When a Good Reason Just Isn’t Enough

jmhThe Christmas/New Year period provides employees with an opportunity to celebrate the year that has passed. Employees can ‘forget’ the appropriate conduct required of them, particularly when alcohol is involved and when functions are held offsite and outside normal working hours. As a result, employers may now been dealing with the ramifications of any incidents which occurred during this period.

Recent Decision

An employee was involved in a physical assault (head-butting another employee) at a Christmas function. An investigation into the incident was not finalised until April in the following year, but by this time another allegation of assault had been made against the same employee.… Read More

The Elephant in the Room

The Australian managing Director of Rio Tinto, David Peever says that the Fair Work Act is the elephant in the room when it comes to the productivity debate in Australia.

Heather Ridout, who used to be the head of the Australian Industry Group and is now on the Reseve Bank board said on a recent Q & A programme that the “Fair Work Act gives 120 new rights to unions and nothing to employers”. On the same programme,  Judith Sloan, an economist and commentator suggested that it was ironic that the Act assumes that the right of unions is paramount when it comes to work place contracts but only 13% of the private work sector belong to unions.… Read More

Redundancy Rights and Risks

jmhIf you are an employer faced with the difficult task of making employees redundant, it is important to know what obligations you have and what steps you ought to take to meet those obligations.

If you are an employee faced with redundancy, it’s important to know your rights and ensure you receive the correct entitlements.

What does redundancy mean?

A redundancy occurs when employment is terminated because the employer decides they no longer want that person’s job to be done by anyone, or because the employer becomes insolvent or bankrupt.

In order for a redundancy to be a ‘genuine redundancy’, it must be shown that:

  1. The job will not be done by anyone else and the position will not be filled by any other person.
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Contractor or Employee?

RHGIf you are beginning a new job, you should ensure that your relationship with the business hiring you is clearly defined.

If you work for a business under a contract of employment in return for regular pay, you will generally be classified as an “employee”. Employees are provided with the safety net of minimum terms and conditions of employment under the National Employment Standard (NES), which include annual & personal leave, parental leave, a right to request flexible working arrangements, a standard working week of 38 hours, public holiday entitlements and notice of termination.

Independent contractors, on the other hand, are generally not entitled to the benefits under the NES.… Read More