN Today Post

Employment and Safety – Workplace Investigations Update – May 2012

An employee who developed a psychological injury during the course of a workplace investigation claimed that it arose because of the way the investigation was conducted and claimed workers compensation on that basis. The employee’s claim was successful after the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) found that the investigation was not conducted in a reasonable way.

What happened?

The employee was asked to participate in a workplace investigation that was being conducted by an external investigator. Before meeting the investigator, the employee was told that an investigation was being conducted following complaints about the female manager who had hired her and the employee was asked to participate in the investigation as a witness. The employee was assured that the investigation was not about her and that she need not be concerned about the investigation. On this basis, the employee decided not to bring a support person to the interview. More…

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ILN Today Post

Will you shut your business over the festive season?

With the Christmas and New Year period fast approaching, employers need to consider whether they intend to shut down their business over the Christmas and New Year period or beyond, and whether they intend to require employees to take annual leave during a shut down.  read more

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ILN Today Post

Have you really considered redeployment?

A recent decision of Fair Work Australia involving the dismissal of a manager for reasons of redundancy places employers at risk if they do not offer employees lesser roles before making them redundant. A failure to do so may lead to the redundancy being held not to be genuine for the purpose of excluding an employee’s ability to apply for an unfair dismissal remedy.  read more

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ILN Today Post

That’s not reasonable! So what is? Managing misconduct under the microscope

A recent decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal is a timely reminder of the importance of acting reasonably in managing employee misconduct.  In the case, the tribunal emphasised that managers should not blindly follow a policy or procedure but must turn their minds to the particular circumstances to determine what is reasonable.  read more

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