Keeping it Casual? Think Again!

You have no doubt heard about the landmark decision in WorkPac Pty Ltd v Skene[1], where the Full Court of the Federal Court (Full Court) found that a casual employee was a permanent employee entitled to annual leave payments. In this article we have summarised the decision and outlined the important practical implications for many […]

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Will your Enterprise Agreement pass the BOOT?

The Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission in its recent decision Loaded Rates Agreements [2018] FWCFB 3610 (28 June 2018) held that employers must apply the “better off overall test” (BOOT) to every employee covered by an Enterprise Agreement. The decision involved a consideration of five applications for the approval of Enterprise Agreements containing […]

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Freedom of Association – Logos, Mottos and Indicia

The Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) released new guidance material recently which provides information on the differences between the Building Code 2013 (2013 Code) and the Code for Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 (2016 Code) with respect to freedom of association. While both the 2013 Code and 2016 Code provide that a […]

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Casual Calamity

Casual conversion to part-time or full-time employment The Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission (Commission) has decided to insert a model casual conversion clause into the majority of those modern awards which did not already have this type of clause, including awards in the retail, restaurant, banking, aged care, mining, maritime and transport industries. […]

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The No No Nos for end of year functions

It is the time of year when employers encourage their staff to celebrate another year’s hard work – a time to bring together employees who may rarely meet face-to-face and to reward them for their hard work. It is also unfortunately the time of year for alcohol-fuelled indiscretions, allegations of workplace bullying, sexual harassment, and […]

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Employee unfairly terminated after suspension of WWC Check – schools must take a cautious approach

Schools should tread carefully when considering whether to terminate the employment of a teacher or other employee whose Working with Children Check has been suspended because of pending criminal charges. A recent case before the Fair Work Commission, following a series of similar cases in New South Wales, concerned a teacher whose employment was terminated […]

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Are you ready for changes to the National Quality Framework?

From 1 October 2017 changes to the Education and Care Services National Law and Regulations (as implemented across Australia) will take effect in all States and Territories, except in Western Australia where the changes will take effect from 1 October 2018. A revised National Quality Standard will also take effect in all jurisdictions from 1 […]

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School uniform policy found to be discriminatory on religious grounds

A Melton Christian school has been found to have discriminated against a young Sikh student because its uniform policy explicitly required boys to have short hair and did not permit students to wear any head coverings related to a non-Christian faith. The student, who was 5 years old, had uncut hair and wore a head […]

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Franchisors exposed for franchisee failures with passage of Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Act 2017

Further to our update, the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Act 2017 (Act) has been passed by the Australian Parliament after modification by the Senate. The Act became law on 15 September 2017. Franchisors will come under the new regime from 27 October 2017. Introduced following revelations of franchisees breaching their obligations as employers, […]

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WWC Checks – changes to strengthen protections but is a WWC Check enough for schools?

From 1 August 2017 changes came into effect to increase the protection for children by broadening the type of contact with children for which a working with children check is required. However, schools should carefully consider whether in all cases relying only on a WWC Check is enough. Prior to the changes, a WWC Check […]

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Reportable conduct scheme – Principals obliged to ensure School policies are compliant

From 1 July 2017 school Principals will be obliged to ensure compliance with the Reportable Conduct Scheme introduced by amendments to the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005. The Scheme will be administered by the Commission for Children and Young People, including by overseeing investigations or conducting investigations itself. School Principals will be obliged to […]

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Amendments to Fair Work Act to create new compliance issues for the franchising sector

Following a number of recent high profile cases involving franchisees breaching their obligations as employers, the Government introduced the Fair Work (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017. The Bill proposes amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) to: introduce increasing civil penalty provisions of up to 600 penalty units ($108,000) for individuals or 3,000 penalty […]

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