UK: GDPR – The “Whole of Business” Issue at the Top of Your Board Agenda

Almost all organisations use or process personal data. With less than 9 months to go before the EU General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”) comes into force in the UK and across Europe, the run up to 25 May 2018 is set to be a busy period for organisations like yours preparing for compliance.

Click here to subscribe to our Practical GDPR series.

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Filed under Data protection and privacy, Jurisdiction: UK

France: The Loi Travail – Briefing 4

This briefing summarises the Macron reforms in relation to the introduction of a new codified right to make collective terminations by agreement (outside of a social plan).

This is a change from the current situation, permitted by case law, where an employer can ask for volunteers for redundancy, but only within the scope of voluntary redundancy plan (plan de departs volontaires), which generally accompanies a social plan.

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Filed under Jurisdiction: France, Redundancy

France: The Loi Travail – Briefing 3

This briefing summarises the Macron reforms in relation to the simplification of redundancy processes:

  • limiting the economic difficulties test to the business sector in France exclusively;
  • refining what is a business sector;
  • reducing the redeployment obligations – limiting these to France;
  • for companies making less than 10 redundancies in 30 days : simplifying the scope of employees within the pool for selection – to those employees within the same “employment zone”;
  • reducing time limits for claims; and
  • reducing minimum damages payments where a social plan is held to be null and void .

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Filed under Jurisdiction: France, Redundancy

Australia: Super changes for employers

On 14 September 2017, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Improving Accountability and Member Outcomes in Superannuation Measures No. 2) Bill 2017 (Cth) was introduced in the House of Representatives. The Bill contains two amendments which will significantly impact employers:

  1. amendments regarding choice of superannuation funds for employees under workplace determinations or enterprise agreements; and
  2. amendments regarding employee salary sacrifices to superannuation.

The provisions of the Bill were referred to the Senate Economic Legislation Committee for reporting by 23 October 2017.

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Australia: Whistleblower protections – recommendations from Parliamentary Joint Committee

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services has proposed widespread reform to whistleblowing legislation in Australia.

Together with Disputes, we have published an article on our website on the Committee’s recommendations, which signal the direction any law reform in this area may take.

Please contact our specialist team if you would like advice on this topic.

Michael Gonski
Michael Gonski
Partner, Sydney
Email | Profile
+61 2 9225 5083
Amanda Lyras
Amanda Lyras
Senior Associate, Sydney
Email | Profile
+61 2 9225 5874

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Filed under Jurisdiction: Australia, Whistleblowing

Privacy at work: Limits on employers’ ability to monitor private communications

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECtHR) ruling in Barbulescu v Romania (61496/08) is a timely reminder of the limits of employers’ ability to monitor their employees’ private activity on work IT systems.

The case concerned an employee’s personal use of a Yahoo Messenger account set up at the employer’s request to be used purely for work messages, and in contravention of an absolute rule prohibiting personal use. The Romanian court found the employee’s dismissal for breach of workplace rules to be fair, concluding that the employer was entitled to check whether its workplace rules had been breached.  The Grand Chamber ruled that, in so doing, the Romanian court had violated the employee’s right to privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights by failing to strike a fair balance between his rights and those of his employer to supervise its employees at work.  The court had failed to give due consideration to relevant factors, in particular the employer’s failure to give adequate notice of the nature of the monitoring.

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Filed under Data protection and privacy, Jurisdiction: UK

Australia: Vulnerable workers legislation has commenced

The Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Act 2017 received royal assent on 14 September 2017 and commenced the following day.

From 15 September 2017, employers can face:

  • a penalty of up $630,000 (or $126,000 for an individual) for a ‘serious contravention’ of a civil remedy provision; and
  • a penalty of up to $63,000 (or $12,600 for an individual) for failing to give payslips or keep appropriate records – even if the breach was inadvertent. 

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Filed under Employment status (including agency workers, casual workers, use of contractors and 'dispatch' arrangements), Jurisdiction: Australia

France: The Loi Travail – Briefing 2

This briefing summarises the Macron reforms to consolidate works councils and other employee representative bodies, through the ordonnance on “the new organisation of social and economic dialogue and encouraging the exercise and importance of trade union responsibilities”.

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Filed under Industrial/workplace relations, collective bargaining, works councils, Jurisdiction: France, Workplace Health and Safety

Australia: Launching soon – Proposed labour hire licensing schemes around Australia

Following various parliamentary inquiries at the Federal and State level into labour hire practices, it looks as though state-based labour hire licensing schemes will very soon be a reality, with the Queensland Government1 recently passing legislation for a state-based labour hire licensing scheme to commence in the first half of 2018. The South Australian and Victorian Governments also look set to follow Queensland, with proposed legislation for a state-based scheme currently before the South Australian Parliament and the Victorian Government recently announcing its intention to introduce legislation by the end of the year.  Continue reading

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Filed under Employment status (including agency workers, casual workers, use of contractors and 'dispatch' arrangements), Jurisdiction: Australia

France: The Loi Travail – Briefing 1

This is the first of our detailed briefings in relation to the Macron labour law reforms and will cover the subject of caps on tribunal damages.

Budgeting for a dismissal?

This is one of the reforms which has generated the most press interest and challenges by the trade union representatives. The key points to note are as follows:

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Filed under Jurisdiction: France, Termination of employment